8.5 min to readCloud Services

How to make your cloud adoption successful? Follow these five steps!

SoftwareOne blog editorial team
Blog Editorial Team
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Cloud migration project plan

A lot of organisations want to move to the cloud. It’s scalable, secure, and gives many possibilities. However, often companies rush into it with no clear strategy.

As a result, many attempts at cloud migration projects fail because time and money are wasted, and people are frustrated. For some, opportunities and challenges connected with cloud migration are still a totally unknown territory.

So, what’s the best way to get started with the cloud? Here are 5 actions that, if taken, will help you succeed in your cloud migration project. Let’s dive in!

Make sure you know the goal of your project

The goal of cloud migration is not the technology itself. It’s a change in the organisation

In the past, there was business and there were supporting IT services, but they worked separately. Over time, they started to overlap – IT became part of the business.

Now, it’s time to merge them together because every company is on the path to becoming a technology company. The cloud is a way for you to leverage the technology for your organisation, making sure that you are not spending time figuring out how to do it. It allows you to use ready-made services.

Introduce cloud governance

Over time, you will just have more resources. We have clients who have more than 70 subscriptions in a single organisation. To manage all of them, you need a proper process in place.

This process is called cloud governance. Cloud governance is a foundation stone for a successful cloud adoption and subsequent management of the cloud in your organisation.

In the cloud, organizing resources means that you are defining the right structure of accounts, subscriptions, management groups, and applying a consistent strategy of company-wide policies on those resources. This way you’ll always know who the owner of a given subscription is, and how it is configured.

Key lessons for organizing resources in your cloud:

  1. Avoid multiple hierarchies in a single organisation. Keep it simple.
  2. Use a single identity source (if possible). If someone tells you there are limitations in your cloud identity management service and you need multiple tenants to handle your cloud, challenge them!
  3. Determine the owner of the hierarchy and policies in your organisation. Be it your cloud team or Centre of Excellence – you need someone to keep them under control.
  4. Specify how you classify subscriptions and resources into different types of environments (PROD, DEV, TEST). Different rules apply to them, and you want to keep them separate.
  5. Integrate the cloud resource management process with your ITSM (if you have one in place), but don’t let this step slow you down.

Prepare your environment for new resources

Once you start to onboard the resources into your organisation’s cloud, you don’t want to figure out, on the fly, how to connect them to the network, how to control the traffic between them, how to provide the basic services like a DNS, time service or backup. You want to be prepared beforehand.

Key lessons for preparing your environment for onboarding resources:

  1. Invest in the proper design and creation of a “landing zone” – it will pay off. We see many organisations struggle to do it at a later stage, trying to bring order to the existing chaos.
  2. Standardise basic environment setups. Use templates, prepare designs for common workloads. You will need them.
  3. Rethink how you manage access and roles in your cloud environment. It might turn out that the process doesn’t have to follow the on-premises model. Use RBAC to implement it in a standardized way (for common roles).
  4. Network setup is difficult. Think about how to make it right, involve your network people.
  5. Cloud network traffic might cost you money. It is different than on-premises. Understand your cloud cost model and make it right to avoid costly surprises.

Implement DevOps practices

People think that cost savings in the cloud come from cheaper resources. It’s not true. The resources might actually cost you more, but you can save a lot on operations and automation.

To operate and automate your cloud correctly, you need DevOps. Bring it up to the board early on. Implement a proper process to manage the cloud as code, and to deploy your solutions reliably on the cloud.

Once you have DevOps in place, you can move to different areas, optimize your costs with FinOps, implement data model operations and security practices.

Speaking of security – I cannot stress enough how important it is, especially right now, when we are seeing a spike in cyber security attacks on organisations. Adding security to DevOps creates a DevSecOps process, where security is a part of your cloud management process, deployments, it is automated and enforced on the workloads which are going into the cloud.

  1. Don’t treat DevOps as a technical CI/CD solution. It is a way to communicate about the product or result of delivery.
  2. Invest in automation. Early! It will pay off.
  3. Don’t forget about security as it will hunt you down later. Sort it out early and it will benefit you in the long run.
  4. The CI/CD infrastructure is a critical part of your environment. If it breaks, you lose the benefits of automation, but what’s more important is the security aspect. This infrastructure holds the keys to your kingdom in many cases. Be sure to guard it well.

Understand your cloud cost model

The biggest difference in the cloud (versus on-premises) is that everything you are using, every service or resource, is increasing your cloud bill. You need to learn what is affecting your costs to avoid getting surprised by large invoices.

Key lessons when it comes to cloud cost management:

  1. Define your cloud cost accounting model as part of your governance. Even if you treat it as a single bucket now, soon you will have to be able to allocate costs to specific projects.
  2. Keep things simple. You can always build upon them later. Start with simple resource tagging, then think if you need anything more advanced.
  3. Do not rely on people or tools doing the tagging. Make it part of your automation and use cloud policies to enforce it.
  4. Understand the cost model of your cloud and update your knowledge at least every quarter. It will pay off, in most cases, in direct cost savings.
  5. Cloud cost optimization is a constant process. Do not treat it as a one-time job. Make architecture and cost review part of your cloud maintenance process.

Cloud migration project – additional tips

Cloud is all about change, change on the technology side, but even more on the organisation side. What do you need to change in your organisation to make your cloud migration project plan successful?

Focus on user needs

It sounds obvious, but make sure that you know for whom you are doing your cloud deployment and what problem it needs to address. Understanding your user means you can better apply a cloud solution.

    In the past, your IT department was there for the IT expertise. Then there were other parts of the organisation, which were there for business expertise. Right now, you are working together, and you are becoming a technology-enabled company. It is very important to adapt and to become an IT organisation, supporting internal (and external) business needs.

    This change will affect a lot in our industry. It will affect the organisations, how they are built, how they operate. Some providers will go out of business. There will be new cloud providers emerging, and it will affect the careers – yours and your team’s - because you will be building new skills and onboarding new tasks.

    Keep in mind that a clear purpose of your project, implementation of cloud management and DevOps practices, preparing your environment for your resources, and understanding the cloud cost model are the key points of the successful cloud migration project plan.

    Look into the possibility of ongoing evaluation and optimization of cloud costs. It is in your best interest to follow the changing services and their costs in the cloud.

    You have to be aware of changes in your organisation. Focus on users’ needs, reconsidering your approach to procurement and budgeting, working with an open-source and DevOps practice are inevitable in a cloud migration project plan.

    If you need help preparing for the evolution of your organisation, solutions, and your knowledge of the cloud – talk to our experts. We can guide you through the entre journey.

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    Talk to a cloud expert

    Get cloud guidance from the pros. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our cloud experts.

    Talk to a cloud expert

    Get cloud guidance from the pros. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our cloud experts.


    SoftwareOne blog editorial team

    Blog Editorial Team

    We analyse the latest IT trends and industry-relevant innovations to keep you up-to-date with the latest technology.