Making the leap to the cloud

Jan 30, 2017   |  

The cloud is full of potential – it makes your company more agile, efficient, and promises cost savings – so why does it seem so hard to get there?

At Microsoft, we manage more than 1,800 line of business applications that support our business functions and internal organizations across the globe. And just like yours, these applications put heavy demands on our organization.

We know about migrating to the cloud: we’ve been migrating, learning, redesigning, and learning some more since the inception of cloud services. At this point, we have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned in our evolution.

Before we get started, it’s important to acknowledge that this is a long journey for any IT department, especially with the rapid advancement in technology that we see year over year. Let’s consider how you might think about these challenges and work towards the approach that’s right for you.

Your agility increases when you move to the cloud
When you move to the cloud, agility will climb no matter which flavor of the cloud best suits your needs.

 

First, you need to start with a strategy.

Your strategy defines what’s important to your business and your IT organization. A simplified strategy puts the right lens on each decision you make and ensures that your outcome aligns with your goals. A good strategy will make sure you ask the right questions along the way.

Next, how do you connect all these services and applications together in a way that doesn’t create a labyrinth for IT and gives users and customers access from wherever they are?

It’s not an easy answer. With constantly evolving services and a plethora of options, network engineering is rapidly merging with application engineering, with impact to both disciplines. Take a look at engineering for hybrid cloud networking and the SME roundtable on networking to see what Microsoft experts think about the next generation of connectivity and networking.

And then thirdly, now that you’ve got your cloud up and running, how are you going to manage this complex environment?

Whether you’re managing a legacy on-premises environment, a completely cloud-based environment, or somewhere in between (like us), you need to make sure your systems are performing at a high level. Many management tasks and processes are easy to extend to cloud-based models, while others are entirely new. Some new cloud models replace on-premises management models but not on-premises footprints. This can be challenging because you’ll need to focus in both places simultaneously. We try to view it as an opportunity to grow and build new skills.

For more, take a look at how we’re managing our move to the cloud and how we manage a hybrid application with Operations Management Suite.

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