As companies evaluate cloud computing as part of an overall business delivery model, deciding which applications are candidates to move to cloud and which need to remain in legacy environments is part of the planning process. Identifying business requirements up front creates the right basis for planning cloud projects, timelines, and resources.
The demand for consulting services designed around cloud readiness is being driven by customers looking for solutions that can get cloud technologies and legacy technologies – dedicated hosting or on-premise – to work together.
A cloud readiness assessment can be viewed as a series of stages. During the Discovery phase, a thorough examination of your current IT infrastructure gathers details about your business systems, their usage, performance, capacity, and application interdependencies, etc. Due to the complexity of IT environments and numerous IT demands, many large companies may not have a complete documentation or understanding of all their application environments. Most companies use a consultant during the assessment process because the specific expertise needed for this type of evaluation is not something an IT department normally has available to spare.
During the Analysis phase, you and the consultant review the data on each application and confirm its continued need, use and importance with users. You also need to confirm access, performance, security, compliance and other special requirements for each application. From there, you can discern and compile the infrastructure requirements.
In the Validation phase the initial findings are laid out and you determine a strategic vision for using cloud computing. You and the consultant explore different scenarios and options, and you determine which applications are ready to deploy, which could be ready if security, compliance and other requirements can be met by a vendor and which cannot be moved for whatever reason. Your consultant should be able to articulate how various vendors deliver their technology and should identify those vendors that could potentially meet your needs.
Migration Planning Phase
Based on your strategic vision, you select your vendor and proceed to the Migration Planning phase. Here you lay out a plan for preparing migrating, testing and moving to live production for each application. You also set critical requirements for security, storage, performance, etc. along with the timeline for accomplishing each move.
Some companies take longer than others to plan and execute their moves to cloud computing. Regardless of the time it takes, the more meticulously you perform these four tasks, the more smoothly your migrations will go and the better your cloud computing experience will be.