In a day and age where business enterprises are upping the ante on digital transformation, migrating to the cloud ecosystem is a foregone conclusion. The top drivers for any cloud migration exercise include data modernization, remote access, data protection and security, productivity and efficiency, operational excellence, and cost advantage. If statistics are to be believed, then the global market for public cloud services is expected to touch $623.3 billion by 2023 (Source: Hostingtribunal.com). Also, a study by Unisys suggests that around 77% of businesses adopting cloud migration as a part of their business strategy have seen a marked improvement in their operational capabilities. Thus, it can be safely assumed that cloud migrations have turned out to be prudent decisions in the age of modernization.
However, there is a word of caution! As per research by Unisys, unlike the earlier one, around one-third of cloud migrations fail to achieve their objectives. So, what could be the reasons for failure? Among the reasons, not setting realistic expectations and lack of cloud migration assurance figure prominently. To better strategize for cloud migration, let us discuss a checklist comprising major aspects such as planning, assessing, execution, and validation. Following the checklist can help business enterprises to avoid potential issues such as server breakdown, system latency, website crashes, and lack of scalability, among others.
A QA checklist for successful cloud migration
The checklist for business enterprises to follow and achieve success in migration to a cloud platform is mentioned below:
Functional validation: This cloud migration testing approach assesses the production readiness of applications that have been migrated to the cloud platform. It ensures whether various aspects of the applications are functioning as desired and as per the SLAs. To check the stability and robustness of every migrated application, business enterprises should verify and validate SaaS and the applications’ end-to-end functioning. For every cloud application testing, the below-mentioned test cases should be executed to find out:
- Whether a valid input delivers the expected outcomes
- The compatibility of the automated test suite with the application
- Service integration with cloud-based applications
- Whether page layout and object references function as desired
Integration testing: Moving to the cloud does not mean only moving the workload to the cloud migration platform but also managing variables such as authentication, authorization, compatibility, integration, and security. An important part of the variables is checking whether the applications are integrated with third-party tools and are able to communicate seamlessly. It is significant to identify the dependencies for each application, for these dependencies between applications and systems can make integration testing quite a challenge. When performing integration testing for cloud-based applications, the testing team should consider the following:
- Resources for the validation of integration testing
- Cloud migration assurance with third-party tools
- Discover glitches in coordination within the cloud
- Configuration of application in the cloud environment
- Integration of multiple applications
Performance testing: For the success of any cloud migration strategy, the scalability and responsiveness of any application must be validated. The following steps should be checked to ensure the application’s performance and SLAs are achieved:
- Identify and record business transactions and end-to-end flow of the application
- Identify the configuration and architecture of an incompatible application
- Execute load testing in parallel
- Identify the setup tools and your monitoring needs
- Record the performance of the application under different load thresholds
- Evaluate if the application has limited internet bandwidth but intensive CPU capacity requirements
Business continuity plan and disaster recovery: No matter what IT platforms are being used to run your operations, there is always the possibility of things going awry. Migrating your applications and systems to the cloud can face worst-case scenarios such as system crashes or latency. For every cloud application migration solution, there should be a disaster recovery plan in place, which can address incidents of attacks and scenarios of cloud outages. And to ensure the same, the following steps should be considered:
- Evaluate and update business continuity processes every now and then
- Conduct test simulations to evaluate the readiness of your team
- Restore applications automatically when faced with hardware failures
- Analyze the cloud migration automation test results to update the business continuity plan
Security testing: With the frequency and scope of cyberattacks increasing, enterprises migrating to the cloud should apply advanced cybersecurity measures. It is useful to make cloud migration risk assessments and validate data security. The factors to be considered during security testing are:
- What are the various compliance requirements?
- How is data stored in the cloud?
- Who are the people who have access to data?
- How do users access data?
- What type of sensitive data is stored, used, or transferred?
- Identify and run legacy applications operating on old systems
- Ensure user authorization and authentication when accessing the cloud network
With the popularity and flexibility of cloud platforms, many enterprises are transitioning their applications, data, and systems to the cloud. It enables them to build robust, innovative, responsive, and customer-friendly applications or solutions at scale. However, notwithstanding the host of benefits of cloud migration, enterprises should follow the above-mentioned QA checklist to ensure the cloud migration solutions achieve their objectives.