We take a look at determining if and how your organization is ready for a cloud migration.
When determining whether to migrate to a cloud ecosystem, it is important to consider how your company would get there and if they are ready. The first step is to consider where you are from an adoption standpoint. An organization must broadly assess if they have true alignment from a business and IT standpoint. To achieve all business objectives, IT and business goals must be aligned. These two groups are not always on the same page, which makes collaboration and communication even more important. For example, companies often face huge challenges when changing the organizations culture to a lean, Agile mindset whilst using SAFe transformation practices. By properly aligning goals across the enterprise you can look at your organization holistically and consider people, processes, and technology:
- What do your company’s stakeholders value?
- Where are there gaps in your current process?
- What does your product portfolio look like?
- Are you positioning yourself in the marketplace in the best way possible?
Research and Development
Research and Development as well as innovation strategies are crucial to understanding your investment in a cloud platform. During this phase, you must identify whether you are trying to solve a problem, contain a problem, or innovate your current product. Innovating your current product could stem from simply keeping up with industry trends to prevent the product and architecture landscape from becoming stale.
Assessment of Movement to the Cloud
There are multiple approaches for cloud migration, including: public, private, and hybrid. Assessing your organization’s progress of your cloud adoption can help guide the approach. It can also help when defining Center of Excellence teams. These teams will provide leadership, show how to implement best practices, and provide technical guidance on a specific technology and/or line of business. In order to choose the most fitting cloud platform, a company must assess their customers, financial abilities, and data strategies.
- Understanding your customer: Evaluating your product’s position in the marketplace and understanding how your customer is using it will be the key to its success. Cloud development focuses on delivering business value rather than working out technical issues.
- Taking finances into account: Cloud applications are often perceived as more cost effective than traditional deployments. Unless moving to the cloud is financially smart or there is a specific need for it, it would not make sense.
- Data sharing strategy: Consider how you can bring in data to your current process that can be delivered and standardized to integrate with your internal and external systems. Find out where and how you can modernize these existing systems within the new architecture vision and roadmap.
Executing your Plan
Once your organization has decided what cloud platform to invest in, you will need to start defining your organization’s roadmap and consider the following:
- What products and applications is the organization investing in? Which products and applications need to be contained and replaced? For contained applications, is the migration a lift and shift that is contained in the cloud or is it on premise? Defining a policy on how long the organization will position an app in containment should also be clear. Once a product or application has been positioned as contained, a decommission date should be set.
- Scale in the way you design. This concept itself can be complicated in terms of architecture and design, which require new skillsets from your employees. Strategize how you will train your existing workforce or hire the right resources to fill those gaps.
- Large organizations are not always capable of fully integrating all of their processes into a cloud platform. For example, healthcare companies are expansive, have several departments (i.e. billing, claims, providers, payers) and need to break up their efforts by their specific domains or lines of business. Typically, this transformation strategy requires a mixture of on premise data centers using a hybrid operating model. In this model, data can be stored in an on premise data center or private cloud due to regulatory compliance. Data may have regulations where it persists. As for the use of public cloud computer, there may not be regulatory compliance. Companies can keep on premise (sensitive data or things that can’t be 100% secured by the cloud) and still utilize cloud resources on an as-needed basis.
Whether your organization is big or small, there are many considerations when assessing if your company is ready to migrate to the cloud. Taking a hard look at where your business goals and IT goals stand to ensure they are aligned is critical. By viewing your organization holistically, you can set appropriate R&D guidelines, product goals, financial assessments, and ultimately choose what type of cloud ecosystem is right for your business.