Migrating to the cloud is more than just moving workloads. Get strategic tips on preparing a solid foundation for a successful cloud adoption approach!
Like any large-scale project, migrating large numbers of workloads from an on-premises data center and infrastructure to the cloud needs strategic planning. When cloud migration occurs successfully, organizations are able to increase agility, optimize efficiency, and enable employees to work securely anytime and from anywhere.
Yet, migrating to the cloud is a huge undertaking and can seem overwhelming to organizations still bogged down in traditional ways of working. By tying migration to higher-level business goals, organizations can execute an effective cloud migration initiative.
New to cloud services? Get informed with our guide to cloud computing!
Before you can even start to craft a roadmap to application of cloud, your first imperative is to assess any challenges and expertise gaps that affect your cloud-readiness. For instance, if existing business applications are outdated, a lift-and-shift to cloud will not produce satisfactory results. In this case, before migrating to the cloud, the business in question should commit to an application modernization strategy in order to make cloud investment worth the time and effort.
For large organizations currently mired in traditional IT environments, there are several other factors to consider pre-migration. Internal barriers can include a lack of organizational buy-in, pushback against the investment needed for a multiyear project, or compliance and regulatory restraints. According to McKinsey, the average enterprise has achieved less than 20 percent public cloud or private cloud adoption. With that statistic in mind, it may be beneficial for these companies (in the short-term) to adopt the cloud’s agile and automated operating model within their traditional IT.
To assess how ready your enterprise is to migrate to the cloud, ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of cloud environment (i.e. public, private or hybrid clouds) works best for us?
- Do we have internal talent in place to assist with a cloud migration? Do we need to implement an education plan or hire externally?
- What industry and compliance regulations should we consider?
- Will we need to modernize legacy applications as well?
- What cloud adoption strategies have worked for similar companies in similar industries?
Migrating to cloud? Learn how to manage data security here!
Key Stages of Building a Roadmap to Cloud
When defining a cloud migration initiative, organizations should begin by asking themselves the following questions:
- What is the smartest approach to cloud migration?
- Which leaders and teams need to be involved?
- How will the migration impact the business?
According to research compiled by Gartner, the ideal cloud migration roadmap includes five stages:
1. Align Objectives: During the initial phase of the cloud migration roadmap, the organization should create a cloud migration value proposition for the business and IT. Important tasks include:
a. Complete research that leads to understanding around different use case for cloud adoption
b. Align a formal cloud strategy with IT goals
c. Keeping in mind cloud financial management, define action steps to achieve goals
d. Base decision principles for migration on application and team readiness, business priorities, application modernization strategy and vendor capabilities
e. Leverage data and metrics for actionable insights
2. Develop a Plan of Action: The second stage involves selecting the right vendors and negotiating successful contracts. Follow these steps:
a. Establish cloud competencies across the enterprise
b. Evaluate different service providers (i.e. AWS and Microsoft)
c. Construct protections against cloud-specific risks
d. Pinpoint necessary investments in networking, security and identity architectures, and tools
3. Prepare for Execution: During the third phase, organizations practically deploy and optimize workload placement by following these steps:
a. Identify and divide workloads for migration
b. Enact a cloud management workflow
c. Research and adopt best practices for implementation and practice workload placement analysis
4. Establish Governance While Mitigating Risk: This stage is one of the most important components of the roadmap and should not be skipped. The goal of any successful cloud migration involves minimizing workflow disruptions by establishing robust processes. To ensure success, take the following steps:
a. Conduct sensitive data discovery, analytics, and monitoring
b. Use third-party tools to establish security control plane
c. Create life cycle approach to cloud governance
d. Embed governance adherence feedback directly into workflows with automation
5. Optimize and Scale: You’re almost there! The final stage involves evaluating and evolving the cloud footprint. Three suggested tasks round out this phase:
a. Start with investments that advance existing cloud strategies and implementation
b. Create shared, customer-focused objectives for cross-functional teams
c. Organize by optimizing and evolving the cloud footprint
Involving the Right People
Cross-functional teams are crucial when implementing cloud migration initiatives. Gartner recommends including the following roles:
- CIO – This leadership position provides guidance for strategy and planning, and outlines the mission of cloud migration. The CIO also is responsible for communicating progress with stakeholders.
- Application leader and team – This collaborative role chiefly involves providing input and establishing vision. This team also works with other IT leaders to integrate information across platforms while redefining the cloud migration strategy with updates about progress versus the plan.
- Infrastructure and operations leader/team – This team provides insights about I&O abilities while guiding planning activities for I&O changes needed to fulfill that strategy. Members also manage the implementation process for infrastructure and IT operational mechanisms needed to enable migration.
- Technical professional team – These experts develop architecture and process plans for the project. This responsibility includes researching and selecting best-fit tools and processes for migrating, refactoring or rebuilding applications and data infrastructure for the cloud. Skills are gained as needed.
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No matter where you are on your cloud adoption journey, Stefanini is here to act as your trusted partner. Get connected with an expert today!