As part of our Cloud Advisory engagements, we partner with clients to determine the strategic reasons and goals for adopting cloud technologies. It’s important to have goals to develop an actionable roadmap, detailing the series of actions required. This blog outlines several categories of strategic recommendations as part of Cloud Advisory services. Some are technical in nature, some are focused on people and process, but equally important in any cloud scenario. If you are considering moving to the cloud, have you thought through these steps?
Cloud Hosting Model Choice
Developing recommendations for cloud hosting models that fit our client’s applications is a key pillar of any cloud strategy. We take an application-by-application approach to gather data, analyze requirements, and generate recommendations.
Level of Commitment
We’ve worked with clients that have expressed levels of commitment to a cloud IT model ranging from “all in the cloud, as fast as possible” to “90% in three years” to “still trying to understand our options.” We blend the business, technical, people, and process goals, opportunities and constraints, and create strategic options that present the right amount of investment and change.
Application and Infrastructure Changes
A key corollary of the cloud hosting model choice is the high-level choices to be made to applications and their infrastructure resources. While detailed technology selections and designs are made in our cloud execution projects, we make high-level assumptions to provide some clarity in roadmap development and budgeting, as part of the collaborative enterprise architecture process.
Making high-level decisions about applications requires an understanding of migration options. We use a standard “six-R” (retire, retain, rehost, replatform, refactor, replace) model to organize our application migration recommendations. We frequently adjust the standard six-R framework to fit client-specific situations and technical challenges, while maintaining a common context throughout the advisory project.
Adoption Timing and Plan
Our roadmap is tied to a timeline and supporting detailed project plan. In the plan we detail the tasks, people, 3rd party services investments, and high-level dependencies. The various inputs to the plan are developed both as a part of the engagement and from our extensive list of best practices for successful Cloud Execution engagement.
An important aspect of our client’s cloud adoption journey is enhancing client IT team skills, roles, and responsibilities. Investments in this context can include training, organizational change management plans, selective use of managed services providers, and in some cases a detailed redefinition of roles and responsibilities across the entire landscape of IT functions and processes.