Organizations recognize the need to be adaptable, flexible and efficient in every part of the business process. This is especially true for IT departments. IT enables all departments to streamline processes, record and analyze critical data, and become more efficient. Cloud migration offers IT departments an avenue to achieve the adaptability and the flexibility to take their organizations to the next level.
Organizations migrating to the cloud have substantially increased as the technology has evolved. According to Forbes, cloud computing will reach $162 billion by 2020. The average annual growth rate of cloud computing is predicted to be 19%. In addition, 74% of CFOs surveyed indicated that the cloud will have the most significant impact on their business. Migrating to a cloud environment takes prudent planning, resource allocation, and management.
Pre-Game Your Cloud Migration Strategy
Building a solid foundation for your cloud migration strategy makes all the difference in how seamless it will be. The easier it is for your end-users to use and implement daily, the better life will be for everyone. Consider these things before you make the move to migrate your IT environment to the cloud:
- Outline A Governance Model – You’ll need to answer numerous questions before opening the floodgates for internal users to consume cloud services. How many cloud accounts should you have? Who will have access to what? How will you grant that access? Assigning roles and responsibilities for every member of each department goes a long way towards ensuring business objectives are met. It also allows you to incorporate the right controls to improve your security posture.
- Knowledge Transfer – The more knowledgeable end users are in the cloud, the smoother the transition. This leads to more internal evangelists you have on your side, and the easier it will be to dissipate/break down barriers. The knowledge transfer process needs to happen early in the cloud migration stage, before you make organizational-wide decisions on the future state of your IT landscape.
- The Right Partnership – You should look for those that have not only the technical expertise and experience in cloud migration, but also the right agile methodology and project management framework. You may already have partners in-house with a cloud competency team. Allow yourself time to vet them and ask for references prior to selecting a cloud partner. Also think about the operational model you plan on adopting and whether the partner can help facilitate that model (building CI/CD pipelines, managed services).
Implementing Your Cloud Migration Strategy
Now that you’ve gotten the pre-planning out of the way, the focus turns to the actual cloud migration itself. Strategies and considerations when implementing your migration strategy include the following:
- Start Simply – Go after the “low hanging fruit” first to chalk up some easy wins. The more adept your staff becomes with the cloud environment, and the faster your stakeholders see the benefits, the easier it will be to “sell” the vision internally. To do so, you need consistency and transparency, and we see many organizations using a series of quick wins to get there.
- Automate and Transform – The cloud’s main value comes from its ability to automate and transform business processes. First, find out the existing internal processes needing automated and streamlined. Once those processes automate, work on transforming the rest of the processes to transition them.
- Test Applications – A critical piece of the migration factory is the integration and validation of the workloads being deployed in the cloud. Each application component should go through a series of predetermined and well-documented tests. Obtaining sign-off from the business owners will be a lot smoother if you ask the application owners to provide you with the test plans early in the project. This will help streamline the validation activities and assure your business owners that their applications are performing similarly or better in the cloud than on premises.
- Managed Services – There are several tools and services in the cloud designed to take many arduous tasks off your plate. Tools such as Amazon RDS, AWS Directory Service, and Amazon DynamoDB assist your IT department in streamlining certain time-consuming processes. This allows your team to focus on innovation and providing significant value as a revenue generating center.
After Implementing Your Cloud Migration Strategy
You’ve made it through the implementation phase, and your stakeholders love the ease and flexibility of their new environment. Even though many processes automate, you will still have to monitor your new cloud environment. Several tools that do a great job in collecting, tracking and analyzing data coming in and out of your cloud network ( New Relic, APPDYNAMICS, AWS CloudWatch Logs). Continue to experiment and innovate new processes in your new cloud environment. Over time this will result in continued growth, higher efficiencies, and happier stakeholders.
To learn more about Cloud Migration, please contact us at www.yourstrategic.com/contact-us to speak with one of our Cloud Specialists!
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