In our recent study with IDG, businesses voiced high hopes for what the cloud would deliver, including accelerated IT service delivery (71%), greater ability to respond to changing market conditions (63%) and improved customer support (57%). But none of these will happen without a solid cloud migration strategy.
In fact, despite extensive adoption of cloud services, some organizations have encountered unforeseen complexities in migrating workloads to the cloud. To overcome the challenges, we believe organizations need to proceed with greater agility and process rigor than ever before.
For example, when a customer complains about a missed delivery, the event might trigger an update to the CRM system hosted in the cloud, which will need inputs from different applications that track shipping, inventory, billing, order replacement, etc. Each business service comprises a complex mix of applications running both within and outside the enterprise, and a failure of any of these can impede the business process. Enterprises need to understand the dependencies among these applications and migrate them to the cloud with minimal business impact.
Starting Up the Factory
To do this, we recommend a factory approach to cloud migration, which breaks down the planning, execution and optimization phases into a series of strictly defined processes using scrums. Each scrum focuses on specific elements of the migration, with strong checks and balances at every stage. All steps, from blueprinting to service creation and testing to data transfer, are performed in parallel, with a fail-fast approach to expedite the transition to the hybrid cloud platform while improving migration quality.
Taking a factory approach to cloud migration will also provide businesses with better choices in all things cloud, be it choosing a service provider, selecting which applications to migrate, activating security controls or determining compliance and performance requirements.
Cloud Migration Best Practices
We recommend the following best practices to help organizations apply a factory approach to their cloud migration strategies:
- Accelerate automated provisioning with a catalog of operationalized cloud design patterns.
- Coordinate with operational, support and change management teams, and avoid surprising users with unwanted downtime, without interfering with their existing projects.
- Define upfront the cloud migration approach needed. Focus on an infrastructure, platform or service methodology.
- Engage early with all stakeholders; total financial and political support is a must.
- Learn how the move to the cloud will affect the cost of licenses for applications and underlying platforms such as databases.
- Ensure your approach meets regulations in the new environment, such as the European Union’s GDPR.
Poorly conceived cloud migration projects can run into millions of dollars and last several months or years, threatening an organization’s competitiveness and growth. By turning the migration of applications and data into a routine, almost industrialized activity, the business and IT can plan a launch that’s fast and effective.
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