7 Essentials for a Successful Cloud-First Transformation
Article Synopsis :
Cloud in the enterprise is no longer just a sandbox for developers, or a sneaky backdoor way for business units to get more IT resources fast. IT leaders increasingly see the cloud as the de facto model for delivering the whole of IT to the whole of the business.
This ebook from AWS conveys the seven essential steps for transitioning to a ‘cloud first’ mentality. The steps are as follows:
- Executive Buy-In: Transitioning to the cloud is, by definition, a transformation project. And successful transformation projects are always driven by a senior executive. Without that leadership, you might get a few apps into the cloud, but you won’t get the gnarly stuff there: the legacy systems, the customer databases, the back-office ERP. Lacking an enthusiastic executive sponsor, the little things get difficult, skepticism increases, progress slows. Find a sponsor and keep them on board cheerleading for you by achieving quick wins aligning with their priorities.
- Align IT Staff: Beyond exec buy-in, you need your whole IT team on board – committed to achieving the vision and prepared to work in completely new ways. Expect resistance. The best approach is to upskill your whole team as fast as you can – maybe using an external provider or partner for some rapid knowledge transfer.
- Get Some Quick Wins: Identify one or more applications or workloads that can move quickly and easily to the cloud, and which will deliver highly visible benefits to the organisation. Look for apps that the business needs to meet its goals, but which have previously been deemed impractical to implement on-premises.
- Engage Partners: Even as you’re learning and building experience, you can get some quick and valuable wins under your belt. But as you start to turn your attention to your business-critical and/or legacy apps, the challenge intensifies. Try mapping the vendors whose applications you use against the accredited partners list maintained by your cloud provider.
- Establish a Cloud ‘Centre of Excellence’: In a ‘cloud first’ world a DevOps style of operation becomes the norm. Your Cloud ‘Centre of Excellence’ is a formal DevOps team whose job it is to establish and promote Cloud best practices throughout the IT function.
- Work in a Hybrid Adoption Framework: Your goal may be to move 100% to the cloud, but the reality is it’s going to be a long journey. You’ll need a well thought-out hybrid strategy that sees you moving portions of your legacy apps into the cloud, with a view to eventually shifting everything that will move.
- Reach a ‘Cloud-First Standard’: Cloud-First is all about shifting the enterprise IT mindset from ‘Why cloud?’ to ‘Why not cloud?’ In this new world, you need a really convincing argument for keeping something on-premises. This is where every organisation wants to be – and when ‘cloud first’ becomes your standard, you’re there.
Moving to ‘cloud first’ may be the biggest re-engineering of enterprise IT since minicomputers replaced mainframes and web-based apps replaced client-server (depending on how old you are). Such significant change doesn’t come ad hoc. Though the steps outlined in this ebook may be taken out of order, all of the steps must no doubt be taken for a successful transformation to indeed occur.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsThe essential steps outlined in this report apply generally to all cloud migrations, not just AWS. If migrating your technology stack to the cloud isn’t a priority – it ought to be.
The leading cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba – are innovating at such a furious pace that neglecting to use them puts the non-user at a serious digital disadvantage. Machine learning, AI, voice recognition, language translation, grid computing, serverless computing, are all ready and available, deployable by developers with no special expertise in these areas. Think: Rocket-Science-as-a-Service.
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