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Structured flexibility: designing your cloud journey

Started ‎07-06-2022 by
Modified ‎07-06-2022 by
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My previous article discussed why your cloud strategy needs to be structured, yet flexible: to give you both standards and governance, and the ability to respond to changing needs and demands. This article discusses why you can, and should, use the same approach to determining how you will deliver your strategy: your ‘cloud journey’.


Migrating to cloud

We can define four broad stages to an organization's journey to cloud. These are generally related to cloud maturity. They are:

  • On-premises, where all the infrastructure is in-house, but is not fully meeting the organization's needs. The company has identified that it could make use of cloud—but how?
  • Hybrid cloud, where some applications or workloads have been moved to cloud, probably on a project basis. However, the organization is not yet fully committed to cloud. This can be an endpoint in itself, or it can be a stage in the process.
  • Full cloud, where the organization has moved everything into the cloud. At the moment, full cloud organizations are mostly early adopters or ‘cloud native’ companies.
  • Multi-cloud users, who move between clouds depending on their requirements. They might use AWS, Google and their own private cloud, or any other combination. The hallmark of these organizations is that their cloud use is seamless, but outstandingly flexible.

Each organization will therefore have a different start and end point to its cloud journey. Some might have ambitions to be multi-cloud users eventually, whereas others see a hybrid cloud situation as their ideal.

The level of maturity is therefore an important factor in your cloud journey, because it defines what is actually possible immediately. However, there is also another question: do you want to simply ‘lift and shift’ all your current processes into the cloud, or do you want a more fundamental review of what you are doing?

There are, as always, advantages to both. ‘Lift and shift’ means that nobody has to learn new processes as well as migrating to the cloud. However, it may also be a missed opportunity to review your systems and processes, especially if you are bringing together different legacy systems.


Combining options and opportunities

The best answer for most organizations is a combination: once again, rigid yet flexible triumphs. The key is generally to identify the processes that work well, and migrate them wholesale. After all, if something isn’t broken, there is no need to fix it. We could see that as the ‘rigid’ bit. However, where processes are not working very efficiently, they can be reviewed and revised to see if they can work more efficiently in the cloud. Most business units are well aware which processes need a bit of revision, and this is a very good opportunity to do it.


However, it is also worth recognizing that migration is not the end. Fortunately, a good ‘rigid yet flexible’ cloud strategy offers the opportunity to revisit processes later, and improve them again.

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‎07-06-2022 09:00 AM
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