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Cloud Strategy – How to start your journey to the Cloud

Cloud Strategy – How to start your Cloud Adoption the right way

You hear the term ‘cloud’ all the time… You know it might help you solve some of your IT problems… But your IT team are busy firefighting your immediate problems and you’re worried that introducing cloud computing will be a stretch too far. Perhaps you’re already convinced that moving to the Cloud will enable your team to focus on more strategic business problems like being able to forecast accurately through good data management or digitising and automating repeating business processes. However, you need to know what it will cost to migrate to cloud and run your application estate in the Cloud.

So where do you begin?

You will hear the term Digital Transformation Strategy when starting your cloud adoption journey. However, these fully comprehensive strategic services can be costly, and dependant on your budget and time-frame, this could not be an option for you. We always recommend a Cloud Assessment or Strategy, before migrating your infrastructure or applications to the Cloud. The good news is, you have 3 routes to start your journey to the cloud. These three options describe the services you should expect to receive, or specific tasks you need to complete in order to reduce your costs by effectively migrating to the Cloud.

  1. You create a Cloud Adoption Strategy yourself

If you have time, this method can save your organisation paying out for services that you can achieve internally – without the added cost. This would of course also depend on your knowledge of your organisation’s current IT Infrastructure, IT budget and your technical expertise when it comes to the Cloud.

So, what would you need to do? We have listed below the minimum steps / tasks you should complete when forming your own cloud strategy.

  • Perform a current IT Infrastructure Assessment
  • Choose the right cloud deployment model
  • Choose the right type of cloud service (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
  • Align, prioritise, and select cloud initiatives for review
  • Assess the value of moving selected services to the Cloud
  • Evaluate the Cloud readiness of your cloud initiatives and applications
  • Consider potential risks, security, compliance, and compatibility
  • Design your cloud target state

Sounds slightly daunting now, doesn’t it? When it comes to doing it yourself, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  • Do I or my organisation have the time to produce a Cloud Adoption Strategy?
  • Do I or my organisation have the technical expertise to form an accurate understanding of the cloud services we need?

When moving to the Cloud, organisations make one common mistake; simply migrating to a cloud platform with no strategy or contingency plan in place. We would not recommend this approach. 9 times out of 10 this approach has resulted in a larger investment of resource and operational cost to get the infrastructure to a stable environment, not to mention the internal man hours wasted.

 

  1. You get someone to do a Cloud Assessment for you

A Cloud Assessment is a good starting point for those organisations who are unsure about modernising and moving to the Cloud, and maybe restricted by budget. An initial assessment provides your organisation with the right level of information to allow your company to identity its strategic goals and understand if moving to the Cloud is possible and the right move for you.

Things you would typically find in a cloud assessment:

  • ICT infrastructure assessment
    • Mapping of current state IT Infrastructure
    • In depth analysis and inventory of assets
    • Identification of strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities
  • Total cost of ownership model
    • Identification of on-going physical hardware and software licensing costs
    • Analysis of the organisation’s current operating costs and subscription services
  • Cloud comparison and readiness assessment
    • Analysis and recommendations on which cloud service and cloud platform suits your organisation’s requirements
    • Analysis of which applications can be modernised within the Cloud
    • Mapping of logical grouping of applications

Following this assessment, you will be ready to take a deeper look in your cloud strategy and can make the business-critical decision surrounding your migration.

It does come with some added benefits:

  • Initial investment is lower than a procuring a comprehensive Digital Transformation Strategy
  • Internal resource investment is lower, with someone else responsible it allows your resource to focus on your business
  • Many cloud assessments can take less than 6 weeks

 

  1. You invest in a comprehensive Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital Transformation… I’ll say it again, is a major buzz word in 2021, and a Digital Transformation Strategy seems to be more common, especially with enterprise organisations. So, what is a Digital Transformation Strategy?

A Digital Transformation Strategy is a plan of action to create a new, sustainable, competitive advantage in the digital landscape and economy. This strategy document is designed to provide key outputs to assist your organisation in the adoption of digital technology. Identifying the opportunities to transform services or processes, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology.

A Digital Transformation Strategy aims to deliver this ‘digital-first’ experience to your stakeholders through:

  • Independent review and assessment of your starting position
  • Insight and experience of developments and advances in your sector
  • Engage your stakeholders to develop an appropriate future state vision
  • Experienced teams, led by ex-public sector CIOs
  • Comprehensive map of your existing IT infrastructure
  • Credible roadmap based on our experience of implementing strategies
  • Full cost analysis builds the case for investment
  • Powerful facts-based outputs including Strategy Report and supporting presentations

Although it features some of the same outputs and analysis as a Cloud Assessment, a comprehensive digital strategy is what I like to call an “a-la-carte” service for those who want to understand in-depth, the full breadth of opportunities that cloud technologies could deliver. With a larger price tag than your traditional 4 weeks assessment, this option can be expensive for some organisations, however the value it provides does offset the cost.

 

What option would work best for you and organisation?

If option 1 is simply not an option for you, we’re here to help. Shaping Cloud have been working with organisations just like yours – helping them set a strategy and costed roadmap for cloud adoption.

We ensure you have a pragmatic business case that’s relevant to your organisation’s priorities, drivers, and constraints – meaning that you can confidently make a decision to move forward with your digital transformation ambition and start delivering tangible business value. We won’t sell you what you don’t need.

Though we find our clients keep us on as long-term trusted advisors, we’ll stick around only as long as you feel we’re adding value and we make sure we’re upskilling your teams throughout our engagements. So, if you want to start your cloud journey, or just need some help along the way, get in touch today or check out our service pages with further information.

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