What is the Cloud Readiness Assessment?
The Cloud Readiness Assessment provides organizations with a checklist to determine if they are ready to move to the cloud. This cloud readiness assessment checklist should include a survey of what, if any, needs to be done to the applications and data your organization uses to prepare for cloud migration. It also helps create a transition plan with minimal disruption to normal business operations.
Cloud readiness assessment checklist
A thorough cloud readiness assessment checklist includes discovery processes, assessment of team resources, understanding of current IT infrastructure, IT security and compliance considerations, operational readiness, and budget considerations.
Before defining what migration readiness looks like, a cloud strategy consulting organization should ensure that the planned migration aligns with business goals. This includes cost, cloud scalability, data resilience, failover, remote collaboration, and more.
- How quickly will your cloud environment need to grow or shrink as demand fluctuates?
- How do you plan to protect your business from disaster?
- And what does your cloud environment fail to deliver with your current infrastructure?
- What is your current setup, and what do you want to continue with the already working cloud environment?
- Do team members need access to specific applications on mobile devices or other remote locations?
Goals By defining and starting with, you can ensure that nothing significant remains in your cloud migration strategy.
Assessment and training of team resources
What internal resources are available? Where may additional training or talent be needed? Evaluating internal skills, available resources, and IT staff idle time and process gaps can be better indicated. If you don’t have a cloud migration expert or plan to add tools that no one else uses internally, you may need to seek outside help. Third parties can do everything from conducting assessments to planning and executing migrations to training your team.
Understand your IT infrastructure
Perhaps some workloads are easier to migrate to the cloud than others, and others may not need to be migrated at all. There may also be workloads that can be removed at some point in the migration process. By applying the cloud migration through a cloud strategy consulting service, you can categorize your workloads.
IT security and compliance
What you move to the cloud may partly or completely depend on your security and compliance requirements for your data. If some data has strict regulatory requirements, it may make sense to keep them in an on-premises framework. In addition to your compliance needs, weigh what you want to do with public and private clouds. It’s also important to determine if there are end-user or end-customer requirements for when to migrate.
It may sound obvious, but an important part of preparing for the cloud is ensuring that you are operationally ready for migration. Consider the following questions.
- Is the team willing to change the way they work to make progress?
- What training do you need to complete?
- Who do you need to hire for a successful migration?
- Will there be a maintenance window or suspension period if an outage may occur during the migration?
There may be a gap between what you want to accomplish and the resources to do it. The only way to know for sure is to budget for your migration plan.
- What is your preferred timeline for completing your cloud migration project, whether you do it all at once or in stages?
- Who is involved in the process?
- Do I have to pay for outside assistance?
- What is the cost of even minimal downtime?
- What are the licensing costs to switch to new software?
- How much will the cloud provider charge for the resources I need?
- How much downtime can you afford?
The more factors you consider in your budget plan, the better you will understand the overall cost of your project.
The risk of not assessing cloud readiness
Maybe you feel like you don’t have time to assess your cloud readiness before you migrate. However, rushing into this process can expose you to avoidable risks.
Moving something without addressing critical dependencies can lead to unplanned and excessive downtime, slowing productivity and performance and leading to loss of revenue and overall trust. The problem is often bigger than the average cost of his hour or day of downtime. Greater risk arises from the domino effect caused by the downtime itself.
Making hasty decisions and signing a vendor before deciding if they are the right partner for the task can lead to retention through long-term contracts and sunk migration and configuration costs.
Compliance should always be a priority when choosing a cloud provider. Your industry and level of data sensitivity determine your compliance needs. Failure to investigate this may conflict with government regulations.
Doesn’t scale as your organization grows
If your organizational plans call for growth, you need a cloud infrastructure that grows with you. Cloud readiness should also include scope and vision. That is, where you are now and where you want to be in a few years.
Cyber security vulnerabilities
Depending on the type of cloud service, such as storage service, software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS), the cloud provider may bear some responsibility for security. But remember that security is always a shared responsibility between the user and the provider. Lack of knowledge and preparation can lead to embarrassing and costly data breaches and lawsuits.
No plans for complexity
These issues can be compounded in large organizations that either lack a cloud adoption strategy or are already adopting a hybrid cloud. Moving to multiple cloud providers or a hybrid environment of on-premises and cloud requires interoperability and often integration between different environments.
