Build Your Cloud Strategy: Part 2 — Cloud Vision
In this article, find out more about how to build your cloud strategy with cloud vision.
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The first article was about the characteristics and needs of an organization and the attributes of cloud deployment make planning a cloud migration easier. So we presented the Separation of Responsibilities in the Azure Model and the Types of Cloud Services, but we need to understand that every company considering the move to the cloud a part of their innovation and digital transformation plans. Because migration becomes hard if you don’t build any strategy, so we discussed in the previous article Migration Analysis based on ADM and TOGAF.
In this article, we will describe what we need to be more prepared to succeed in this migration and feedback. You can use this guidance framework as support for what to do.
Is It a Cloud Migration or Cloud Adoption?
This question is really important because before talking about the cloud, any organization should understand that we need to change the way of work of every employee, thinking in automation, agility, DevOps, internal process, legacy, security, data confidentiality, and governance.
Basic Steps to Be Done Before the Migration
1. Form a Cloud Team and Attribute Roles
This team is composed of enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders. It is like a committee that will work on this big transformation from the analysis until the setup and implementation of all strategies are defined.
They start evaluating the use of SaaS services in a public cloud after PaaS Services, and for some cases, lift and ship is the unique solution. But according to the environment and application, they can decide to keep them on-premise.
Many organizations have workforces with specialized knowledge and skills developed over the years in specific custom legacy systems, platforms, technology, or configurations. Even this expertise can increase in time because it is outdated or the specific business or functional domain changes. But these skills are important to be able to define the same results after migration. So, they have to contribute; they can be network engineers, system administrators, and operators, capacity planners, analysts, developers, quality assurance (QA) engineers, database administrators, and architects or data storage and security specialists, business and functional architects, and many more.
When all members are selected, a cloud leader or a product owner — if we use Scrum and agility inside the organization — should attribute specific roles according to their task to do in the cloud strategy.
2. Understand Your Infrastructure
After transforming the IT organization to build a new structure dedicated to cloud strategies and analysis, defining their roles during the first step before defining the foundation team, with outlined objectives and key metrics, they should start with the organization’s infrastructure. All members work together with the IT team to define all characteristics, for example, number of servers, number of VMs, storages, OS, capacities, percent of use in an hour or day, specific configuration to consider, licenses installed, other technologies, and any details is important to choose the best cloud model: IaaS or PaaS or SaaS.
3. Coupling and Links Between Applications and Databases
We know that applications can be cloned in multiple servers to ensure that it is available always, and in this step, we need to consolidate the work in order to define the links between all applications, for example, to define a priority plan before moving to the cloud.
4. Directive: “Move some applications to the cloud.”
After defining the priority, all members should study the data compliance, confidentiality, and the technology used to decide if we are able to move it without a change or load shedding for a redesign.
Five R Strategies for Migrating Applications to the Cloud
Because everything is around the applications, the choice of the strategy will depend on the migration. What we are talking about here are the 5 Rs.
Technical professionals inside the company have to prepare an exit plan for every application, and the need to decide if they will work on all applications even if they can't be integrated into the cloud or select the application that they have to start a strategy.
The application can be:
- Rehosted: lift and shift and extend strategy without any change
- Refactored or ReArchitected: plan many changes in the application according to the cloud patterns and re-imagine more solutions.
- Revised or RePlatformed: lift-tinker-and-shift introduced by Amazon AWS
- Rebuilt: discard legacy applications and develop again using cloud services and features. It requires good mastery of a functional and technical concept, familiarity with an existing application, and business processes as well as cloud services.
- Replaced or RePurchase: it means that we will use a SaaS solution instead of the current application.
5. Build a Draft of Vision Architecture for Some Candidates
Choose very well. Your application needs to be tested, and we can select an easy case where itï¿½s not complicated to work on its vision and a coupled case to understand the risk and issues. So, it is easy to start thinking about solutions, and they can be references in other applications.
6. Start Experiment Using Test Provider Offers
After defining your strategy, you need to choose some providers to start some experiments. Every provider can offer a Test service like DevTest lab in Microsoft Azure, where you can use cloud services and verify the feasibility and anticipate problems in advance.
Prepare and Plan a Change in Roles Inside the Organization After Migration
It is really important to prepare a human resource strategy. Maybe when you finish working on your migration roadmap, you need to include a new organization with specific roles that gather old skills across jobs, taking into consideration later talent development in terms of new roles related to the cloud jobs (architect or integrator). It is similar to move from manual tasks toward more fulfilling ones to adapt the automation, and it is better than supplying more resources.
One of the solutions to prevent malicious and insider threats while in use in a hybrid cloud as a strategy is using Multicloud architecture, which can be a good fit for some organizations, especially if your application is designed using Microservices. This will be interesting to minimize the latency of your services and databases deployed.
We will talk more about Multicloud in the next article.
Cloud migration is an opportunity for change to every organization because it is not about moving to the cloud, it is about reorganizing works and putting in place new processes, new challenges to reach, and more revenue, scalability, resilience, and dependency-awareness. Changes will be easy, and employees will focus on improving product development. Planning your strategy can take more time than estimated, but it's better than failing and coming back to on-premise architecture because, thus far, modernization efforts have failed to generate the desired and expected benefits for some companies.
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