Assessing Your Business’ “Cloud Readiness”
When a business approaches the Converged Technology Group inquiring about migrating its data center to the cloud, our first question is, “Are you ready?” The leadership at most companies know how to run and grow their enterprises well, but have little to no acumen as to what is required to move key aspects of their business to the public cloud. If we ask if they have implemented virtualization, they will defer to their in-house IT staff and reply “No.” That is why prior to any and every cloud migration process, Converged Technology Group will perform a Cloud Readiness Assessment.
Essentially, a Cloud Readiness Assessment is a best practices tool designed to assist organizations in assessing their progress with cloud adoption and most importantly, will identify gaps in organizational skills and processes. Chiefly, existing workloads, assets, and applications will be scrutinized to determine if these may be transitioned to the new environment without loss or corruption. Additionally, all new processes and software must be tested to ensure that these are both secure and compliant with any applicable regulations and/or best practices. It is very important as well to establish timeframes to determine which app or process will be moved in what order so as to have minimal impact on overall business operations.
Perhaps the most important aspect of every cloud migration is the understanding that this process comprises a partnership between the business’ key decision-makers and Converged Technology Group. Their support is vital to its success. Also, training programs for staffers must be carried out to make certain that everyone is aware of the advantages of the new processes along with any additional features.
Key Steps in the Cloud Readiness Assessment Process
- Identify Key Business Objectives Behind the Migration: Every business needs to understand why it wants to migrate to the cloud, as well as the extent of which of its processes will be migrated. There are security and privacy considerations as well. Common reasons for the migration include operations cost savings by replacing the need for some hardware and data center maintenance, scaling back the expense for application improvements, and better data resiliency.
- Internal Resources Assessment: This includes what funds are available, what skill sets are necessary to implement the migration, as well as establishing the availability window for an IT team to implement the cloud migration. To begin, inexperienced IT staffers must be trained to perform the migration. It is essential that business leadership identify knowledge gaps in their in-house IT team and plan to educate them.
- Scrutinize Existing IT Infrastructure Requirements: It is most important that every organization evaluate its IT environment and infrastructure to determine which applications, data, and other workloads need to be moved to the cloud, which will remain in the organization’s current data center, or be removed entirely. This will establish what it actually requires in a cloud-first environment.
Another key aspect of Converged Technology Group’s Cloud Readiness Assessment is to plan how applications will be transitioned. This is because most applications require some changes to adapt to the new architecture. Approaches can range from minor changes to an application’s core to completely rearchitecting an app, or by opting to use Software as a Service (SaaS).
- Understand Security Requirements: Most businesses must be compliant with industry-related regulations, while others must comply with requirements that are Global in scale. These requirements can impact what may be moved to the cloud. Every organization must inventory its data to gain an understanding of what information may be migrated and what cannot. Additionally, the firm must understand the level of security that must be applied to its different data types.
- Set Timeline and Budget: Every organization’s progress is measured by achieving milestones. For a successful cloud migration, it is important to keep track of the migration’s progress as well as to record the reasons for any setbacks. Budgeting is most critical and must be developed in tandem with business opportunities and migration including the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculation, the costs associated with migration training and expenses, any licensing costs, etc.
Timelines and budgeting must also consider application migration. Generally, applications that require minor changes can be expected to migrate more quickly than those that require additional modification or rearchitecturing. For example, if a firm must rebuild one or more applications, the migration timeline will be extended, however, these changes result in greater cloud profitability.
Business cloud migrations are not to be undertaken in haste. We advise enterprises who are considering moving their data to the cloud to discuss every aspect of this important business undertaking with our professionals and to schedule Converged Technology Group’s Cloud Readiness Assessment services. Call now.