The cloud adoption journey will be unique for every organization, but that doesn’t mean they should go it alone, say experts.
Instead, they should rely on the experience of others, said Eric Gales, Country Manager with AWS Canada, at a recent ITWC webinar. “There is a path and tons of services for organizations that don’t have a formal roadmap yet,” he said. “If you’re holding back, it’s time to take the next step.”
The transition to cloud has proven to be rewarding. In the Canadian CIO Census 2017, 70 per cent of CIOs said that cloud met or exceeded their expectations as a productive technology for growth,” said Gales.
“Over time, as customers use cloud, the value builds as they start to scale and use services more richly,” he said.
Migrate on your own terms
Organizations move to the cloud for a variety of reasons. It allows them to save capital costs, improve efficiency and agility and become more innovative, said Gales. Often customers will be motivated to start the transition because they don’t want to spend more money on on-premises equipment
In any of these scenarios, organizations should think carefully about the starting point, Gales said. “It’s very important that cloud adoption be done in a thoughtful way.”
A successful cloud adoption isn’t all about technology, said Chris Taylor, Director of Product Management with TeraGo. Organizations need to consider their business strategy and how cloud can positively impact the bottom line, Taylor said. They should also assess their core requirements, he said. For example, they may want someone else to manage their infrastructure so they can focus on the business.
Companies shouldn’t hesitate because of security concerns, said Gales. “It’s been proven that you can improve your security posture with cloud.” All of the security services are part of the AWS platform because cloud is built for every type of customer, including those with an acute focus on security, he added.
Organizations should know that they do not need to go “all in”, said Gales. The majority of customers start with a hybrid architecture, using cloud to augment on-premises capabilities or to launch new applications.
A typical cloud migration
There are usually four stages of cloud adoption, said Gales. During the project phase, organizations will move one workload to the cloud to test the waters. At the foundation stage, they begin scaling their consumption of cloud. At the third stage, they migrate their applications, as appropriate. Finally, during the “reinvention” phase, organizations will do different things because they have access to a set of capabilities they did not have on premises.”
“A road map approach is healthy,” said Taylor. “Look at all of your applications, and see what is easiest to migrate and the most beneficial to the organization. Often, disaster recovery is a good place to start.”
At the outset, the transition team should always determine the key performance indicators for ongoing measurement and comparison against business case objectives, said Taylor.
Organizations should not try to do it alone, said Taylor. “If you don’t have team members that have done it before, you will need to rely on a partner with experience to help with the migration process.”
A proof of concept can also be a good idea so that customers can “kick the tires” before starting out, said Taylor. “You need to feel comfortable moving forward. It’s an exciting time. It’s definitely a journey for every organization and, as they go, they can push the envelope as to what’s possible.”