Speed and agility. These are often the driving forces behind an organization making the move to the cloud.
The faster you can bring a new product to market in today’s business, the more likely you are to meet the demands of your customers—and stay ahead of the competition.
Adopting the cloud is not a simple process, however. Sure, you could simply drop all your data and applications onto the platform of your choice, but doing so would severely limit your ability to fully leverage what that platform has to offer.
For this article, we’ll be walking through some of the key steps to making a successful—and non-disruptive—move to Azure, but most of these steps can be applied to any of the cloud providers.
This process, honed from years of experience and solidified as widely accepted best practices, involves asking these six questions:
1. Are you ready to adopt the cloud in the first place?
While this starting off point may seem obvious, it’s still a critical question to ask. Adopting a platform like Azure means a major change to your organization’s infrastructure, which means you need to go into the process with a full
understanding of your capabilities as an organization. Do you have the talent in-house? If not, you’ll need to either expand your capabilities via new hires or partner with a third party to help you make the transition.
Equally important is ensuring every stakeholder within your organization—from the C-suites to your IT teams, and all the offices in between—are fully onboard with the move. In many ways, adopting the cloud is a seismic shift for your organization’s culture, and without buy-in across the board, the process will be a rocky one.
2. What’s up with your application portfolio?
It’s fairly common for organizations making the move to the cloud to have legacy applications they depend upon. Some of these applications can be challenging to keep updated due to brain drain and other factors.
Other applications vital to business may not be suitable for the cloud at all and can be replaced by modernized ones or SaaS equivalents.
Because of this, you need to take a thorough look at all the applications in your organization’s portfolio in order to determine whether they can be replaced by a newer alternative or, if it’s a proprietary application, modernized to fully leverage the scale and speed of cloud-powered workloads.
3. What do your workloads look like?
It’s rare for an organization to have workloads that are void of bottlenecks.
Development cycles are intensive and often have a number of cooks working at once. So, before you begin your cloud adoption journey, you need to identify areas where your workloads are not at their most efficient.
You also need to decide how much you are willing to invest as an organization in upskilling talent and embracing modern development practices like containers and DevOps—practices that allow you to tap into the speed of development the cloud promises.
4. What are you trying to achieve by adopting the cloud?
A good rule of thumb when making a major change is to know where you’re going and then work backwards.
The fact of the matter is that not every organization—even those that are eager to adopt the cloud—will actually need to do so.
Consider whether one or all of these common reasons enterprises adopt the cloud is important to your organization:
Greater flexibility in IT operating costs
The ability to leverage tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning Faster development and deployment of new products
Rapid disaster recovery
5. How will you manage governance and cloud costs?
Data governance needs to be a major focus in every roadmap to the cloud. Breaches and intrusions are a fact of life, after all, and the costs of not practicing good governance can be hefty fines, lost revenue during recovery, and a major blemish to your reputation as an organization.
Additionally, rules around personal data vary, with the European Union, for example, being relatively strict compared to North America and other regions.
Monitoring your cloud spend and continually optimizing your environments are other important areas to focus on, since sticker shock at the amount of usage is not a rare occurrence. Just because the cloud offers seemingly endless scale and horsepower doesn’t mean you want to be paying for it, especially when resources are running unnecessarily.
6. Will you be handling the migration yourself or with a partner?
Like all the major cloud providers, Azure has a battery of tools available to assist in your migration. These tools:
Provide support for various migration scenarios, from servers and data to databases, web apps, and virtual desktops
Assist with discovery, assessment, and migration capabilities
Centralize a migration repository for end-to-end tracking
Provide cost optimization features and tools to keep your investment in line with expectations
Of course, not every organization is willing to spend the time and resources to handle the migration in-house, in which case working with a third party like Redapt on building and implementing a roadmap to the cloud following best practices can be the perfect solution.
You can also partner with a managed services provider to monitor, optimize, and maintain data health in your cloud environments on a continual basis. This will not only be more cost-effective, but it can also allow your teams to focus on the things that matter to your customers rather than on your infrastructure.
These are just some of the areas to consider when making your move to Azure or any other cloud provider. For more in-depth information, or to schedule some time to go over potential cloud solutions, schedule some time with our experts.
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