Cloud is calling – but are you ready?
Despite the noise around cloud, many organisations are yet to make the move. Why? The most common apprehensions stem from lack of knowledge and expertise, perceived cost, fears over migration risks, and cybersecurity concerns. And while these worries are certainly far from unreasonable, they can all be remedied with readiness.
Cloud readiness is the process of judging where you currently stand in your journey and which cloud services may be most appropriate for your business. It lays the groundwork for a successful migration that realises the full benefits of the cloud in both the short and long term.
The reality is that it’s hard to get out of the public cloud once you’re there. However, the main reason organisations want to back out is that they didn’t prepare themselves for cloud properly in the first place. Without preparation, existing problems end up migrating into the cloud, where costs are charged on consumption, issues quickly become costly, and the dreaded cloud lock-in scenario becomes a reality.
Migrating to the cloud is a major endeavour that requires careful preparation and planning across people, processes, and technology. And while it’s no small task, it’s also far from a logistical hornets’ nest (at least, it doesn’t have to be...). Here are some key considerations to think over as you plan your ascent to the computing heavens.
Defining business objectives
The first step towards readiness is clearly defining the expected business outcomes from a move to the cloud. Leadership should ask questions like: What specific goals do we want to achieve? And: Are we aiming for agility, innovation, cost savings, or modernisation? Cross-functional input gathered through workshops will help outline measurable goals to guide your programme.
Conducting a comprehensive application assessment will provide clarity on the readiness and suitability of apps running in the cloud, while reducing risk down the line. To best inform workload prioritisation and platform selection, your assessment should include collecting inventory details, reviewing interdependencies, examining security needs, appraising performance demands and expectations, and investigating other application metadata. Keep in mind legacy apps may also need re-architecting.
Building cloud skills and expertise
Having access to skilled professionals who understand cloud architecture, security policies, automation tools and DevOps processes is imperative. This may mean reskilling existing employees, recruiting new talent, or even partnering with specialist providers who can offer training as well as ongoing support.
Landing on the right strategy
The fact remains that an all-cloud or all-on-premises approach won’t be the right strategy for the majority of organisations – hybrid/multi-cloud will inevitably be the right way to go. With this in mind, readiness means defining which apps live in which cloud, calculating the time period for transition, and understanding where you can achieve quick wins (e.g. some applications are much more easily activated as SaaS rather than moving an on-premises variant into the cloud. SaaS variants of apps often have more features and functionalities available).
Governance and compliance
IT policies, operational models and compliance frameworks must be updated for the cloud. Define new access controls, security protocols, audit processes, and accountability structures aligned to the shared responsibility model, and ensure cloud data architectures meet privacy, industry-specific regulations as well as geographic data handling laws.
Cost and operation optimisation
Cloud isn’t ‘set and forget’. Just like on-premises setups, you need to continuously monitor the environment to ensure you’re using resources optimally. One of the biggest mistakes organisations make is leaving cloud instances live when they are no longer needed. By continually tuning your setup, you can ensure resources are used in a way that delivers the best performance. Similarly, if you’ve already moved an app or workload to the cloud but don’t feel you’re getting the full benefit, examining how this environment can be optimised is essential.
In essence, cross-functional participation, clear roadmaps, updated skills and policies, robust integrations, and realistic workload planning are instrumental to capitalising on everything the cloud has to offer. Whether you’ve already started or you’re in the middle of an existing cloud journey, FluidOne can help ensure you’re optimising your use of cloud both operationally and economically. Take a look at our cloud readiness infographic or speak to the team at FluidOne about our free cloud assessments which cover both cloud readiness and cloud optimisation.