Businesses are racing to adopt cloud as a critical element of their digital transformation journey. Cloud technology has become an essential part that defines a modern day business as it provides a competitive advantage, higher scalability, seamless collaboration efficiency, and flexibility.
The added uncertainty caused by the pandemic has only accelerated cloud adoption led by the shift to the remote and virtual. As a result, organizations have realized the significant benefits that cloud offers. According to a survey conducted by Gartner, over 70% organizations are planning to increase their investment in cloud.
But challenges remain
Even after migrating to cloud, some businesses are faced with exponential increase in the cost of maintaining a cloud environment. They also sometimes end up combating unexpected business issues. This is because of the urgency to adopt cloud that has left organizations to adopt cloud solutions without assessing their business strategy and goal, leaving them with unrealized cloud advantages.
According to a research conducted by Accenture, only 37% companies are availing the full benefits of their cloud investments. This is just a mere 2% growth from 2018. This highlights that businesses are still struggling to maximize cloud investments and draw value. But all of this can change with Azure Cloud Adoption Framework.
Migrate to cloud the right way – with the tenets of Cloud Adoption Framework
What can companies do to not go wrong and adopt the right cloud migration strategy? The Azure Cloud Adoption Framework brings six scenarios that every organization could experience during their cloud adoption journey. This robust analysis is to guide organizations to find the best solution that aligns with their current business challenges.
1. Create a Cloud Strategy that Aligns With Your Business Context and Goals
Cloud solutions should be enabling, not slowing down your business. Therefore, before anything else, it is highly imperative for organizations to assess their cloud strategy. Ideally, an organization’s cloud adoption strategy should be aligned with specific business goals. Avoid jumping into the cloud race without having a defined business context, what kind of cloud solution would you be requiring, and what kind of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems you have in place to support the cloud adoption journey. Based on the business vision and mission, your organization can choose to adopt:
- Hybrid and Multi-cloud adoption scenario: given what best suits your business model, this scenario focuses on two situations: Hybrid or Multi-cloud Adoption and Unified Operations. Hybrid or Multi-cloud Adoption comprises of building, deploying and migrating portable solutions from your on-prem setup, giving the business more space to move between cloud platforms, with complete control of vendor-lock-ins. Unified Operations is a central setup of governance and management processes which streamline operations to support cloud solutions.
- Modern application platform scenario: organizations require managed services, application services, and containers to be included in their strategy so that it can help them boost their developers’ productivity, reduce operating costs, make portable workloads portable, and streamline legacy workloads
- SAP adoption: Azure cloud adoption framework extends it support cloud integration support with SAP platform. The SAP and MS Azure Team have created a comprehensive framework to migrate and innovate SAP on the Azure platform.
- Desktop virtualization: you can also choose to migrate your end-user desktop to the cloud and improve employee productivity and speedup migration of various workloads to enhance user experience.
- Cloud adopting the retail industry: MS Azure also provides cloud adoption framework for retail companies. This scenarios specifically designed to help a retail companyies with its end-to-end cloud adoption journey.
2. Figure Out the ‘Antipatterns’ of Adopting Cloud and Work Your Way Around
Antipatterns are common missteps or errors that occur during the design, planning, or implementation phase of migrating to the cloud. These antipatterns cease innovation and stop businesses from adopting or meeting goals. Many companies who have declared their plans for being a cloud-first firm often miss out on clearly establishing what they hope to achieve with the adopted strategy. Without clear defined KPIs only a few cloud adoptions would succeed as it is difficult to evaluate the success of a particular product without important key indicators.
Therefore, as customers normally face such antipattern issues during their cloud adoption journey, Azure has charted out a list of all possible antipatterns, the methodologies, the cloud adoption phases these patterns occur in, and the possible solution to avoid such circumstances. For example, when businesses rush to adopt cloud without having clear strategic gaols, they become victims of the inadequate motivation antipattern. To mitigate these, Azure Cloud Adoption Framework provides further scenario details get the best out of cloud adoption.
3. Your Foundational Decisions Affect Your Cloud Adoption Journey
Cloud adoption journey provides many business, technical, and organizational benefits. But before starting the journey, there are certain fundamental foundational decisions that every organization needs to take, record, and later use to align their cloud journey with as per their business prerequisites. In this scenario, the Azure Cloud Adoption Framework offers an initial decision template to record the required foundational decisions.
