Develop a Cloud Implementation Strategy Roadmap
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A few years ago the cloud was an idea; one that most pundits and businesses scoffed at. The cloud is now something consumers and businesses fully embrace. Businesses recognize that the cloud is a crucial component for a positive growth trajectory. From data storage, app deployment, and virtual machine management, the cloud is now the data center for the new world order.
But not every business is onboard the flight into the clouds. There are organizations with valid concerns. There’s a complexity to migrating to the cloud and the time involved in such a migration can be detrimental to the success of the company. With careful planning, this concern can be mitigated. Because as Elias Khanaser, VP Analyst at Gartner, says, “If you have not developed a cloud-first strategy yet, you are likely falling behind your competitors.”
When businesses adopt a cloud-first strategy, they usually find both the complexity and time involved worth the trade-off for reliability and return on investment.
In a cloud-first strategy a business migrates technology from in-house data centers to a third-party cloud host. This cuts down costs because you no longer rely on expensive hardware. Instead, you subscribe to a cloud service provider that includes various types of services and application stacks built into their platform that address your IT needs.
A cloud-first strategy means you take advantage of the economies of scale offered by cloud hosting providers like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Linode. Your developers build, deploy, and can more readily scale to meet the ever-growing demand placed on your company.
A Cloud-First Strategy ensures:
- Lower costs
When a cloud-first strategy is proposed to a business, the first thought often shared is how difficult such a migration is going to be. Not only does it require many services and applications to be moved outside of the business, but it also necessitates a complete rethinking of how IT is handled.
The transition is not challenging with the help of a Cloud Strategy Roadmap.
In fact, without a detailed roadmap, the transition to the cloud is likely to end in failure. Because of that, your teams must invest ample time up-front to create a plan for the migration. You need to come into this early planning knowing what your current workloads are, and how they function within the company to serve your customers.
There are many moving pieces to this puzzle: For example, your supply chain apps, productivity apps, financial apps, etc. During the transition, it’s crucial these pieces keep moving so your business continues to function. Identify your tier one applications.
One way to simplify the creation of your cloud-first strategy roadmap is to use a template, such as the one offered by Roadmunk. This helps you visualize how your cloud strategy is going to roll out.
As you create this roadmap, answer and document these questions:
- What applications, services, and workloads do we currently depend on that could benefit from the cloud? What capabilities do our apps need?
- How do we migrate our workloads to the cloud?
- Do we have the IT staff to make a successful transition?
- Are our competitors leveraging the cloud, and specifically, how?
- What kind of cloud environment is best for us to adopt (private, public, hybrid, multi)?
- What steps are required to meet the goals of the migration?
According to the Stefani Group, there are 5 stages of building a cloud-first strategy roadmap, which are:
- Align objectives
- Develop a plan of action
- Prepare for execution
- Establish governance while mitigating risk
- Optimize and scale
The first thing to do is create a value proposition for the migration and align the cloud strategy with your current IT goals. Next, develop a plan of action by researching cloud vendor capabilities that you require, then choose the right cloud vendors to meet your migration needs. One vendor may serve you well, or you may need multiple vendors. Double check to ensure that none of your workloads were overlooked and analyze each vendor’s migration tools and service options to ensure you have support for your project. After signing up, start deploying and optimizing your workloads for the cloud. Work toward minimizing disruptions to the workflow by optimizing your development lifecycle, hardening security, and developing processes that monitor those services and the data they depend on or produce. Once everything is functioning, scale your workloads to meet the ebb and flow of demand.
To ensure your business remains competitive, begin its migration to the cloud. By doing so your company is better prepared to meet growing demand, and the need for higher reliability and availability. When you approach this with careful planning and a solid cloud-first strategy roadmap, the migration may put your company ahead of the competition.
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