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How to make sure that your cloud migration is not a cloudfiasco

The cloud computing’s manifesto is all about promising great things tailored to your great ambitions. It promised to drastically reduce costs, guaranteed an easy implementation, a better accessibility, and world-class security measures. However, despite all your optimism, nothing seems to work—your cloud migration is heading for a disaster.

What happened? Where did you go wrong? Do you need to start over? Cloud computing—just like any other mature technology—is often mistaken as an easy thing to master. So, what is the main mistake made by many organizations that eventually wonder why they even did the cloud migration in the first place?

Many companies underestimate the importance of planning and governance, which often leads to security, compliance and… cost issues. We also see that many have migrated their servers, but have not continued with the modernization. Cloud computing requires a new way of thinking, consuming and governing.

Michel Charest

ITI Lead Azure Solutions Architect

Cloud Computing Basics

As you may have guessed, you cannot dive into such a big ordeal without any preparation. You need to start with a preliminary analysis, and hiring experts could be a wise choice. They can show you all the possibilities and advantages of cloud computing, but most importantly the changes it entails.

In fact, you need experts who have already been through it and know every possible difficulty. They can create a customized flow sheet with you that will give you a step by step, structured approach that minimizes risks and maximizes the expected profits.

Cloud Computing Governance Basics

Governance is imperative in every IT operating model. You will understand its omnipresence in the lifecycle when adhering to cloud computing. While elaborating the cloud computing governance, you need to find a balance between speed and control. Your starting point will be the MVP, or the Minimum Viable Product, for governance. Its mission is to cut down obstacles, and establish the initial governance foundation. It will then evolve in order to address a wider variety of risks.

As an additional tool, we have to mention the Cloud Adoption Framework, an essential asset for any business wanting to rely on the best practices. Do not hesitate to involve experienced practitioners, they will simplify your strategy and will allow you to focus on the business part of your vision, which is the most important.

Getting Used to Cloud Computing

You probably have already dipped a toe or two in cloud computing without even noticing: Microsoft 365 as a productivity tool, Intune to manage your devices or Azure AD to manage your users and their access. If you do not have them yet, these three elements represent simple and controlled steps that will allow you to start the process, and slowly get used to these new ways.

Once these steps are taken, the landing zone will be your next stop. A cloud computing environment is very similar to laying the foundation of any construction project. The architects need to make decisions during conception and manufacturing. Like traditional foundations, the cloud computing environment needs an experienced architect to make sure that the vision as well as the short- and long-term needs of the organization are taken into consideration.

That is also when you establish how the operating model will be implemented. In short, how the rights, the permissions, and the security will be handled as well as how you structure your resources and how you handle your costs. A great change is coming for your IT team and you need to get them ready. What will they need in order to work efficiently and how will they do it? You now need to choose and set up your performance goals.

The Gateway to Modernization and Optimization

The lift and shift approach is a migration strategy whose goal is to transfer your on-premises applications and data to a cloud environment like Azure. It is a very popular approach because it is fairly quick and low risk. You can quickly benefit from the cloud capacity without having to invest in application rearchitecting or code refactoring before proceeding. However, you must see rehosting as a familiarization phase because the most important savings and profits are found elsewhere.

In fact, it only is the beginning, because in order to adopt an approach entirely focused towards cloud computing and to maximize your organizational and technological performance you will need—sooner rather than later—to go through modernization. When using cloud services, the goal of modernization is to update your processes, your systems and your tools for more recent versions based on better practices.

Modernization Lexicon

  • Rearchitect: If an organization needs scalability, rearchitecting may be the best approach. The features and code will then be modified and optimized to better evolve in the cloud environment.
  • Rewriting: It requires more effort, but may be essential if the existing applications have limited features or a limited lifespan.
  • Recondition : With this strategy, applications only need minimal modifications to easily connect to a cloud computing environment.
  • Replace : If an application no longer answers the organization’s present or future needs, it may be necessary to replace it.
  • Simpler management: An upgradable infrastructure that is kept up to date by your cloud computing provider to make everything easier and simpler, especially managing your environments.
  • Reliability: It includes, among other things, backup and restore capabilities in just one click.
  • Safety: Built-in specialized tools to guarantee the protection of the organization’s resources.
  • Cost optimization: Managing costs to maximize the delivered value and only pay for what you use.
  • Performance efficiency: Only cloud computing allows you to instantly adapt—on demand—the resources required during surges in demand.

In order to reap all the benefits, do not forget that planning a successful migration begins with a defined strategy and the involvement of your primary business, technical and executive stakeholders. Also, surround yourself with the right migration partner—the one whose service offering and experience match your business needs and objectives.

Review the panel discussion with 3 ITI experts on the key lessons learned from their vast experiences with cloud migration in the past years.

(Conference in French)

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