Has your CIO tasked you to “up your game” as part of your department’s mid-year performance review? Has he or she demanded that you free up your IT team from day-to-day, routine activities to focus on other critical activities? If either – or both – of these sound familiar, leveraging the speed, scale and availability provided by cloud-enabled solutions is a good option to consider. But how do you successfully migrate to the cloud without striking out?
HOSTING’s just launched white paper, Cloud Computing Opportunities for Mid-market Companies, includes an 8-step plan for ensuring a successful cloud migration. Following is a quick recap:
1) Assess your current environment – Look at your white board and zero in on activities that are diverting your team from other business-critical initiatives. These could include new compliance obligations or common infrastructure services such as email, collaboration and web hosting that would benefit from being outsourced.
2) Identify opportunities to leverage cloud-enabled solutions – Develop a list of functions and services that could potentially be delivered more cost-effectively through the cloud. Projects that could require significant capital expenditures if deployed internally and those that require 24 x 7 x 365 monitoring and support should be at the top of your list.
3) Review available cloud solution options – There are approximately 3,000 companies in the United States alone who bill themselves as cloud solution providers (CSPs). List the resources you need to help you narrow down which CSPs are a good fit for your cloud initiatives. Our recent blog post, 3 Cloud Questions to Ask in Your RFP, can also help you identify the right CSP for your business.
4) Determine the risks and rewards for each project – Consider the following when mapping out your migration strategy:
- Time to implement
- Capital required if deployed internally
- Cost to migrate
- Availability requirements
- Recovery requirements
- Potential financial savings
Map these back to your existing budget and IT resources to help determine any potential risks and expected ROI.
5) Prioritize your “wish list” – Using the risk/reward analysis from step four, identify those projects that represent the most reward for the least amount of risk. Many organizations start with infrastructure opportunities such as moving to a hosted or managed email service or business functions that are failing to deliver the required results.
6) SSS (Start Small and Simple) – Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither should your cloud environment. Start with your number one priority, identify the right CSP and plan your first migration with them. Consider launching a pilot project with a small target audience and build from there.
7) Measure your results – Gauge performance against the expectations you determined in step four. Track results – both good and bad – so you can build on early successes and make adjustments where necessary. As your team becomes more familiar with the migration process, you can take on larger initiatives.
8) Plan out your next project – Got a successful project under your belt? Congratulations! Prioritize your remaining project list and move onto the next one. Factor in ongoing assessments to ensure your cloud environment is optimized to meet your company’s evolving business needs.
While every cloud initiative has its own complexities, HOSTING’s proven and proprietary methodology has enabled thousands of global companies to successfully migrate to the cloud. Need more tips? Download Cloud Computing Opportunities for Mid-market Companies here. And check out our on-demand webinar, Cloud 101: the Basics of Cloud Computing, for further insight.