Do you have an actionable cloud strategy? We hear a lot about Cloud First which is, of course, in vogue. But what’s behind that curtain? Is it throwing darts at anything that comes your way? Or, do you have a focused set of goals and a clear path to achieving them within that critical window of opportunity – the election lifecycle of an administration?

Thinking back to when I was on your side of the table, I wish one of my vendor-partners had approached me with a sensible way to build an action plan for cloud adoption that was:

Quick, Painless & Low Cost

  • My staff were always busy keeping the train on the tracks. I needed a relatively low cost engagement in both time and money spent. Ideally, it would only take 3-4 weeks.

Capable of serving as the Cornerstone for a True Cloud Migration

  • On a per application basis, I had to know which were cloud ready and which should be retired, refactored or left as is.

Able to Provide Extended & Immediate Value

  • Though I may not have been migrating to the cloud at the time, documenting application inter-dependencies and portability would have been invaluable for troubleshooting and Business Continuity/DR planning – irrespective of cloud migrations.

Do you have a focused set of goals and a clear path to achieving them within that critical window of opportunity in the election lifecycle of an administration?

Let’s dig a little deeper into the foundation for an actionable cloud strategy that’s worked for both our public and private sector clients. Flexibility is key because one size never fits all. Different enterprises tend to be at different stages of cloud adoption. Some are well on their way to migrating most, if not all, of their on-premise infrastructure to the cloud; some are looking for Greenfield (new) deployments only; others are content to stay on-premise with their current production platforms but, wish to explore cloud-based alternatives for DR & Business Continuity.

Wherever you fit in, it’s important that your vendor understands your objectives and has the experience to tailor your assessment activities accordingly.

Presented below are two scenarios from the Smart IMS portfolio of clients; one from the public sector and one from the private sector. Both moving to the cloud but, with different goals and at different stages of progress.

Scenario #1:

A large media company needed help when their major cloud transformation initiative stalled. Smart IMS was called in to manage their program, including analysis of more than 900 on-premise applications for migration to the public cloud. As a result, the company’s existing cloud infrastructure was redesigned and more than 250 applications were retired. Today, that company is well on its way with more than 60% of its remaining on-premise applications now living in the cloud.

The first step in the process was a cloud readiness assessment, tailored to fit the unique requirements of the company’s current state and objectives. Management’s goal was a complete migration of their on-premise environments to the cloud. They simply didn’t want to be in the data center business.

Approach:

* Document management’s goals and objectives

* Analyze the current strategy and/or TCO analysis

* Reset the transformation strategy to reach management’s desired end state:

  • Assess PMO capabilities
  • Application Portfolio Assessment
  • Macro Analysis of Lift & Shift and Light Transformation Applications
  • Micro Analysis of Targeted Applications for Migration
  • Operating Model Assessment
  • Review of Continuous Integration/Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline including DevOps
  • Assess the current account and infrastructure delivery architecture

* Develop the Future State Plan

* Develop a Migration Factory and Implementation Strategy

Scenario #2:

A major US City Government’s enterprise IT organization needed to develop a best practice driven, flexible, and secure pubic cloud environment for use by city departments’ application teams for greenfield development. Analysis and migration of existing applications were not in scope. A cloud readiness assessment for this organization needed to reflect a very different focus relative to the media company’s objectives.

Management’s goal was a new cloud environment: optimized for governance and security, minimizing operational oversight, and optimizing cloud costs. Adopting cloud-based DevOps into their existing Continuous Integration / Delivery workflow was the initial objective with an eye toward full cloud deployment for production in the future.

Approach:

* Meet with key Subject Matter Experts to document current state infrastructure (Data Centers, Servers, Network, Private & Public Cloud, etc.)

* Meet with key Subject Matter Experts to document current state DevOps and CI/CD automation pipeline

* Define Cloud Center of Excellence:

  • Define Security Standards & Guidelines Approach
  • Policy Optimization, Security and Governance

* Define Cloud Identity & Access Management (IAM) & Security Group Approach:

  • Define Network Approach
  • Define Documentation Strategy
  • Define Cloud Service Management

* Establish Program Strategy and Determine Necessary Workstreams:

  • Define Cloud Architecture (Landing Zone for New Apps)
  • Define Program Management Approach
  • Define New Account Automation Approach
  • Define Active Directory & DNS Strategy
  • Define CI/CD Workflow Tools & Approach
  • Define Operating Model (both Ops & DevOps)

Flexibility & Partnership

Two very different paths to the cloud. Yours may be completely different still. Whichever the road, understanding your current infrastructure, platforms and processes is key.

Partnering with a service provider who recognizes that every client is unique and who gauges success by how well your needs are met can get you one step closer to an actionable cloud strategy.

If you’d like to brainstorm some more on cloud readiness, feel free to call or email me directly at odysseus.marcopolus@smartIMS.com / 609.955.3042.

Thanks for reading!

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Categories: Thought Leadership