It’s no secret that CIOs everywhere are interested in digitally transforming their business. However, sometimes knowing exactly how to focus in on transforming a business often the cause of heated debates among company CIOs, VPs of IT, and technology decision makers everywhere
In the pursuit of this digital transformation and to reach the future data center—one thing is always clear: cloud must be embraced—and in fact, most agree that the path towards this starts with the hybrid cloud. It is also clear from Rightscale’s Cloud Computing Trends report for 2017 that “optimizing cloud costs is the top initiative across all cloud users.”
EXPLAINING THE HYBRID CLOUD
So, before we begin, what is the hybrid cloud? The hybrid cloud is the combination of private (third party) and public (on-premises) cloud services. Is it possible to move to the hybrid cloud and still be confident of how to control and optimize the cost of such a transition? And which applications should you try to move to the cloud? These questions aren’t easy to answer because the answer usually depends on both your company’s digital transformation objectives, and what your vision of your future datacenter is. All of this does not mean there aren’t smart ways to start exploring your transformation to the hybrid cloud, so don’t get discouraged. Starting your digital transformation with the four simple steps below.
Step 1: Envision Your Future IT Strategy
Having an end goal for your future datacenter and an idea of its architecture will be valuable in starting your exploration. While it’s likely this vision will morph during the course of actual implementation—it’s important to know what your high-level goals are to make sure you are headed in the right direction. Additionally, having a vision and an initial architecture will help get the much needed buy-in from the many stakeholders in any digital transformation project.
Step 2: Know Your Security Risks —Before You Move
Once again, security remains a top concern for businesses moving to the cloud. And rightly so—because knowing how data is stored, who owns it, and what security measures your potential cloud provider has must be resolved before you start your transformation. Portability also plays a factor now, as it is a critical component for businesses and challenges IT to meet employee demand while still securing private information.
You will be dealing with a shared security model when you move to the cloud, which means that there are plenty of moving parts involved in the process. So, gather that information first—and review it carefully to define what you are responsible for from a security perspective.
Step 3: Know Which Applications/Workloads Are Strategic
Each business is different—and just deciding to move an application or workload because it’s easy or because another business did it isn’t good enough. Carefully evaluate which applications should be moved based on their strategic value to transforming your business. These reasons could be based on cost-savings, ease of use, lack of expertise in managing the application onsite, or the ability to ease future transformations. The important thing to remember is that you know your business needs, so work with your transformation experts to identify key strategic workloads and applications to move to the cloud based on your own business goals.
Step 4: Know Your Costs and How to Manage Them
Oddly enough, this one gets many people in the end. They don’t really know the TCO for existing processes, and therefore don’t have a clear measuring stick by which to judge the TCO of their proposed cloud solution. Knowing these things gives you a good way to evaluate the financial benefit of your transformation.
However—this is a two-part step; and step two is what many cloud-users are concerned about, especially those who have moved to the cloud. Knowing exactly what you are spending, how to optimize that spend, and how to properly bill out to various business stakeholders is often overlooked. Don’t get caught by those concerns unexpectedly. Have a clear plan on how to control, optimize, and bill before you start your transformation.
If you find yourself needing help, SoftwareONE has an excellent starting point to assist you in your digital transformation: The Hybrid Cloud Advisory Service, part of the AzureSimple offering. This service not only provides you with all the information you’ll need to accomplish the first four steps outlined above, but also can help you determine additional steps you can take like implementing automation to further speed your journey towards your future datacenter.
The time to start your digital transformation is now. Start exploring and planning how you’ll accomplish this on time, on budget, and in ways that will truly benefit your business.