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How to Prepare for Cloud Migration

It’s coming…

Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 were widely popular when launched almost ten years ago. With the decade anniversary right around the corner, support for both editions is coming to an end.

As we’ve discussed in our previous series of articles on the topic, leveraging a cloud-based solution is a sound approach to positioning your practice for this end of support, and more importantly, for future opportunity.

Once you’ve decided to make the switch to the cloud, there are a few steps you still need to take.

A cloud migration begins with planning a careful, phased approach to execution. Although switching to Microsoft’s Azure is a relatively simple process — avoid rushing into it without a plan. Cloud adoption is a strategic undertaking, and must be carried through without significantly impacting your practice operations.

Below are steps to take before starting to migrate to Microsoft Azure cloud services.

  1. Assess

It is absolutely crucial to complete a full assessment to inform your migration planning.  This includes:

  • Identifying what workloads you have, where they are installed, and what dependencies they have.
  • Determining which workloads and application should be moved to an Azure-based environment.
  • Identifying any impact a migration may have on patient experience, services or data protection.
  • Developing a risk assessment based on the above to ensure appropriate mitigation is taken into account during plan development.

An assessment will help you identify the suitability of your on-premises infrastructure for Azure transition. You should also contemplate factors including cost estimates, storage type and right-sizing recommendations. Fortunately, Microsoft provides free assessment tools to determine how ready your practice is for migration.

  1. Determine a timeline

There are some workloads that may not be ready for migration right away, and that’s okay. Complexity and business impact are factors that drive migration risk and impact the timing of the transition. Evaluate business impact by reviewing the importance of a workload to your practice operations. Complexity can be factored by evaluating how complicated the application is and how well your team understands it. A critical workload will inevitably have a higher risk even if it’s simple. However, a more complex but less critical workload might be a better candidate for early migration. Set a timeline to decide which workloads make the most sense to migrate early on.

  1. Grow your cloud skills

As you prepare your organization for cloud adoption, you also have the opportunity to develop skills that help extend your technical management knowledge. Although many of the tools for on-premises servers and applications are similar to those needed for the cloud, there are a few fundamental differences to grasp and consider. Migration gives you the chance to grow your skillset and further assimilate to the ever-evolving healthcare technology landscape.

Though the end of support is indeed coming very soon…

Slowing down now, and keeping the above steps in mind will ensure your cloud adoption process is done correctly and effectively the first time.

The Focus Solutions team is here to assist – in both preparation and execution of your cloud migration. Our team of healthcare technology experts is here when you’re ready.

Give us a shout if we can help your practice!  We’d be honored.

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