While charting out the journey of cloud adoption in the decision template, organizations will be able to use the template to prepare a team who would participate in the cloud adoption journey. Furthermore, to streamline the cloud adoption organizations would be required to know what Azure is to begin with, familiarize themselves with the fundamental concepts and terms used in Azure and how they are related to each other, align portfolio hierarchy supported by Azure.
4. Make Your Cloud Serve Faster Business and Technical Outcomes
Cloud adoption means going through a full technical change. Therefore, to get faster business and technical gains off the cloud, a solid IT team becomes essential. But that’s not enough. As cloud migrations are complex and daunting, it needs more than IT to digitally transform.
- Accelerate migration with better team alignment: If your cloud adoption strategy is aligned with the business and IT stakeholders, then it helps in accelerating migration. Therefore, it is recommended to have a better change management and stakeholder alignment in place to do-away with any blockers and add timely value to business.
- Prepare to host innovative solutions on the cloud: Creating new innovative products and services in the cloud for faster business and technical gains follows a different set of approach than migrating to the cloud. The dedicated approach can help in creating innovative cloud solutions that are structured, add value, and are governed.
- Environment design and configuration: Environment design and configuration are the two most common blockers of cloud adoption. But with the right steps, organizations can accelerate their move to building a cloud environment with proper configuration.
5. Upgrade and Improve Your Operations and Align People
Cloud adoption is a huge change for any organization. Therefore, having a good cloud operating model backing up your adoption is only going to help transitioning easily. At this juncture in the cloud adoption journey, it’s advisable to think about making organizational changes and bring in the people you need. Here are the guides that will help in operational and organizational improvements:
- Guide to operational excellence & organizational change management: operational and organizational changes go hand-in-hand during a cloud adoption journey. Operational excellence affects IT decisions, therefore, during digital transformation, having a good business strategy empowered by IT team will help reduce cost and streamline processes. Layering this up with organizational change management, adding the right mix of people, processes, and technology strengthens the business strategy.
- Start optimizing enterprise cost: when dealing with cloud cost, it boils down to three things – establishing budget, tracking budget allocation, and controlling budget expenditure. Therefore, cloud governance is important when optimizing cost during cloud adoption. A cost-conscious cloud journey is achieved through shared ownership and collaboration between different teams.
- Security guidance to minimize risk of breach: security is a constant during cloud adoptions. Organizations should focus on avoiding cybersecurity risks to business during their cloud journey. This can be mitigated by forming the right set of best practices and integration specific to your business.
- Improve reliability at enterprise level: balance is essential during cloud adoption given the complexity of the task. Therefore, striking the right balance ensures reliability across the organization and control over inconsistencies in configuration, resource organization, security baselines, or resource protection policies.
- Maintain performance across enterprise: good performance across all workloads requires governance of the centralized operations management system and making sure that it taking care of the controls and processes that drive performance in an organization
6. Find the Right Team to Support Adoption and Operations
The right pool of skilled talent can really build and contribute to the cloud adoption strategy and operating model. Therefore, it is essential to find the right team to support an organization all the way in its cloud adoption journey. This section helps in initiating the process of building new teams:
- Align your organization and structure your teams: Everything comes down to finding the right skillset for the right job. Similarly, to create an effective cloud operating model, it is primary to have and maintain an appropriately staffed organizational structure.
- Build a cloud strategy team for the right strategy: To ensure cloud adoption efforts are in line with the business requirements, it is essential to have a strategic team which is going to help define motivations and business outcomes by maintaining the connection between business requirement and the cloud adoption efforts.
- Build a cloud adoption team for the right execution: Cloud adoption teams are technical experts who help with cloud migration and keep the adoption aligned with the business at all times. The fluidity of the team depends on the complexity of the cloud adoption. Once the team is in place, they can be aligned with others to govern and provide technical solutions throughout the cloud strategy.
- Build governance team to manage risk: a cloud governance team manages and evaluates the risks and risk tolerance a business is subjected to during cloud adoption. This team can help identify which risks an organization can or cannot tolerate and turn them into corporate policies.
- Build a cloud operation team for effective and seamless operations: the cloud operation teams takes care of monitoring, repairing, and improving any issue related to IT operations and assets. Therefore, during cloud adoption, it is beneficial to assess if a cloud operating team is required to be developed.
Make the Most of Cloud
Cloud migration is a complex journey which requires attention to each nuance to make the business transition and ultimately function smoothly. Restructuring the tech-infrastructure and architecture requires attention to details and thorough understanding of the kind of restructuring required in a given business. The integration of a cloud solution should at the end help an organization meet its business goals.