Cloud computing providers like Microsoft and Amazon offer considerable advantages over on-site solutions. Increased flexibility and money saved are the notable ones. Moving to the cloud is a no-brainer for most, but it can be quite the journey. That said, in this article we’ll try and condense the arc of before, during and after to give you a sufficient overview.

 

Stage 1. Assess and Test

It all starts with assessing why moving to the cloud is better than the status quo. Like many business decisions, upfront cost is a large factor. But how a cloud migration might affect the productivity, scalability and security of the business are all things to consider. Schedule and business priorities also need to be taken into account. A business case, strategy, and roadmap must be drawn up and KPIs need to be set so that an intense phase of experimentation can then begin. Testing and implementing new applications isn’t cheap. But running with the wrong solution is even more costly. Therefore, the goal here is to fail fast, learn fast. This should help a business emerge with a clear picture of precisely what cloud technology will move the business forward. Success in this stage is also highly dependent on working with experienced IT support. Tasks such as readiness assessments and security examinations all need to be performed. And decisions like whether to make the cloud approach public, private or hybrid must be made before the next phase.

 

Stage 2. Migration and Transformation

With a suitable path identified and tested, your IT team can start migrating. Transposing applications to the cloud isn’t exactly drag and drop though. Many applications require an upgrade to make them cloud functional. And some applications that worked perfectly fine on site, may not do so after a shift. Much of this can be down to on site applications having interdependencies. So you may find you need to move more than you had originally planned. In some instances, re-writing applications for the cloud may be necessary.

 

Stage 3. Optimisation

Your business has migrated successfully, but that’s really just the start. Now it’s time to refine what you’ve deployed. You should be measuring every process affected by the migration. If you stay abreast of usage and traffic patterns you may find what cost 5k one month, is only 2k in a year or two’s time. This is the phase where companies start to realise the greatest potential and benefits of the cloud. Cutting costs are one bonus. But there are others such as increased workplace productivity, or increased agility when jumping to meet customer and employee needs.

A successful cloud transformation is the epitome of IT showing off its value in business. IT moves from being background support, to facilitating serious business growth. Increased efficiency leads to improved processes which lead to improved productivity. And this can all be achieved by choosing the right IT talent.

 

Speak to a member of the Focus Team today to discuss your cloud transformation journey.