In a way, the same can be said for moving services or applications to the cloud.
What is Your Why?
The shift to public cloud services is inevitable. The trend started years ago, and most companies are taking advantage of the services offered, at least in some way. And the market continues to grow. There’s no question about that. Last year, Gartner projected the market would reach $208.6 billion in 2016, a 17.2% increase over the previous year, led by the growth of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) at 42.8% followed by the growth of software-as-a-service (SaaS) at 21.7%.
Every company’s IT strategy includes moving workloads to the cloud (or consuming services from the cloud), at least to some extent. Given the industry trend, that’s not a surprise. Nor is it a choice, really, because most vendors are delivering new functionality in cloud-based versions of their products. Still, the most important question to answer is why. Why is your business moving workloads to the cloud?
- Do you want to decrease time to market?
- Do you want to create an IT environment that will scale rapidly and enable you to pursue new markets for growth?
- Are you trying to improve customer experience through digital transformation?
- Do you need to improve operational efficiency or leverage new skill sets?
- Are you trying to optimize your finances and shift spending from CapEx to OpEx?
Once armed with the why, conversation often shifts directly towards the planning and design phases. Stakeholders are assigned, project managers are quickly brought up to speed and given unrealistic expectations for completion. An important point to note here is a silent culture change that often goes undetected until timelines start slipping.
Organizations have traditionally created business directives, designed the applications to support the objectives, and entrusted operations to seasoned veterans in charge of keeping information technology humming. Success in this new “instant” resource world of cloud requires a shift in operational control. It requires new software-bound techniques, abilities, and experience. The agility everyone seeks to attain in the pursuit of their goals begins with culture, communication, and development.
Embracing cloud depends on evolved development and operational teams. These teams, once armed with the why, need to take stock in how they produce results today and reflect on process and culture change for how to work effectively in this new cloud paradigm. Many of the resource assignments for tools, platforms, and people will need to be defined as early in the process as possible. Existing change control models and process will need some basic tweaking to incorporate orchestration and automation. Manual task workforces will need to embrace some new skills and be willing to share responsibilities with those who previously depended on them. Prepping for change and rapid evolution across your IT workforce will help quickly identify gaps and areas for improvement that can be addressed, as both application and infrastructure architecture are addressed, in your cloud migration.
You Don’t Have to do it Alone.
With their why clearly defined, most organizations quickly realize there is much more than just technology involved. Successful cloud deployments encapsulate a holistic approach that includes careful consideration of business drivers, technology, process, and people.
Which cloud model is best for your business: private, public, or hybrid? What applications will you move to the cloud? Will your network support moving those applications? Will you receive the performance you expect when you do? How will those applications integrate with other applications and data? What will the impact be to your employees? How should you organize your support and operations teams? How will you handle security? These questions and many more must be answered, if you’re going to realize the full benefits of what the cloud offers.
At ePlus, we utilize a structured approach to help our customers move to the cloud.
- Envision / Discovery - Getting to the why, what, and how starts with a strategy and cloud roadmap. Through workshops, envisioning and discovery sessions, we help customers identify their objectives and get a complete picture of their current environment, including details about their infrastructure, applications, processes, storage, network, virtualization and compute, and security.
- Planning / Design – Success is in the details. During this step, we work with our customers to put together a customized, detailed design based on their objectives and their current environment. This work includes selecting the cloud management platform, determining technologies to enable automation, orchestration, and reporting, and helping to evaluate potential SaaS and IaaS providers to identify the best solution fit for the customer.
- Implementation – In this step, we bring all the pieces together with the customer and help them make it happen.
When it comes to the cloud, success may start with why. But figuring out what and how can feel overwhelming. But help is available. For more information on how ePlus can help you determine your why and lay out a clear roadmap to get there, click here.