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Cloud Adoption – Start Small, think BIG

Addressing the foundational and operational components without having a workload (I.e. one or more applications or application components such as databases or web parts) that will exist on the platform is of little value.  Identification, prioritization, and migration of a workload is essential to the business case for change and ensures organizations prioritize the foundations and operations workstreams.

Some organizations are very large and their IT department have to manage hundreds, or thousands of applications running on several thousand virtual machines (VMs). Many are overwhelmed by the thought of workload migration.  For some, it’s difficult to know where to start.  They need to determine:

  • the complexity and business value of migrating workloads
  • which workloads to move first
  • how to prioritize the workloads
  • which cloud computing model to use (IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS)
  • the regulatory and compliance implications of moving workloads to the cloud
  • the impact on data security and the current enterprise processes
  • which roles, training, additional skills are required to operate the workloads in a Cloud environment
  • the approach to adoption and change management – ensuring that investments in the Cloud will provide value to the organization
  • how moving to the cloud allows the organization to meet its goals

An organization doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to migrate workloads to the cloud. There must be a compelling reason to use cloud: what business value will be derived by using public cloud services? This vision and goal then drives what applications should be in the cloud and which should not. This vision and goal should also drive the prioritization of migrating workloads to the cloud.

Aligning benefits to your Cloud Strategy

The benefits of cloud are changing. No longer is cost savings the biggest driver in moving to the cloud.  Greater scalability, faster access to infrastructure, and faster time to market are leading drivers today.

When moving to the cloud, it is important to align benefits to your cloud strategy. Public cloud services offer benefits that enable CIOs to make significant advances in all of the following areas:

  • Service Performance
  • Innovation
  • Elasticity
  • Security

From the benefits listed above, there are some questions organizations should  be asking themselves:

  • What do these potential benefits mean to your department?
  • How will you capitalize on these to deliver benefits to the business?
    • What workloads will you move to the cloud and in which order?
    • Which applications will you move and in what order?
    • IaaS, PaaS, SaaS –  in which order?
  • How ready is your department to move to the cloud?
    • Do you need to train staff in new skills?
    • Do you need to address the fear of job loss?
    • Do you need to adjust ITIL operational support processes?

Having a clearly defined cloud strategy drives the identification, planning and prioritization of migrating workloads to the cloud. Without one, your organization will struggle with your cloud adoption goals. Microsoft Services can help you with defining your cloud strategy and workload identification, planning and migration. Our next blog will describe Microsoft’s workload migration approach. Please reach out to myself on LinkedIn if your government ministry or department is looking to develop a cloud strategy and/or requires help in identifying workloads to migrate.