Moving to the Cloud? Here are 5 things every Business should think about!

As the market place transforms, enterprises are undergoing a radical shift in the way they create value and as a result, cloud adoption is gaining speed as organizations worldwide believe this will put them ahead of their competition.

The benefits include:

  • superior efficiency gains,
  •  improved agility,
  • simpler operations and administration,
  • And overall lower costs.

But before reaping these benefits of cloud technology, businesses will first have to move there successfully -- a process, rather “a journey” often associated with various challenges, from planning to execution.

Therefore, to make it easier on you, here are the 5 key things every business should think about “before and after” migrating to the cloud -

1. Breaking the Psychological Barriers, Having A Defined Cloud Business Case

Breaking mindset is never simple, especially if you have a large investment in traditional on-premises data center infrastructure. As you consider whether and how to migrate your traditional infrastructure to a cloud and consider cloud vendors to execute the transition, ask yourself these questions to better understand what to look out for, what to avoid, how to identify risks, and how to mitigate them.

  • Will the cloud be more secure than my internal data center?
  • Can my cloud services be available and reliable as per my uptime requirement?
  • Will the technical support address my problems?
  • What security vulnerabilities and requirements might come into play?
  • How will cost structure changes affect my financials? 

It’s important for your organization to understand why you’re considering or moving to the cloud. What is your primary goal of moving to the cloud? The cloud is no different from any other project & similarly, this also requires you to have clear goals, objectives, and projects leads, as well as executive sponsorship. Please remember - that 1% downtime is what keeps CIOs awake at night, costs people their jobs and costs companies’ significant revenue, reputation, and customers.

There is a multitude of reasons to migrate to the cloud: agility, flexibility, performance, cost, digital transformation, etc.

But for you, your business objectives must dictate your cloud strategy!

2. Cloud Readiness Assessment and Migration Plan. Create a Cloud decision framework.

All the workloads of an organization may not be suitable and compliant for cloud migration.Cloud Readiness Assessment includes interactive consultations with stakeholders to determine business practices, goals and opportunities to arrive at a plan categorizing Applications to Re-host/Re-platform/Re-factor for Cloud.

A thorough analysis of existing IT assets is completed using right assessment tools covering IT Infrastructure, Security posture & Risk assessment, DC environment, TCO Analysis etc. Some non-technical aspects should also factor into your decisions about which applications should stay on-premises: licensing, support, and regulatory.

Next, is to create a Cloud Decision framework [plot a matrix that has “Risks and Challenges” along its horizontal axis (“high or unmanageable on the left to “low and manageable” on the right), and “Benefits” along its vertical axis (“low or uncertain” at the bottom to “high and clear” at the top)]

3. Cost and Security

Cost and security are two of the most common concerns and overcoming them are the biggest challenges.

Moving from a CAPEX-intense build-it-yourself model to the OPEX pay-as-you-go model often requires a shift in approach as well. Because of cloud’s agility and scalability, costs more closely match usage and hence can be more predictable and controllable. On the flip side, organizations also need to consider that leased prices per unit can be substantially higher over the “life of the service” than acquiring and owning. The faster you want to access, the more you will pay. So you need to plan wisely.

One of the other major challenges is translating your security posture to the cloud environment. Organizations sometimes can’t assume that CSP will handle all security aspects over the data. When migrating to the cloud, organizations should obtain third-party reports that attest to the security of the cloud provider and layout measures the organization should have in place.

Another school of thought - Securing on-premise infrastructure means constantly monitoring and doing breach management, updating software and applying patches. Proper cloud deployment can help you reduce exposure points, lock down data and harden infrastructure.

4. What Deployment model and Operating model should you use?

Each of the CSP’s offers three different deployment models: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Each presents various levels of control, flexibility, and management. Determining which deployment model to use will be much easier if you’ve set your organizational goals. Setting your priorities will help change the question from “which deployment model is best?” to “which deployment model best supports our goals?” (Which will also make it easier to answer).

The characteristics of your application portfolio impact the flexibility of your future-state operating model. And your future state operating model impacts your approach to transform your people, skills and organization. The biggest challenge is often the change (rather a transformation!) in management. You need to be sure to help your organization through the change, that the requirements you obtain throughout the migration are real and that they have actionable results across your entire business.

5. Cloud Governance and Management

If you want to keep track of the health, performance, and security of your entire stack running in the cloud, you'll need Governance & Management (monitoring and operations solution). Cloud Governance is essentially the act of continuously monitoring, and auditing the rules, guidelines, policies, and processes of your cloud assets. Whereas Cloud Management is about making sure objectives are being met while assets operate in full compliance with defined governance rules. Cloud Governance and Management must be cross-functional responsibilities within an organization.

And the benefits are -

  • Automation – working established processes and workflows can be automated, significantly raising efficiency
  • Optimization – having a huge integration capacity that can leverage the existing potential of alternative, more capable infrastructure that can be installed/integrated within a matter of minutes, hours or a few days.
  • Change – proper processes in place over a highly dynamic and responsive IT landscape facilitates change management, quality assurance, and compliance.

So, if you have held along & reached till the end of this article I am assuming Cloud Migration is something that’s either there on your roadmap, or you have started working on it. I hope you have found this article useful & if you need any further assistance, I would encourage you to get in touch with us to see we can partner with you & make Cloud Migration a breeze for your organization!

Safalya Mitra

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