Welcome back to our blog series about how to plan a cloud migration and optimize the costs. We’re suggesting some questions that companies should ask themselves in order to avoid the pitfalls that can stop you reaping the expected benefits. Remember, a North American study1 by Softchoice found that 57% of IT leaders have exceeded their cloud budgets at some point – a third of them by more than 20%. That’s what we want to help you avoid.
Earlier posts have covered the best way to decide what assets you will move to the cloud, and to choose which platform and configuration to use. If you’ve followed this advice, you’re now in a good position to start planning your move.
Begin by modeling the dependencies between elements in your current environment including all the applications and services. Your Asset Intelligence platform should help you to see which servers are talking to one another, which should help you identify flows of information. Understanding those connections will help you work out what the order of migration should be, and whether certain applications need to be migrated together. Failure to notice dependencies and group elements accordingly is one of the most important causes of problems during cloud migration. It also makes the problems very difficult to fix.
For example, if a SQL database is moved without considering dependencies, it may start up correctly, assuming domain access and network services are properly available. But what about the downstream server that it replicates its access control lists from, and the upstream CRM system that relies on being able to query it on demand? If relationships like these break down, processes will soon malfunction or halt.
Use normalized data from your Asset Intelligence platform to make sure your plan caters for every single application that is running, and that users will end up with the right version of applications (complete with any essential customizations). Ensure that the cloud versions of all relevant packages are correctly licensed.
Make sure that where appropriate your plan includes any SaaS services, such as Salesforce.com, that are currently being used. Even if they constitute “shadow IT” rather than part of your official IT strategy, the organization may grind to a halt without them. By their very nature, shadow applications are easy to overlook, but a modern Asset Intelligence platform should find and identify them for you. Once again, ensure the necessary licenses or registrations are in place.
Carry out, and publicize, carefully selected pilot migrations until you and your stakeholders are confident that your plan will work, before attempting to migrate the live system. Use the pilots to verify that your cloud environment matches your requirements, comparing it with the starting position using performance measurement tools and an Asset Intelligence platform (assuming you’ve chosen one that works equally in the cloud and on-premise). This will avoid visible setbacks that affect the business and undermine the organization’s confidence in the project.
Next time, we’ll discuss the question, “How can I keep delivering value?” and reveal how you can ensure your cloud move pays off in the longer term. Meantime, please do download our eBook, “Essential considerations for cloud migration planning and cost optimization.”
Read the other posts in the Cloud Migration and Cost Optimization series:
1 Softchoice: The State of Cloud Readiness, Fall 2018: IT leaders are lost in the cloud