When it comes to the benefits of the cloud, most businesses are on board. Spend on cloud technology is increasing, early myths are being dispelled and some are even moving to a cloud-first approach to infrastructure and application delivery.
A study from the Cloud Industry Forum shows that 88% of businesses in the UK are already using the cloud in some capacity, while 67% of businesses expect to increase their use of the cloud over the next year. In addition, Forrester predicts the public cloud services market will reach $236 billion by 2020, up from $114 billion in 2016.
But how do you move on from the early pilots and experiments of the initial application deployments?
Once you’ve built the confidence to move your business over to the cloud, the next step is to think about how you’re going to get there at scale. After all, the sooner you move, the sooner you can begin to experience the benefits of improved efficiency and agility, reduced costs, and built-in security.
“We are entering an unprecedented time of change as digital technologies disrupt entire industries and customer expectations. Cloud is critical in enabling companies to cope with this change.” - Alex Hilton, CEO of Cloud Industry Forum.
A strategic approach to cloud migration can provide the framework to accelerate true digital transformation within the business, simplifying work, automating processes and freeing employees to devote more time to high-value actions.
But what is the right way to embark on such a programme?
The right migration approach
Forward-thinking companies are looking to migrate to the cloud at scale: a process that needs to be carried out skilfully and efficiently, due to the numerous moving parts involved. Cloud migration isn’t just about simply lifting and shifting multiple technologies into the cloud environment. Today’s IT environments are too complex.
The key to migrating to the cloud lies in applying a methodical approach that allows you to reduce your risk by balancing theoretical planning with the practical experience of pilots, leveraging resources more effectively and building your skills and knowledge base at the same time.
In a programme of migration, the focus is not only on ensuring that migrated applications work effectively in the cloud, but on guaranteeing the continued end-to-end operation with every system and application in use in the newly-created target environment, whether in the public cloud, private cloud or on-premise.
To manage this undertaking its best to break the programme into governable phases that will allow early experiences to help drive the later decisions needed.
- Viability Assessment– The first phase of the programme starts with a high level viability and review on the overall IT estate and applications. The aim of this phase is to build an understanding of the application landscape and your business case.
- Planning and Readiness – Following the confirmation from the Viability Assessment we, undertake a deeper analysis of your IT environment, looking at all aspects of the IT estate. Create a detailed migration plan, establish a repeatable delivery framework and conduct your first 3-5 workload migrations to prove your method and learn from experience.
- Migration Execution – After the initial pilots, use an iterative process to follow the migration path based on the categorisation established in the previous phase. Adjust the priorities as needed.
- Operate and Optimise – Once you have migrated to the cloud, monitor your applications and optimise the performance in their new environment.
Building the expertise within your organisation
Transformation and focus are the keys to a successful migration programme. This starts with building a cloud “Centre of Excellence” to bring together stakeholders from across the business, as well as technical staff, to accelerate organisational learning and change.
Your Centre of Excellence should act as a self-improving team, with everyone continually learning through regular retrospectives, ensuring that each workload migration becomes more successful than the previous one. Bringing in external cloud expertise at the start will also support a quicker and smoother implementation, from best practice and learnings from outside of your own business.
Partnering for success
At KCOM, we understand that no two cloud journeys are the same and the act of moving applications and services to the cloud can be a daunting and complex task. That’s why we have developed a robust programme for migration based on industry best practice, designed to guide any organisation through its cloud journey, whatever your starting point, at a pace that suits you.
KCOM offers the partnerships, capabilities and expertise to help your business embrace a mass migration strategy that will build a cloud-enabled organisation where people and applications co-exist seamlessly.
To find out more about how KCOM’s approach to cloud migration can benefit your business, download our eBook and learn how to build confidence for a successful cloud migration within your organisation.