Moving to the cloud? Do this first. | Cloud Readiness Assessment
It’s becoming clear that on-premises IT systems are not up to the challenge of supporting the increases in remote workforces as a record number of organizations move to cloud-based services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing the cloud can be an efficient and cost-effective way to make your data, applications, and unique workloads more secure and accessible. When it’s done right, that is.
When it comes to IT, no one likes surprises. That’s especially true when migrating to the cloud.
With 90% of enterprises utilizing the cloud in some capacity, this shift away from on-premises is in full swing. We’re seeing organizations attempt to migrate to the cloud without an adequate plan of action in place or understanding of what they already have and how their workload will perform in a cloud environment.
Misalignment of plans with business outcomes, higher cloud consumption costs, glitchy apps, and underperforming systems are some of the obstacles you could face with a poorly planned migration.
So that begs the question: “How do I migrate my IT infrastructure to the cloud correctly and securely?”
To start, you’re going to need a cloud readiness assessment. A readiness assessment is a third-party evaluation of primary line of business applications and your existing IT infrastructure to establish overall cloud readiness. The information gathered will determine whether your current state is prepared to migrate successfully to the cloud or whether additional work is required.
Do it right the first time.
There is no one-size-fits-all cloud migration. Every organization is different. That’s why a cloud readiness assessment is so important. You’ll know what needs to be done to prepare for a move to the cloud and a migration plan to get there.
By the end of the assessment process, you will have a holistic view of your estimated cloud consumption, migration costs, and overall environment, including any dependencies or custom requirements that may affect performance upon migration. This will help you avoid unforeseen circumstances that may pop up during the migration process and support a smooth transition.
Remember: The best migration process is a well-prepared one.
“Do I really need an assessment if I already know what’s on our network?”
The short answer: Yes, you do.
The long answer: A cloud readiness assessment is about more than just data gathering. It’s about evaluating your business goals for moving to the cloud and creating a plan that aligns to them. Some workloads may make sense to move to the cloud, while others may require rearchitecting or refactoring to support cloud delivery. Your goals, budget, applications, dependencies, and compliance requirements all play into the overall success of your cloud journey.
A cloud readiness assessment is especially critical if your organization wants to migrate to the public cloud but does not have good documentation on the following:
- Network diagrams, including Internet Service Provider details
- Age of network equipment and or lack of a secondary Internet circuit
- IT system inventory and what applications are running for the business
- Business continuity and disaster recovery preparedness, including lack of defining recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO) for each primary business application
- Application dependencies and business process workflows
What You Get Out of a Cloud Readiness Assessment
- Goals. A core component of the assessment is the consideration of overarching business objectives and how cloud services will help you achieve them. Setting goals provides a path for your cloud journey and when implemented successfully, can help you get to the finish line on time and within budget.
When ProArch conducts a cloud readiness assessment, we interview the IT staff and business stakeholders to ensure that we clearly define business justifications for moving the organization to the cloud. It's key to be sure that the overall strategy aligns with the business outcomes.
2. Data Gathering. Gathering information regarding the existing IT environment of all sites and locations is an important step in the assessment. Like any good data, it will make for a more informed assessment and overall strategy.
The data gathered by ProArch includes:
- Documentation of network paths to the Internet and the age of equipment
- Identification of primary and/or secondary route to the Internet
- If and how the cloud is currently being used for its applications
3. App Readiness. We see it all the time: businesses think they know how their apps will interact post-migration. It’s not until they’re dealing with delays and decreases in productivity that they wish they’d performed a better assessment of their applications. Determining the cloud readiness of an application differs from the process for your network architecture and systems.
- We review each application, how it's architected (for instance, client/server or web-based), and determine how to run that application in the cloud. That application should offer the same performance or, hopefully, better while running in the public cloud.
- We work with the application vendor to ensure migrating the application to the cloud is supported.
- We determine if the application is web-based and if migration to Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) is an option. This can significantly reduce overall management costs and reduce the IT burden of managing applications, operating systems, etc.
When it comes down to it, conducting a readiness assessment before migrating to the cloud is just smart. It’s a great way to avoid unwanted surprises during your migration to the cloud while also setting expectations for overall functionality.
Don’t make moving to the cloud harder than it should be. Learn more about the benefits of a cloud readiness assessment and reach out to our team with any questions.