Organisations around the globe are rapidly turning to public cloud providers in order to trade capital expenditure for operational expenditure, deploy highly scalable and elastic solutions which are highly available to end users. In today’s fast paced and highly competitive business environment, all businesses are looking for a completive edge, and since the cloud allows for rapid agility and dramatically reduces time to market, more and more businesses are adopting the cloud as a means to reduce costs, innovate faster, and reduce time to market.
Moving to the cloud is a journey and takes considerable planning up front, which is where cloud readiness checks comes in. The goal of the cloud readiness assessment is to survey the current IT landscape in order to conduct a gap analysis, so that you know what workloads can be moved as is, and which workloads will require re-factoring, or re-platforming.
This overall aim of the assessment is to calculate your cloud readiness, or how ready your applications are for moving to a cloud platform.
In general, a cloud readiness assessment will involve five steps:
- Identify the scope and business cases for migration
- Assess infrastructure requirements
- Assess Data Governance
- Determine timeline and budget
- Develop a roadmap
Identify the scope and business cases for migration
An organization needs to clearly define the reasons for wanting to migrate to the cloud ,and decide on which model of the cloud would be most suited to their specific environment, e.g. Full cloud or hybrid cloud. The business cases for migrating to the cloud can include but is not limited to:
- Cost reduction and cost savings
- Greater agility and innovation and rapid prototyping
- Greater availability and fault tolerance
- Ability to deploy globally and closest to the customer
Once the business has clearly defined the business case for migration, it should then conduct a detailed analysis of its infrastructure and workloads.
Assess Infrastructure Requirements
An organization needs to do internal analysis of its current IT environment, which includes the infrastructure and workloads, in order to determine what applications, data, and other workloads can be moved, and addtionally dtermine if it makes sense to move to every workload to the cloud. With this knowledge, an organization knows what its requirements are for the current and for the future.
Planning how applications will be moved is criticial when performing a cloud readiness assessment. Applications will usually need to change for the new architecture. Approaches range from minor changes to the core of an application, to completely rebuilding an application, to take advantages of PAAS based solutions like Azure APP service and AWS Lambda.
Additionally, a phased migration approach should be used, where the least critical workloads should be identified and sit at the top of the migration list. Addtionally, it might not make sense for an organization to move all of its workloads and data to the cloud due to data processing laws or legacy systems which may not be compatible within the cloud.
Assess Data Governance
Organisations need to comprehensively assess what data governance and data processing laws which apply to their data and workloads. These regulations and laws will directly influence what data and workloads can move to the cloud, and what cannot. Organizations should take inventory of their data in order to have a complete view of what is where. Finally an organization must know what degree of security needs to be applied to different categories of data.
Determine Timeline and Budget
Having a timeline set for when certain milestones need to be hit is important for an organization. This is in order to keep track of the progress being made and reasons for setbacks. Budgets must follow the business cases for migrating. This includes the total cost of ownership calculations, the labor involved in migration, licensing costs, and migration training, among other factors.
Timelines and budgets should consider application migration methodology. It takes less time for an organization to simply put its applications in the cloud with only minor periphery changes. However, it will sacrifice cloud benefits. If the organization is rebuilding one or more applications, then that will take more time, but achieve more cloud functionality.
Develop a Cloud Roadmap
After carrying out the preceding steps, you are now equipped with the knowledge information needed to clearly define a realistic cloud roadmap. A roadmap is a strategic plan that should very clearly define goals and desired outcomes, in addition , it should include the major steps or milestones that should be achieved at each phase. It also serves as a communication tool, a high-level document that helps articulate strategic thinking—the why—behind both the goal and the plan for getting there.
Moving to the cloud is a journey that needs to be very clearly defined. At Iconis we have certified Azure and AWS engineers who can help your business take the first step towards digital transformation. Contact Us today for a free cloud readiness assessment .