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Thinking of a move to the cloud? Make sure you assess your readiness

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As businesses clamber over one another in order to capitalise on the opportunities afforded to them by cloud, many seemingly fail to determine whether they are actually prepared to undergo such a major transition in their IT infrastructure.

By making this mistake of moving over to the cloud while blindfolded, businesses are almost certain to come across unforeseen obstacles and risks that could slow down the migration process, or worse still, halt the process altogether.

To prevent this from happening, businesses must take a minute to sit down and consider what their ultimate aspirational goal is as part of their move to the cloud. Some might be looking to go through a total migration, whereas others might simply want to adopt a stronger cloud-first mentality among its employees.

Once this has been identified, they can undertake a ‘cloud readiness assessment’, which takes this aspirational goal and then works backwards to determine the ideal plan of action. It also considers the changes that will be improved as part of this move to the cloud and the impact that is likely to be felt across all areas of the business. The end result will determine whether you’re truly ready to begin your cloud journey, or if there’s still work required.

Cloud readiness assessments are generally split into three categories.

Technology

This initial step involves working closely with your chosen cloud provider and looking at infrastructure, applications and workflow to determine the overall cost and the benefits of the cloud migration. Once complete, you will be left with a cost model that provides far greater transparency on what can be moved and where it can be moved to, as well as anything that should not be migrated at all.

For example, if a business is keen to move to the cloud but is still relying on outdated applications for its daily operations, it is often not worth migrating to the cloud until these applications have been updated accordingly — something that can often involve a considerable amount of time and money.

People

There’s no denying the long-term benefits of cloud migration — increased agility and ease of operation being just a couple — but it is often met with short-term resistance and scepticism from members of staff who are concerned about the changes in workflows and services. Therefore, a successful migration requires strong, persuasive sponsorship.

With a cloud readiness assessment, businesses can clearly identify the current strengths of staff members and the skills or training that might be required for all staff to feel competent and satisfied with a cloud infrastructure. It accommodates every member of staff as they make their way along the journey to migration.

Process

While the fully-implemented cloud solution will no doubt simplify your businesses’ IT infrastructure, the operations and processes involved in getting there are likely to be more complex than anticipated. This is particularly true for hybrid cloud environments, where you are responsible for tangible assets, as well as something that is remote, including third-party companies who provider some of this management and monitoring as well.

Conclusion

For any business looking to migrate to the cloud, they should work closely with their cloud provider of choice on undergoing a cloud readiness assessment. By managing expectations and phasing the migration journey over a number of different stages to make it as smooth as possible, businesses will be able to enjoy a cloud-based solution without any unexpected headaches along the way.

 

Stuart Nielsen-Marsh

Stuart Nielsen-Marsh

Stuart Nielsen-Marsh is the Microsoft Cloud Product Leader at Pulsant he is the cloud computing, managed hosting and colocation expert. Nielsen-Marsh brings a wealth of experience to the company as it continues to strengthen the integration of Pulsant cloud services with Azure and AzureStack. Nielsen-Marsh joined Pulsant 10 months ago from Cube52 where he fulfilled the role of operations and services director, and previously also worked for Microsoft and Oxford Computer Group.

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Tags: Business Management, Cloud Computing, Technology