Five tips on executing a successful cloud strategy and safeguarding key application migration through digital performance analytics.
My New Year has started with some great new opportunities in the digital transformation arena and range from some small start-ups to multi-national banks. So despite all of the Brexit phoney war being waged by the politicians, the majority of business leaders I speak to seem remarkably upbeat about the future.
Without a doubt 2017 is the year that Cloud Computing finally becomes mainstream and most organisations including the public sector are going full-steam ahead and embracing public, private and hybrid approaches.
Of course there are always some IT leaders who will say that “it’s just not secure” but I always point out that if the UK and US government and defence organisations are using it surely that is a good enough reason to think differently? Additionally, Azure and AWS have many hundreds of security experts and collectively know a lot more about threats than the average enterprise security department.
In my view the real challenge facing CIO’s is more to do with migrating existing applications into the cloud. This is particularly difficult if you haven’t done the basics properly in the first place. These include:
- Cloud strategy - building from the business strategy
- Discovery of existing state - can we technically and culturally execute?
- Business case - recoverable and opportunity costs
- Sourcing strategy - do I want to commit to one provider?
- Executive sponsorship - who are my supporters at executive level?
You may not be surprised to hear that in many cases not only do organisations not understand fully why they are moving to the cloud, but some have started to move ahead without assessing how they will migrate their applications across.
This is why the strategy is so important, but perhaps even more fundamental than this is the question, “which applications will I be moving into the cloud and which are just too legacy”? I recently met an organisation that had hundreds of applications and although they had built their cloud, they hadn’t even discovered exactly how many applications they were running let alone start moving them to the cloud.
I was recently traveling on my regular trip to the UAE and experienced a similar “information overload.” I was presented with so many film choices I just didn’t know where to start and ended up watching “The Magnificent Seven” as it was just easy and familiar. If I had a brief description and slightly more knowledge, then I could have made a more informed choice but became very frustrated and went back to what I knew. This seems to be similar to the application problem which we see developing this year as more organisations move to the cloud. Applications need to be carefully audited, mapped and analysed as they are being migrated across to the cloud.
Fortunately, there is help at hand. There are some great ways to audit your applications, devise a migration strategy and then build an “abstraction layer” that gives you flexibility to move applications in a controlled manner. At the same time, you can ensure that the performance and success of the migration to the cloud is controlled with great analytics.
That’s why I believe that most of the work we will be doing this year will be helping organisations build sound cloud models and implementing them with a great methodology around application migration combined with world-class analytics. This is where we think digital performance of applications is so important to making a success of a transformation strategy and that analysing and tracking progress is so vital to CIO’s.