Many organizations looking to innovate and build a competitive edge are consolidating their multiple cloud platforms into a single solution such as ServiceNow. The use of ServiceNow as a cloud solution is becoming increasingly popular, as it can significantly reduce operational costs and provide an enhanced user experience.
But before migrating your data to a new cloud provider, you need to examine the risks and prepare a proper cloud exit strategy. Failing to do so could lead to prolonged downtime, decreased productivity and even data loss.
Read below to understand some best-practices and planning ideas for exiting your legacy cloud solutions before you implement ServiceNow.
What is a cloud exit strategy and why do you need it
A cloud exit strategy, also referred to as a “reverse migration”, is a plan to ensure that the cloud services that support business activities can be replaced or replicated safely, efficiently, cost-effectively and without significant disruption. This comprehensive plan should be able to anticipate several scenarios, including data breaches, and consider the role of third parties, ISVs, and solution integrators.
There are several reasons why an organization might consider a cloud exit strategy. Whether the cloud platform is going out of business, providing poor service, or its services are not needed anymore, you need to be prepared to extract your data and replicate the business processes the incumbent vendor had been providing.
Legal requirements can also be a factor in developing a cloud exit strategy. For example, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out rules on how personal identification information must be handled for EU residents. If your current provider is hosting this type of data in locations prohibited by GDPR, you are legally considered to be the owner of the data and will need a plan to move that data to another provider that complies with GDPR regulations.
How to build an exit strategy and prepare for cloud migration
Before switching to a new platform, take some time to plan your exit strategy to ensure business continuity. Here’s some things to keep in mind:
– Start early. There’s no better time than the present to start planning your cloud exit strategy. The ideal time is during the selection of the cloud provider, but even sooner if possible. Having such a plan already in place helps protect against recurring outages, maintaining a higher level of business continuity and reliability.
– Create an inventory. Know what kind data is managed in the platform. Is it a human resources information system that stores personnel and salary data? Or a ITSM solution where you manage your equipment and incidents? Do you track your assets as Configuration Items in a CMDB? Having all this information is critical in creating an inventory that includes both applications and infrastructure elements.
– Do a Gap Analysis. Understand what you will be giving up when migrating your data to another cloud provider. Will the business have a strategic disadvantage? Stakeholder management is also key when constructing a cloud exit strategy. Different viewpoints from application owners, legal, and data governance will provide additional considerations, such as where data is physically stored and how those choices impact compliance requirements.
– Examine SLAs. As you take stock of the asset inventory and stakeholder positions, don’t forget about the Service-Level Agreements. These need to be carefully examined, as your organization must continue to meet its contractual obligations until the cloud exit is complete.
– Ensure data portability. You need be aware of what format your retrieved data will be in (SQL, XML, JSON, or proprietary) to make sure that the new tool will be able to accept it. Furthermore, you need to know how much data there is. If you are retrieving multiple terabytes, it could mean the data will be delivered in a physical format rather than through online transfer.
– Get references. Other organizations that have migrated their data from a cloud platform can provide you with references to help you choose the best one for you. Search for local user groups and talk to people at tradeshows and events. Find out as much as you can about their experience with cloud exit.
– Testing. There is only one way to guarantee that you will be successful in switching cloud providers: testing. Does your cloud platform provide multiple instances for production, testing, and development? Have you undergone a complete migration across environments? Test your solutions now to ensure that a failure won’t lead to a critical business disruption.
Cloud Transition or Migration
Cloud migration is when an organization takes all or part of its data, applications, and workloads and shifts them to a cloud-based platform like Microsoft Azure, ServiceNow or Amazon Web Services. This process can entail moving data from one cloud platform to another or moving it from on-premise servers to cloud-based servers.
Cloud migration has a lot of benefits such as decrease costs and better scalability. You can customize your cloud relocation to fit your organization, transferring as much or as little of your current infrastructure and applications as you need.
A common thing at all types of cloud migration is that it involves adopting new technologies. It is a digital transformation initiative and your company will have to guide employees or customers to use the new cloud-based platform.
Cloud Management – How multi-cloud can help
But what happens when large organizations want to leverage the unique capabilities of different cloud providers rather than using one? Multi-cloud allows organizations to secure and operate the best mix of cloud services to meet their specific business needs, minimizing the risk of downtime and data loss.
The multi-cloud approach has several advantages: it allows for greater flexibility in finding the best cloud solution for every aspect of your organization, it reduces response times for users in other geographies than the company’s headquarters by hosting workloads on regional clouds (this also helps companies adhere to data sovereignty laws), and it protects from outages by having a highly scalable backup for data, workflows, and systems.
ServiceNow Cloud Management is the recommended solution that delivers all best practice requirements designed on a trusted service platform. ServiceNow’s technology brings a single System of Action™, generating a framework for cloud management–whether businesses are already deploying advanced Azure, AWS, or VMware cloud architectures, or are just taking their first steps towards the cloud. ServiceNow offers a comprehensive cloud management solution that organizations can start anytime.
How We Achieve This
ServiceNow Cloud Management involves technologies intended to deliver each requirement of operational excellence and leveraging the Now Platform to extend the single System of Action to the public and private cloud.
Cloud Self-User Portal
A self-service portal for users to access information about all their cloud services and take actions. This is a central point, configured by IT for the user showing their current spend, their quota usage and the status of all their active resources. Users can access their preferred service catalog the way they want to; order new services; and make requests or check on incidents affecting their resources. The user experience is simplified and provides on- demand access to multi-cloud resources while giving IT control over the process.
About ServiceNow IT Operations Management Solutions
ServiceNow ITOM offers organizations an overview of their total IT environment, as well as the virtualized and cloud structure. Service mapping, delivery, and assurance, consolidating IT service and infrastructure data it is streamlined into a single system of record. It also automates and simplifies key processes, including event, incident, problem, configuration, and change management–creating a complete, consistent, and integrated IT operational framework that drives efficiency and improves service quality.
If you are just starting to use ServiceNow or simply thinking about switching to the platform, your business may use multiple cloud platforms that will become redundant. Before planning a cloud exit strategy, take a deep look at your relationship with your cloud vendor. Is the cost/benefit ratio consistent? Is the speed of service on point? Can you get your data safely off the cloud without corrupting it? Also, many IT teams are already stretched thin maintaining existing systems, so a cloud exit strategy is often the last thing on their minds. ABIT Puresoft’s unique approach helps reduce the burden related to cloud exit strategies, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition to a consolidated cloud platform.