Don’t do Anything on the Cloud Until You’ve Read This – Part 2 – Assessment
Disruption created by this year’s pandemic has changed the behaviour of both businesses and consumers, and in many sectors, accelerated trends more suited to a remote workforce.
Following on from Part 1, which focused on ‘discovery’, we will now look at ‘assessment’ as the next stage in cloud adoption.
Assessment begins by looking at the applications and their current state through the lens of the 6 Rs: Retire, Retain, Replatform, Rehost, Repurchase, and Refactor.
- Retire – Is there anything that can be or needs to be retired as part of the journey? Or are you deploying a new service to replace a legacy system?
- Retain – Sometimes there is something that needs to stay where it is, this often drives the adoption of hybrid cloud solutions.
- Replatform – This is simply redeploying an application on a cloud service such as IaaS, which gives a ‘green field’ deployment that removes any legacy debt or technical holes in configuration, such as security and application performance.
- Rehost – A simple ‘lift and shift’, moving a system from one environment to another.
- Repurchase – This involves evaluating the licencing model, such as moving to something consumption-based rather than perpetual. This is usually used in conjunction with replatform solutions and works well for Dev/Test/UAT environments.
- Refactor – This is usually the biggest technical undertaking during a cloud migration journey and is the one that moves into transformation rather than transition. This is where an application is rewritten or moved to something that is cloud-ready. The most popular place where this is seen is the migration from an on-premise application such as Microsoft Exchange, into Exchange Online or Office 365 deployments. This usually comes with the biggest technical and end-user change requirement.
Once you have evaluated your applications against the 6 Rs, you can then look at targets per application. Using the performance baseline gathered during the discovery phase, you can start to right size (up or down) the systems that support the applications and document the dependencies and security requirements.
Next, you should look to align applications with priority tiers and start to evaluate the best execution venues (on-premise, private, public, SaaS), to deliver on the desired business motivators.
Risk Analysis and Project Management
At this time, certain questions may be helpful. Given the execution venue and approach for your Tier 1 applications, what does the migration look like? Is it going to be a ‘big bang’ approach or a gradual migration? How will the business maintain service during the cutover? Do you have all the skills needed to move the applications and manage the target cloud environments in-house?
It is realistic to expect that in complex hybrid deployments, migration will take six months or longer. There are very few cases where there is the ability to quickly migrate from A to B with a replatform or rehost solution and minimal planning.
The last stage is managing service operation and performance management against your pre-defined success criteria. Support should be available 24/7, especially in the early stages of cutover to ensure availability of service to the business. Additionally, visibility of metrics that help shape and reshape performance to demonstrate success against the original motivators are key for reporting back to your stakeholders. It may be that some elements need to be adjusted, adapted, or shaped, as technology and commercials shift.
Businesses will continue to adopt usage of cloud services, but even at the high level, there is a clear understanding that the process is complex; often lengthy and demands a variety of technical skills to deliver successful cloud transformation. As such, it is important to identify and work closely with a partner who understands your business and desired outcomes; with the ability to guide you through the process and deliver a breadth of cloud services to meet your needs.
As a provider of converged managed services, Timico understands the challenges faced by businesses in , including the need to modify processes; and deploy new solutions and applications quickly. Timico’s managed service includes provision of cloud native solutions to help meet these requirements without the additional stress or cost of having to manage yourself in-house; as online usage grows and business applications change.
Some organisations may need to accelerate migration from data centres to cloud environments in response to reduced headcount, delays in supply chains or difficulties accessing data centre facilities. Public, hybrid or multi-cloud solutions may even offer a more reliable option for business continuity for some businesses unsure of the ongoing impact to their business.
Timico offer solutions for every stage of the cloud journey from assessment to implementation and beyond. Contact us now for more information about our cloud consultations.
Chief Technology Officer