Introduction to Governance for AWS Large Migrations

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Governance for Large AWS Cloud Migrations

The biggest challenge with large migrations is organization. Organizing people, processes, and tasks with varying priorities is quite challenging. Governance is a plan for ensuring a successful migration to the AWS cloud regardless of the size. Keeping it all organized and on track helps businesses take full advantage of AWS cloud migration services and takes the pain out of migration. 

This guide introduces the governance concept and its impact on the success of an AWS cloud migration.

What does governance mean with the AWS migration process?

AWS Cloud migrations come in a wide variety of sizes. For any migration, governance is critical. Governance provides a structured planning methodology that organizes a migration effort. Essentially, governance is the attack plan for a successful migration that completes on schedule and provides a system that functions correctly. 

One of Abraham Lincoln’s famous quotes was, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” You will likely need to amend the original migration governance plan during a large migration project. Amending a plan is far easier than proceeding without one. Consider that 59% of AWS cloud migration failure is due to a lack of planning or beginning without a plan at all. Making it up as you go along will not work for any cloud migration, let alone a large AWS cloud migration. 

A governance migration plan begins by forming a cross-functional migration team. A migration team can be completely internal or include AWS Professional Services partners to share in the migration responsibilities. Once the team is established, you can create a detailed migration governance plan that includes task tracking and an escalation plan for when tasks are not completed as expected or unexpected issues appear. 

Governance plans include:

  • Create a project governance playbook 
  • Divide the system infrastructure into workstreams
    • Prioritize work streams for migration noting all known dependencies
    • Define the scope of each workstream
    • Establish test procedures to verify functionality post-migration per workstream
  • Regular migration team communications via meetings or other channels
    • Resource planning includes accounting for vacation or sick time and ensuring both decision-makers and work tasks have backup resources assigned
  • Assign resources to facilitate project management, including tasks, decisions, reporting, and escalation procedures

How does effective governance planning assist in managing a large AWS migration?

What is considered a large AWS cloud migration? AWS considers a migration of 300 or more servers a large migration. Managing the sheer number of people, processes, and technology options involved on 300+ servers is a new experience for most organizations. Governance planning differs between a successful large migration and a failed one. 

Computer system networks contain interdependent applications, databases, APIs, and one or more messaging and transfer engines behind the scenes. Your employees’ work depends on a functional network that performs all integrated work tasks as expected. Delays and malfunctions will slow employee productivity or effectively block work from getting done. A solid governance plan helps prevent downtime, significant work interruptions, and system malfunctions. 

Creating a governance plan also helps businesses keep migrations organized and moving forward. It’s not easy or simple to keep an entire network, employees, and processes organized. Add changing the backend computing system, and you have a recipe for a long-running disaster without a solid, well-defined migration governance plan. Prepare the entire business with a migration governance plan. 

A significant part of establishing a governance migration plan is understanding the existing business and dividing it accurately into workstreams. Most large migrations define four or more workstreams. 

The core four work streams include:

  • Foundation
    • Preparing the employees for a large migration
  • Project governance
    • Focus on managing the migration governance plan, facilitating communication, and coordinating tasks and status
  • Portfolio 
    • The portfolio workstream understands and prioritizes the details, including applications, databases, and other elements that are migrating
  • Migration
    • This team performs the migration step by step per the migration governance plan

Use the governance migration plan or model to report workstream migration objectives, goals, and project status. 

What are the benefits of establishing governance for any migration?

A migration governance plan ensures team members understand work roles and responsibilities during migration. Whether you’re doing an internal-only migration or using an AWS Professional Services provider – every team member must be clear on their roles and task responsibilities. Defining clearly who does what is critical for migration success. 

Benefits of a migration governance plan include:

  • Resource organization
  • Clear communication and task transparency
  • Clear roles and work task responsibilities
  • Task tracking management
  • Migration status progress reporting
  • Functional validation post-migration as each section is completed
  • No functions or dependent systems are missed
  • Responsive and effective risk and issue management
  • Migration success on time and budget

A migration governance plan provides a clear roadmap of tasks and responsibilities. It also fosters communication between individuals working on migration, leadership, stakeholders, and employees. A plan ensures the migration moves forward successfully and can handle changes without delay when issues or unknown dependencies are discovered. Migrations to the cloud are complicated especially with a large migration involving 300+ servers and all the connections and dependencies that rely on them. 

Keeping people, processes, and work tasks organized is a monumental task within a migration. A solid governance plan helps make a migration successful by organizing, managing, and keeping communication flowing across the business. 

Have questions on AWS and Governance for AWS Migrations?

CloudHesive provides expertise and support using the full AWS cloud and infrastructure system, including migrating to AWS Cloud. We help organizations take full advantage of AWS’s migration tools and planning resources for an organized, successful migration regardless of size. 

As an Amazon Managed Services partner and Amazon Premier Partner, CloudHesive helps any organization migrate successfully to the AWS cloud by providing top-notch, consistent, and effective customer service

See what other customers have to say in case studies available from CloudHesive. Get in contact with us!

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