As you determine your unique cloud migration strategy, many technical and nontechnical factors should be considered. Use this checklist to prepare and guide your migration of data and analytics to the cloud.

Cloud Analytics Migration Checklist

Know Your Business Goals

  • What are your business objectives for moving to the cloud?
  • How does cloud fit into your overall BI strategy?
  • Who would be driving this effort? IT, Business, or both?

Know Your Budget

  • What is your overall budget?
  • Does this require a big initial investment?
  • Is it easier to get OPEX vs CAPEX approved?

Assess Your Current Analytics Solution

Not every application is suitable for cloud deployment. Review all parts of your analytics solution to determine what should be moved to the cloud.

  • What parts of your analytics solution are already in the cloud? What parts do you plan to move? Databases, non-relational data sources, BI tools, ETL processes, etc.?
  • What parts of your analytics solution are on-premise? Do any of these have ties to local file stores? App dependencies can require a deconstruction of a tangled IT web, but it’s important to think this through.
  • What other applications are you running in the cloud? Will any of these be used as data sources: Office365, Intacct, Slack, Salesforce, ADP, Adobe cloud apps, Dropbox, ShareFile, Atlassian, Zendesk, Workday?
  • What are your needs for advanced analytics? Machine learning, AI, predictive, prescriptive, etc.?

Plan Your Cloud Environment

  • How exactly are you going to use the cloud? Production analytics, production data prep, ad hoc analysis, advanced analytics, data syndication, or sandbox environment?
  • What cloud approach are you taking? Hosted, managed, or SaaS?
  • Which components are you taking to the cloud? Database, platform, ETL?
  • Where are your users geographically located? Cloud servers physically exist somewhere, and you want them to be as geographically close as possible for good bandwidth and network availability.
  • Determine the appropriate platforms for your migration.

Define Affected Departments

  • What departments will be using platforms/applications in the cloud?
  • Who will be managing the cloud applications? Do they have the required skills?
  • Are there any internal political challenges to overcome? For example, moving to the cloud could represent potential job loss, or there might be a stigma associated with hosting data offsite.
  • Who would be driving the cloud migration effort? IT, Business, or both?

Review Your Data

  • Where are your data sources? Are some of your data sources already in the cloud, like
  • How much data do you have?
  • What mix of structured and unstructured will you be analyzing now and in the future?

Consider Security & Privacy

  • What are your security requirements for data access and authorization?
  • What are your backup strategies?
  • Have you ensured application resiliency and disaster recovery?
  • Do you have any privacy concerns or requirements?

Plan the Migration Path

  • Who is in charge of managing the migration? Is it someone in-house?
  • How do you plan to migrate historical data? Some vendors have tools that can help automate this.
  • Have you planned the order in which you will move components? What interdependencies among components exist?

Download the full cloud migration checklist here.


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