Cloud Readiness Assessment Tools
The Cloud Readiness Assessment Tool serves as a convenient equivalent of a comprehensive checklist. Tools to assess cloud readiness with customers include:
• Azure Migration
This Microsoft Azure tool inspects and assesses on-premises resources and provides a simple interface for end-to-end tracking and insight. It also includes insights on Azure cost optimization opportunities.
• AWS Assessment Tool
AWS provides a prescriptive model that provides insight into an organization’s journey to the cloud, identifies gaps, and identifies strengths and weaknesses.
Cloudockit is a documentation tool that generates technical documentation and architectural diagrams to help organizations better visualize their cloud environments.
Cloudscape enables open-source web application development.
What are your reasons for switching to the cloud?
The Cloud Readiness Assessment shows how close your cloud migration strategy is to execution. It’s not just about finding your place on the timeline. It’s also about deciding if you should move to the cloud in the first place.
There are several reasons to migrate your application portfolio.
- Reduce cloud server hosting costs
- Improved business continuity through decentralization
- Innovative software features that require cloud access
- Improved connectivity to partner systems
- Ability to scale operations up or down as needed.
These are all great reasons to move to the cloud, but they don’t justify the move.
As well as benefits, there are also challenges:
- Regulations can prohibit hosting certain information in the cloud
- Cyber security regulations are far easier to comply with when your data is stored within your own premises
- The initial outlay for migration can be significant, meaning return on investment can take some time
- When your data is held on-site, it’s readily available at any time, but accessing cloud data requires a fast and stable data connection.
For these reasons, some companies are holding off on cloud migrations, while others prefer a hybrid option. Some organizations are even returning to on-premise solutions after their migrations.
Knowing whether to migrate, stay on-premise, or go for a hybrid option requires a cloud readiness assessment.
Nine specific data sets for cloud readiness assessment
1. The Business Objective Of The Migration
The key metric of the migration will make a difference to your overall strategy and what data is relevant to your assessment. If you’re looking to reduce hosting costs, then the value is more important than security; but if you’re looking to take advantage of innovative technology, you need all the features and connectivity you can get.
2. Current network load and dependencies
Understanding network usage is important. Migrating to the cloud can be disastrous if the cloud provider is unable to balance the load of on-premises servers. It goes without saying that you need to know which apps depend on other software. Be sure to evaluate your current needs and your new hosting service needs.
3. Mission-critical applications that shouldn’t have downtime
The migration process inevitably involves downtime while critical applications are migrated to new hosts. This is less of an issue for certain applications than others and should be prepared in advance.
4. Cloud Compatibility Of Each Application
Some applications were built for the cloud, while others existed long before the cloud was an option. If one of your applications cannot be migrated, you’ll need to find and switch to alternative applications before you start migrating to the cloud. In other words, before migration, you need to ensure that your application rationalization efforts are complete.
5. Complying with Cloud Regulations
Various cybersecurity regulations apply to cloud servers. Therefore, you must ensure compliance with regulations before transferring. This can be especially challenging as you have to comply with the regulations of the regions where your data is stored and where you operate.
6. Freedom to transfer data to the new system
Not all data is in the same format. Data often needs to be reformatted and synergized before completing a migration to the cloud. This typically represents the largest effort in a cloud migration initiative and must be completed before your application is ready to retrieve data from the cloud.
7. Migration strategy and schedule
From the above, we can see that moving to the cloud is only part of a larger process. Before you migrate, you should complete both the application rationalization and application modernization process and a set of data standardizations. All of this must be planned and timed to ensure success.
8. Stakeholder buy-in
Each application that you migrate has an owner who must approve the migration for it to proceed. Stakeholder approval of the plan should be factored into the evaluation.
9. Required budget
Cloud migration is an expensive process. Before you approve the migration and move on, you need to secure the budget necessary to successfully execute the migration.
The Cloud Strategy Consulting for Cloud Readiness Assessment
Gathering all the information listed above and everything else you’ll need to prepare for your cloud readiness assessment is easier said than done. This is why you need the right tool to catalog and analyze your application portfolio and data landscape to offer this information at your fingertips.
Cloud Strategy Consulting tracks complete information about your entire application portfolio and IT landscape. This includes
- business objectives
- application descriptions and dependencies
- application performance
- the owner of each application and stakeholders
- where each application pulls its data from
- contract terms and spend
- obsolescence and best-of-breed application alternatives
- your roadmap and timeline for transformation
A cloud readiness assessment not only helps you gain a thorough understanding of your current IT infrastructure and identify potential migration challenges but also creates a detailed action plan to ensure a seamless migration.