Six Steps to Successfully Adopting the Cloud

May 27, 2015
Editorial Staff

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Editorial Staff

To minimize if not eliminate the risks of disruptions and costly pitfalls in moving to the cloud, organizations should consider engaging the services of a qualified integrator with the knowledge and experience of successful migrations and deployments across public, private, and hybrid clouds. An investment in these services can help businesses accelerate their cloud deployments with confidence and ensure rapid adoption by users, while dramatically lowering project risk and increasing time-to-value.

With hundreds of cloud deployments globally, we have fine-tuned a rigorous six-step cloud migration methodology for helping organizations transfer their IT workloads to the cloud:

Step 1: Envisioning

To start, it’s important to develop a clear view of the ideal IT environment. This can include hands-on, interactive workshops with the latest technologies, led by knowledgeable technology advisors. They can help stakeholders – not only from IT but also from lines of business and support functions – understand and contextualize how those technologies can enable their organization to achieve its business objectives. The goal is to provide the framework and direction for transforming the enterprise IT environment using cloud technology.

Step 2: Assessment

Once the ideal IT environment has been envisioned, the technology advisors conduct a thorough assessment of an organization’s current IT infrastructure. Valuable information is gleaned by discovering upgradable assets of the current environment and by understanding the existing infrastructure’s capacity ceiling as a whole. This evaluation provides a baseline from which to develop a scope of the timeframe, costs, and resources necessary to realize the vision. This step can involve any or all of the following four types of assessments:

  • Environment  Onsite analysis of your current IT environment using specialized tools. It targets specific services, gathers essential information, and determines key decisions to successfully develop the specific services required to provide the necessary solutions.
  • Readiness/Transition – Onsite use of analysis tools to determine the organization’s level of readiness for the project’s implementation and migration. This helps strategize the best options for those enterprise requirements that can be moved to the cloud as well as the steps necessary to facilitate their transition.
  • Upgrade/Migration – An onsite review of a currently deployed application or platform specifically designed to determine its upgrade capability as well as the required approach necessary for success.
  • Consolidation – An onsite evaluation of currently deployed tools, applications, or platforms. Included is a functional review that provides a full consideration of the efforts, risks, and benefits of the target environment from both vendor and solution consolidation perspectives.

Step 3: Alignment

Based on the assessment(s), the client organization is advised how to best align its envisioned technical infrastructure with the appropriate cloud solution. This step provides a roadmap to ensure that the client has a clear picture of how it will transform its enterprise and IT infrastructure from current to future states. Typically, this will include a proof of concept, which is a limited live environment built to the specifications of the potential solution

Step 4: Design

Next is the design of the best cloud solution to help an organization realize its business goals. With further input from key IT staff and other enterprise stakeholders, the most appropriate solution will emerge. From that, experienced technology solution designers and engineers will develop a detailed, high-level design for the chosen solution with an associated resource-requirements model and migration plan. These will enable the client to move into the next project phases with a clear picture of what lies ahead.

Step 5: Transition

After the solution design is completed, the steps necessary to transition from the current environment to the future environment are outlined and then detailed to become the core of a transition plan. This includes the assignment of responsibilities, allocation of resources, and the setting of critical deadlines and milestones, including the identification of all interdependencies. At this point, the appropriate employees are trained in their new tasks

Step 6: Improvement

With changes in technical requirements, internal utilization, and publisher licensing models, maintenance and regular evaluation of the new IT environment are necessary to ensure it continues to provide the greatest ROI. This is an ongoing improvement effort that addresses unforeseen problems that may have arisen during and after installation. At the same time, this step involves analysis and performance-tuning of all infrastructure, platforms, and applications and services.

These six steps form the foundation to a SoftwareONE Cloud Advisory workshop. Your specific needs are addressed in detail during these workshops, with the final product customized to suit your business needs. If you’re interested in evaluating how cloud will optimize your IT workloads, click the banner below to schedule a consultation with a SoftwareONE Technical Specialist.

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