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Take the Risk Out of a Cloud Lift-and-Shift

Linda Tsan
Senior Manager

For businesses large and small, speed and agility are now at the center of success. As digital technologies take hold—and requirements for IT flexibility grow—the need for a robust business and IT framework is nothing less than critical.

The cloud is at the center of this new paradigm. It fuels the innovation and disruption required to compete. According to a Harvey Nash/KPMG 2016 CIO survey,

  • 31% of respondents said they are investing significantly in SaaS today
  • 49% expect to do so over the next three years.

And by 2018, Forrester expects 50% of large enterprises to have a production workflow running in the cloud. 

When It Comes to Cloud Migration, Flexibility Reigns

With the winds of change blowing so strongly toward the cloud, delaying a move to the public cloud can seriously impact business agility and innovation, potentially placing your enterprise at a competitive disadvantage. With prices falling, the value proposition for public clouds has become stronger. Of course, there's no single route to success in the cloud, yet there is a common denominator: As organizations move workloads to the public cloud, they must make the transition in a seamless, non-disruptive way. 
A seamless transition to the cloud requires an IT framework that supports a full spectrum of technologies. As my colleagues have discussed previously, there are 5 distinct approaches that Oracle has outlined for enterprise cloud migration ranging range from conservatively streamlining your IT infrastructure to make it cloud-ready, to extending your existing private cloud capabilities to mission-critical workloads, to a hybrid cloud approach that borrows the best from both worlds. A lift-and-shift model represents the most aggressive approach by making a complete move to the public cloud. All compute and data will reside in a scalable infrastructure which means you will never have to deal with an infrastructure refresh again.
There 2 major challenges enterprises need to consider with a lift-and-shift approach. 1) That IT staff have the skills to migrate to and, once there, operate within the new public cloud infrastructure and 2) the need to untangle the matrix of legacy hardware and applications that may have been assembled over the course of decades. This "technical debt" of sorts can lead to numerous problems and failure points, with the problem extending to legacy code that is no longer understood by anyone at the organization.

Preparing for the Lift

As digital technology creates new opportunities and challenges, lift-and-shift represents an increasingly compelling option, despite the challenges I mentioned. While more conservative approaches aren't going away—and they should absolutely be considered for specific needs and situations—a lift-and-shift model is certainly the fastest path for enterprises to move to the cloud and reap the benefits of lower TCO and greater operational agility. And it would finally allow IT to assume a more strategic role within the business itself.
The critical factor—regardless of an organization's approach and current status—is for Enterprises to retain predictability, manageability, and control over their data during the entire migration process. A lift-and-shift migration from on-premises to cloud infrastructure requires upfront consulting and planning, a map for the migration process, organizational buy-in, and training for key IT staff. Along the way, the initiative must define key data repositories, cloud provisioning requirements, availability and backup needs, and scaling demands.

Once you make the decision to all-in on the cloud with Oracle, Oracle Advanced Customer Support (ACS) works with you on all of these steps and helps prep your infrastructure and staff for the big move which, with Oracle's unique approach, is fairly painless. With Oracle (ACS) it's possible to handle analysis, migration, and validation seamlessly—and avoid problems such as converting legacy code and finding or developing in-house skills to transfer data and systems. This includes both Oracle and non-Oracle systems and software. 

Making the Shift

To execute a lift-and-shift migration to the Oracle Public Cloud, namely Oracle Infrastructure-as-a-Service, in a way that minimizes risk, Oracle moves customers one application at a time. After selecting an application to serve as a proof-of-concept, we develop and propose a complete service to repackage and re-implement the application in the cloud. Once the migration is complete and the application is running successfully in the cloud, we replicate the process with remaining applications. Over an over again until the desired result is reached.

Because your IT staff is working alongside Oracle during the entire migrations, your IT team has the knowledge and skills to manage the cloud infrastructure on its own when the handoff occurs. As more IT operations move to the cloud and is handled by us, you get the opportunity to retrain or repurpose staff to handle more strategic tasks. And what about that "technical debt" we were talking about? As we move each application one-by-one to the cloud, we start to unravel the mess and restructure it so it becomes cloud-ready.
Oracle’s lift-and-shift approach revolves around moving data correctly the first time, reducing risk of project delays, and boosting ROI—helping your organization gain the agility, flexibility, and scalability that's critical in today's business environment.

What's Your Enterprise Cloud Strategy?

If your organization is facing a pressing cloud adoption imperative, it's important to recognize that a cloud migration is not simple; it requires planning, organizational buy-in, and comprehensive technology framework. Oracle's lift-and-shift approach is unique in that it guides your business through this entire process, and sets you up to operate successfully in the public cloud—even after your migration is completed.

If you’re planning your organization’s journey to the cloud, our white paper—IT Executive’s Guide To Developing An Enterprise Cloud Strategy—is full of tips, stats, and information that will help you make the right choices.

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