5 Steps to a successful Cloud Computing Adoption Strategy

5 Steps to a successful Cloud Computing Adoption Strategy.

Try Googling the phrase “Is cloud computing”. When I did that, the top 10 choices in the drop-down were, in order: Secure, Safe, Capitalized, The Future, Free, Worth It, Cheaper, Expensive, Faster, Cost Effective. The answer to every one of those questions is Yes. And No.

The first question you should really ask is: Are my business needs and applications even suited for cloud migration? The answer starts with an in-depth analysis of your business strategy, your technology strategy, and your applications.

So let’s assume your answer to the question is Yes. Many enterprise-level IT architectures consist of a number of different technologies — with layers that have been added, over time, to increase the functionality of systems. Inevitably, this results in large, complex systems that are difficult to manage. If you’re dealing with that kind of system, you’ll need a detailed workload assessment — so that you can effectively prioritize, plan and streamline your migration.

Here are the five broad steps I recommend you undertake with each application:

1. Consider the business impact of Cloud Computing.

Perform a workload classification to determine its requirements (IE: Development, QA, support release, production).

Align each application to an appropriate cloud delivery model. This is an absolutely pivotal consideration in cloud migration.

Prioritize your workloads, and determine the criticality of each. You should carefully plan the move of Mission Critical workloads. Ideally you’ll want that done by a team with extensive experience at successfully migrating to cloud — and a proven methodology for migration.

Have a clear understanding of the net benefit to each migration, to create a logical queue. Rapidly deploying services in the market, for instance, might give your business a competitive edge — or open up new business opportunities. Which is why you’d probably want to give it a higher priority over more “mundane” benefits.

2. Evaluate application readiness for a cloud computing environment.

Assess the impact of each application migration to cloud — including the level of difficulty, and cost-effectiveness, of refactoring it for a cloud architecture.

Asses the scalability of an application against the growth requirements of your business.

Make sure you know and understand all the costs of migrating to the cloud — including any specific technology or application licenses — then map those costs to an appropriate cloud service model.

Cluster your applications into groups — based on suitability, priority, team capabilities and ease of migration.

Establish a Solution Architecture and DevOps plan to support the migration — one which takes into consideration all application requirements and challenges.

Lay out a migration plan for each application. This could involve a staged approach.

3. Review technical characteristics:

Consider common integrations, dependencies, integration interoperability, and customization and support.

Verify the integrations and dependencies of given applications.

Consider the existing workload interoperability factor in mapping the workload to services in cloud.

Determine if any customizations in each application could impact its migration. List these customizations and prirotitize them based on business requirements. Ensure the business requirements fully justify the value and need for such customization.

Check the support requirements — in terms of the availability of application support documents, technical diagrams/documentation, etc.

4. Check the non-functional requirements (NFRs).

Fully document and understand security and regulatory compliance requirements.

Check for any specific workload availability requirements.

Clearly document the business’s performance expectations for all applications.

Define uptime and availability requirements.

Determine if the ability to access an application “anytime anywhere,” and across which devices, provides a business advantage.

5. Determine support and costs:

Determine the support resources required for the operational migration cost. This helps assess the benefit of migrating a particular application to the cloud. It can also help identify the financial and business opportunity benefits.

Compare the cost of hosting a system locally with the costs of hosting it on a cloud, given the required performance of the system. Put together a true TCO for each application being considered.

At the end of this evaluation, you should have a better understanding of which applications are best suited to move to cloud, and in what priority. It’s always worked well for us — and our clients.

Feedback? contact Lionel with any comments

About the Author

Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. A proven entrepreneur, leader, visionary and C-level executive with a successful track record of delivering significant annual revenue growth while ensuring sustainability of the business. Skilled in Entrepreneurship, Sales Leadership, Strategic Partnerships, Team Building and Motivation, and Mergers & Acquisitions. Has experience in executive management and building dynamic teams in small to large (400+) employee organizations. Experienced in growing companies not only domestically but internationally, having expanded business into Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. Strong communication skills, excelling in public speaking and gaining the confidence of customers, vendors and employees.