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A lot of organizations want to move to the cloud. It’s scalable, secure, and gives many possibilities. However, I often see companies rushing into it with no clear strategy.
As a result, many attempts at cloud migration projects fail because time and money are wasted, and people are frustrated. For some, opportunities and challenges connected with cloud migration are still a totally unknown territory.
So, what’s the best way to get started with the cloud? I prepared for you 5 points that, if introduced, will help you not to break your cloud migration project (skip to graphic summary). Let’s dive in!
The goal of cloud migration is not the technology itself. It’s a change in the organization.
In the past, there was a business, and there were supporting IT services, but they worked separately. Over time, they started to overlap a bit – IT became a part of the business.
But now it’s time to merge them together because every business is on the path to becoming a technology business. Cloud is a way for you to leverage the technology for your organization, making sure that you are not spending time figuring out how to do it. It allows you to use ready-made services.
Why do you need it? Because over time, you will just have more resources. We have clients who have more than 70 subscriptions in a single organization. To manage all of them, you need a proper process in place.
This process is called cloud governance. Cloud governance is a foundation stone for a successful cloud migration project plan and subsequent management of the cloud in your organization.
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In the Azure cloud, organizing resources means that you are putting the right structure of accounts, subscriptions, management groups, and applying a consistent strategy of company-wide policies on those resources. This way you’ll always know who the owner of a given subscription is, and how it is configured.
Key lessons for organizing resources in your cloud:
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Once you start to onboard the resources into your organization’s cloud, you don’t want to figure out, on the fly, how to connect them to the network, how to control the traffic between them, how to provide the basic services like a DNS, time service or backup. You want to be prepared beforehand.
Key lessons for preparation of your environment to onboard your resources:
People think that cost savings in the cloud come from cheaper resources. It’s not true. The resources might actually cost you MORE, but you can save a lot on operations and automation.
To operate and automate your cloud correctly, you need DevOps. Bring it up board early on. Implement a proper process to manage the cloud as a code, and to deploy your solutions reliably on the cloud.
Once you have DevOps in place, you can move to different areas, optimize your costs with FinOps, implement data model operations and security practices.
Speaking of security – I cannot stress enough how important it is, especially right now, when we are seeing a spike in cybersecurity attacks on organizations. Adding security to the DevOps creates a DevSecOps process, where security is a part of your cloud management process, deployments, it is automated and enforced on the workloads which are going into the cloud.
Key lessons for implementing DevOps practices:
The biggest difference in the cloud (versus on-premises) is that everything you are using, every service or resource is increasing your cloud bill. You need to get to know what is affecting your cloud bill to avoid getting surprised by the high cloud costs.
Key lessons when it comes to cloud cost management:
And here they are! 5 steps to make your cloud migration project plan successful – see the summary below.
Cloud is about the change, the change on the technology side, but more about the change on the organization side. What do you need to CHANGE in your organization to make your cloud migration project plan successful?
Focus on users’ needs.
It sounds obvious, but make sure that you know for whom you are doing your cloud deployment and what problem it needs to address. Understanding your user means you can better apply a cloud solution.
Rethink your approach to procurement and budgeting.
Cloud is about fast iterations. So, instead of having a year-long project, you might have four projects for three months, and then you need to budget every quarter for changing projects in the cloud.
Learn how to use and work with an open-source.
Open source and the cloud come together. Learn what kinds of licenses you can accept, what does it mean that the cloud open-source project is good for you and how to manage its security. You will have to live with open source for years to come. It is time to learn it.
Adopt DevOps as a practice.
It is not about automating your deployment pipelines. It is about the practice of working together on the common short backlog of the items to be delivered, building it, delivering to the cloud as a single process. Involve different people in this process. DevOps is the way for you to make most of your cloud deployment.
Do not focus on avoiding vendor lock-in
You should not design your architecture to avoid vendor lock-in. Instead, you should actually benefit from the solutions and services the vendor puts in front of you.
Rather than trying to avoid vendor lock-in, make sure that your architecture is ready for the rapid changes.
Create an architecture ready for iterations and changes
Why? Because you will have to change it a lot. It might come with a change of business requirements; it might be because your cloud vendor will introduce new services. Make sure that you know how to iterate on their architecture quickly.
Do not treat your cloud as another data center. Be wise. Use the cloud to maximize your benefits.
Your organization will evolve. Your knowledge of the cloud will evolve. Your solutions will have to evolve. Make sure that you are ready for that.
In the past, your IT department was there for the IT expertise. Then there was another part of the organization, which was there for business expertise. Right now, you are working together, and you are becoming a technology-enabled business. It is very important for you to adapt and to become an IT organization, supporting the business needs.
This change will affect a lot in our industry. It will affect the organizations, how they are built, how they operate. Some providers will go out of business. There will be new cloud providers emerging, and it will affect the careers, yours, your team’s, because you will be building new skills and onboarding new tasks.
Familiar with the above lessons? Or are they new to you? Is there anything, in particular, you are struggling with right now?
Comment below, which of these areas is most interesting for you and where you struggle the most. What do you need for it:
What is THE QUESTION that keeps you awake in the context of those topics?
I’m here, waiting for your answer.
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