If your organization is considering large-scale cloud migration but unsure where to start, tried and tested frameworks based on proven customer success DO exist to make the transition seamless. In the recent SourceFuse “Talking Out Cloud” leadership chat series, Satish Upretti, Senior Migration Partner Solution Architect Lead at Amazon Web Services, reflected on what drives cloud migration, common challenges, and leveraging the AWS Migration Acceleration Program to maximize benefits quicker.
#1 What have been the biggest drivers for customers looking to migrate to AWS Cloud, or initiate their cloud journey?
One of the biggest drivers is around cost optimization or reduction. Depending on their existing infrastructure or application we have seen customers save from 25 to 50 percent or more when they use AWS cloud migration services. But there are many other reasons that trigger customers to migrate to AWS Cloud. For example, customers looking for data center migration, consolidation of data centers, or perhaps because the existing hardware or software is coming to the end of its life.
In the last two years of the pandemic, there has been a real change in customer discussions. Nowadays, Boards of Directors are much more involved and are not just looking for cost reduction. They want the business to be more agile and move a lot faster; they want the ability to quickly experiment in different market segments or invent and create new customer experiences.
They are also wanting to modernize their operating models and business culture when migrating to AWS. Customers have started to realize that focusing only on cost reduction will not achieve the purpose of the business or the goal of the organization. This is a big change in customer behavior, talking more about the business benefits of digital transformation rather than cost saving.
With this change in mindset, customers are now exploring modernization, going beyond a conversation purely about AWS workload migration. And AWS can improve their journey with many plug-and-play cloud-native services plus variations in architecture that customers are looking for.
#2 What are some of the biggest migration roadblocks or challenges you come across?
Based on extensive experience in helping customers perform large-scale cloud migrations, we do see several common roadblocks and challenges, the first of which is change management. The cloud is not the same as on-premise, hence there needs to be a change in mindset. For example, senior leadership alignment and support; the goals have to be driven from the top down, with what we call a single-thread leadership organization.
Second, the organization has to think in a ‘cloud manner’. This means leveraging the speed and agility of the cloud and making decisions on products and applications with a cloud-based organization mindset, rather than basing decisions on individual projected skills.
Third is developing the organization as a cloud center of excellence – this is very important. And fourth is appreciating that security on the cloud is very different than on-prem; the difference must be understood because an IT organization must feel secure in letting go of control of various levels of the stack.
#3 What’s your advice to anyone considering large-scale cloud migration via the AWS Migration Acceleration Program?
The AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) was developed based on our direct experience migrating hundreds of enterprise customers to AWS. To some it may be seen as just an investment program, however, we need to consider all attributes this program brings.
MAP is a comprehensive, proven cloud migration program based on industry best practices and AWS experience, and includes multiple tools to make cloud adoption easier and enable customers to gain cloud benefits sooner. We follow a unique migration methodology, and the experience gained from working with so many customers has enabled us to refine MAP to provide more and more benefits to customers and partners.
The idea is to make customers successful – to help them make the move with exceptional speed and scale in their transformation journey. With MAP we follow a simple three-step approach:
- Assess phase – to capture the customer’s environment, create their business case, and assess organizational readiness.
- Mobilize phase – here we are building the architecture landing zone, establishing security, and carrying out a proof of concept (PoC) to make sure that before moving to the cloud comprehensive testing is completed successfully. If there is anything challenging or something that needs improving or correcting, this is the phase to make any fixes.
- Migrate & Modernize phase – based on customer requirements, in this phase, we migrate the customer environment using various AWS services as part of the MAP process. For example, they might want a server-to-server migration, an application migration, or a database migration.
#4 How do customers benefit when working with an AWS Consulting Partner?
Assuming customers are working with SourceFuse, it’s one of the most matured AWS Consulting Partners, and I’ve seen a lot of partners in the last two and a half years! I believe SourceFuse has full capabilities, not only from a migration process perspective but also understanding Amazon leadership principles like our ‘customer obsession’ to vigorously earn and keep customer trust through and even after the engagement.
What differentiates SourceFuse is its ability to rapidly and securely migrate customer workloads through its in-house factory model for migrations and modernizations called ARC. It accelerates IaC deployments and has reusable components to help adopt the use of containers and microservices.
Working with SourceFuse, eligible customers can also get access to several partner funding reliefs supported by AWS when making the first step toward migration and/or modernization. I noticed you also offer managed services, which makes you a ‘go-to’ partner for end-to-end workload migration and maintenance for customers looking to move to the AWS cloud.
#5 As the AWS Senior Migration Solution Architect, what has been your experience working with a partner like SourceFuse?
I’ve been working with SourceFuse for the last eight to nine months and have seen that they have a proven track record of migrating on-prem and on-cloud databases and applications to AWS. Your modernization-led migration approach has been the first of its kind, enabling customers to not only migrate but also modernize their workloads making them future-proof once they are on the AWS Cloud.
SourceFuse’s experience working with large enterprises and ISVs gives you an added advantage across industry verticals in providing secure, scalable migration approaches. Being an AWS partner, I can see you have deep domain knowledge of AWS Cloud and native AWS Services which makes everything really fluid. SourceFuse is an asset to the AWS Partner Network and AWS as a whole!