Our journey of cloud began when we realized its potential for us and our customers. We named our cloud Rainmaker just like the cloud that cannot generate rain has no value similarly a technology cloud that cannot add value to business holds no good. So when we thought of building private cloud we wanted to make sure that technology is completely aligned to business benefits and is acceptable for users.
The key phases we identified as one of the most important in the adoption of a cloud strategy were:
Cloud computing requires education on every level in the organization, say from IT admin to a software developer to a company CEO. All of them will need to have a basic understanding of the high-level technology of cloud computing, but also the kind of impact cloud computing will have on the organizations finances, personnel, business processes. The process of self-education can start with a simple Google on cloud computing that will bring up millions of hits. This is the best way to start for general non-decision makers who work long hours every day and cannot always find time to sit and take courses over a class room or web based CBT.
By that being said for business decision makers, IT managers, and applications developers, will have to quickly bring themselves up to date on the impact of cloud computing models which will have information technologies, organizations, economics, and finances supporting our business. This can be achieved by companies organizing corporate training and seminars on cloud computing from industry experts. My opinion is that cloud is here to stay and will be as important to individuals and organizations as the internet revolution was.
A cloud discovery phase is when you go through a thorough examination of your current IT infrastructure and gather details about your business systems, their current usage, performance, capacity levels, and application interdependencies to name a few. Since IT is a complex environment and the demand on IT is huge, larger companies may lack a complete documentation or understanding of all their application, process, and environments. The way to get around the problem is to use consultants during the discovery assessment process.
Analysis phase for a cloud adoption is recommended as you and the consultant review the data on each application and confirm its continued need, use and importance with users, and the management. You will also need to confirm access, performance, security, compliance, and other specific requirements for individual application. This will help you discern and compile your infrastructure requirements.
The findings of the analysis phase are laid out and you determine a strategic vision for using cloud computing during the validation phase. You can explore different scenarios and options, and determine which applications are ready candidates for deployment, that once that could be ready if security compliance is met and application with other requirements that can be met by a vendor product or solution. You also get to validate which applications cannot be moved and the reason for the same. You should be in a position to articulate how various solutions in the form of vendor products or application customization can deliver the end result that can meet your environment specific cloud readiness requirements.
The final step is preparing for the migration of an application to the cloud. Devise a work plan and test cases for the actual migration. Based on the inputs from the validation phase about the type of application and its business requirements, the amount of planning required can vary. If downtime is not acceptable or needs to be minimized, the application should be migrated in phases, with both the existing and migrated applications available for some period of time.
The time taken to move to cloud computing can differ with each company. Regardless of the time it takes, the more meticulously you perform these 4 tasks, the smoother your migration will be. This will result in bettering your cloud computing migration experience.