Silver Linings Take Time: The Key to Cloud Success

By Galaxia Martin, Solutions Director

From VHS tapes to DVDs to digital streaming services—in business, as in life, it makes sense to upgrade outdated technology. The possibilities can be dazzling, but when it comes to IT environments it’s best not to rush your selections.

Developing a cloud strategy takes time, but I think we can all agree that time spent planning is preferable to time spent putting out unforeseen fires. Strategizing effectively can help you reach your business goals on schedule and reduce interference throughout the journey.

Ideally, you should understand your environment well enough to rebuild it from scratch, to set a clear and vivid baseline. At a minimum, you need to define which workloads (servers/applications) you want to move, why those workloads are well suited to the cloud, and how the migration process will impact your IT and Security Operations. Then you must decide when to get moving. Depending on your industry, some start seasons may be better than others.

Most multicloud strategies involve a primary provider and a secondary provider. Let’s say your organization prefers a particular cloud provider based on the team’s skillset. It is likely that based on preference alone that specific cloud provider will become primary. Other factors include monetary investments from specific cloud providers; many of them provide funding to help migrate customers to the cloud.

Cloud migration can take 6 to 24 months with low to medium complexity environments and even longer for complex environments, so chipping away slowly with a multiyear, phased approach is often the best way to go. Optimized migration strategies are built on research and analysis rather than assumptions. It is important to consider factors beyond technical feasibility, such as cost, resources, security, and operational readiness.

Start with the basics:

  1. Establish your organization’s goals.
  • What are your innovation, governance, and security targets?
  • How would a cloud solution help you reach them?
  • How do you plan to stay ahead of industry trends?
  • How can you maintain scalable, automated layers of governance?
  • What is your end-of-life containerization plan and how will it protect/improve legacy software?
  • How can you make your organization’s data accessible at any time from any place?
  • What are the key workloads right now and how do they impact your business?
  1. Define your budget
  • How much do you currently spend on software, hardware, operation, and management?
  • How much do you expect to spend over the next several years?
  • What can you afford?

Dig a little deeper:

  1. Learn about the cloud provider(s) you are considering.
  • How will their services/solutions improve flexibility?
  • Will they create data redundancy?
  • What skillsets do their teams offer?
  1. Assess your internal teams’ skillsets.
  • Can your organization manage its own cloud environment after the migration is complete?

Plot your course:

  1. Plan the project.
  • Who will do the work?
  • How quickly can/should you complete your migration?
  • What outcomes/ROI do you anticipate?


Still Confused?

SDI provides comprehensive professional services that deliver a low-risk and cost-efficient path to the cloud, addressing cost controls, maintaining data security, and optimizing your enterprise IT environment for long-term success. If you are struggling with cloud strategy, enlist a trusted partner like SDI to guide you through the process. We can help with project planning, procurement considerations, security, operational changes, innovation, and more. Contact us today!