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Author: Sunil Pawar |07/13/18

Preparing for the Change: The Importance of Best Practices During Cloud Adoption

Cloud is a relatively new phenomenon for many enterprises. Hence, the journey to move to cloud can seem demanding. Although cloud adoption can involve a certain amount of risk, knowledge of the best practices, strategy and framework will help the transition be smooth and easier. In this blog, let’s emphasize on the best practices for cloud adoption and discuss some of the important aspects to achieve the set objectives while taking on cloud.

When your enterprise decides to embark on the path of cloud, your deciding factors to make the move could be many, such as cost, innovation, need for growth, flexibility, keeping up with the competition, security & productivity, etc. While making the move, it is important to make sure that these factors play a positive role in the business outcome.

Now, let us answer the big question - What should be the best approach to cloud journey and where should an enterprise begin? To answer this, we need to focus on the best practices as part of migration strategy at the outset. Best practices will help businesses in streamlining the process of migrating infrastructure and applications to the cloud, by alleviating known and unknown risks.

Let’s take a detailed look at this. Firstly, an enterprise needs to shift the starting point to a place where the existing enterprise IT landscape is thoroughly assessed. This will help the enterprise to gain better insights on its existing IT environment, interdependencies and complexities of infrastructure/applications for migration. This way, the enterprise can outline a plan using the above gained knowledge, map out the order of migration and its approach during migration of every infrastructure/application in the portfolio.

Notably, the complexity of migrating current infrastructure and applications diverges depending on the architecture and the current licensing model. If we see the entire spectrum of complexity in an enterprise, virtualized and service-oriented architecture will sit at low-complexity and a monolithic architecture will be at high-complexity end. Therefore, it is always recommended to start with applications of low complexity to migrate. This approach will lead to quick wins that will further boost your confidence and influence gradual learning.

Another important consideration should be that the public cloud platforms such as Azure, AWS and Google are not fully backward compatible. This knowledge suggests that not entire existing infrastructure and application landscape will move to the cloud. Cloud has been hesitant of accepting legacy application portfolio; so, higher the degree of legacy-ness, bigger is the hesitance. For the very same reason, considering ‘hybrid cloud’ is the best approach for enterprises. Hybrid approach is powered by network services such as S2S VPN, ExpressRoute, DirectConnect, FastConnect, etc. These services assist enterprise to connect two sides – legacy in data centre and modern in cloud platforms.

Let us now look at some of the best practices and activities which are indeed valuable and vital for any enterprise in their migration journey:

  • Conduct a pre-migration check and design a framework to ensure that the cloud migration meets all the requirements and assures compatibilities for cloud journey.

  • Build a Cloud Center of Excellence with multiple cross-functional teams of people who are responsible for development & management of cloud strategy, governance and best practices for the enterprise. This will eventually leverage the rest of the business units in enterprise to shift to cloud technology, smoothly.

  • Build a minimal landing zone which will help enterprise resources to work as expected and eliminate any speculation and uncertainties during transition.

  • Prioritize agility so that businesses can complete the deliverables and tasks in order of importance for cloud journey.

  • Opt for a migration factory approach that leverages remote delivery for scheduling and monitoring of jobs. This reduces cost of labor, time and onsite professional services for cloud journey, drastically.

  • Create re-usable building blocks package functionality which is defined to meet the business requisites.

  • Apply lessons learned from the past migration projects, actioned by other business units or teams. This knowledge will build credibility for current migration.

In conclusion, cloud migration is no longer just an IT Strategy, it also represents the core of an organization’s business strategy. Enterprises contemplating the move to cloud need to be aware of the challenges they might encounter, and how cloud migration can solve these problems for the betterment of the business.

The list of best practices mentioned in this blog will help enterprises to evaluate their IT landscape and guide them for smoother cloud migration journey.

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