— by Gary Gauthier and Chris Bishop
Moving a data center to the cloud generally delivers benefits in performance, time to market for new services, cost and other key areas. However, a successful migration requires strategy and discipline. In fact, organizations that fail to meet their responsibilities before, during and after a transition tend to find themselves facing challenges they did not anticipate.
Many organizations investigating the cloud have only a vague notion of how the approach will actually impact their business and become more agile. They neglect to accommodate the new network and bandwidth demands that are created when they move workloads to the cloud. Some enterprises also don’t understand how shifting workloads to the cloud will affect daily operations, particularly the remaining on-premises applications that must seamlessly interact with cloud-based counterparts. As a result, organizations often select the wrong workloads to move to the cloud, or move them off-premises without conducting any type of application dependency mapping or application rationalization. All too often, organizations simply stumble into the cloud, blindly confident that things will work out.
Assuming Responsibility of Cloud Initiatives
Long before any workloads are moved, an organization’s managers must carefully study its current IT situation and future needs. IT and other organizational leaders should work together to examine all current on-premises workloads and applications to identify candidates that could function more efficiently in the cloud. These leaders should view potential cloud solutions as both an IT investment and part of the organization’s broader strategy. Specific approaches and goals should be scrutinized for cost and to see how each will tie back to core objectives and needs over the next three to five years.
Often, cloud adopters also neglect security. For example, many organizations that move to Office 365 assume that Microsoft will be responsible for handling all security risks. This isn’t true. While Microsoft handles major risks quite well, it can’t possibly address vulnerabilities that are unique to individual organizations. The customer is always responsible for creating the last line of defense.
Customer organizations are also responsible for staying on top of trends. The cloud is rapidly evolving and improving. While some cloud providers do a great job of alerting customers to potential new opportunities, organizations need to understand which new cloud technologies and services can help them achieve even greater cost savings and architectural optimization. Organizations that expect their cloud providers to update them on the latest and greatest capabilities are likely missing out.
Getting Started with the Cloud
A partner such as CDW can help establish a robust, flexible cloud strategy that doesn’t leave any responsibility gaps. CDW cloud planning services can help you develop a published cloud strategy that’s finely tuned to your exact needs, understand how a cloud transition will affect operations and match tactical objectives with a migration plan.
To learn more about how CDW’s cloud services can prepare your organization for a smooth migration, visit CDW.com/cloud