5 Steps to cloud adoption

Posted by ClearCloud

Cloud formation

You’ve heard the jargon, seen the success stories and now made the decision to join the ranks and move into the cloud. What you may not be aware of however, is the alarming rate at which businesses are failing to successfully adopt it.

For the most part, this is a direct result of poor preparation and limited internal expertise. Consequently, what should have been a technological step forward actually results in 10 steps backwards because it’s not cloud-ready.

So, in order to make cloud adoption a smooth and stress-free process that is also cost-effective, we’ve provided our five most important considerations that you need to make prior to switching.

1. Know why you want to adopt cloud technology

Firstly, you need to define your business justification and expected outcomes. Not only will it help with the design of the solution, but will make it easier for you to explain the process to frustrated – or unwilling – stakeholders and other members of the organisation.

Is it because you want to enhance your position as a market leader? Or has a round of investment required you to move towards this form of technology?

In the case of the former, if remaining ahead of competitors is the sole reason for the move, you’ll likely spend an excessive amount of money without really understanding what you’re trying to achieve. You need to truly understand what motivates you and why.

As for the latter, if the board has requested you to switch to cloud technologies, be sure you understand what it is they expect the outcome to be. For example, your board may instruct you to become more cost-effective through a bespoke set-up. Cloud providers allow for this by removing your dependence on virtual machines and physical servers.

2. Create an action plan for your migration

Now you know why it is you’re progressing with cloud technologies, aligning your actionable adoption plan to business outcomes should be straightforward. Separate your motivation for moving, your aims and objectives, and outline what it is you hope to achieve. This will help with your reporting post-adoption.

For example, if you’re hoping to maximise team performance and increase their flexibility through cloud adoption, by knowing this beforehand, you can report on your current output and monitor progression more precisely.

In theory, cloud adoption allows your team to share information between one another and collaborate on simultaneous projects while outside the office, allowing for speedier completion.

However, only by having these objectives mapped out beforehand are you able to prove the benefit of cloud and its contribution to success. If you build aimlessly, you’ll be left with a solution unfit for purpose. AWS has the Well-Architected Framework for this reason, and there is support you can access to help apply these industry-standard foundations.

3. Check your chosen platform has compatibility

Once you have your objectives outlined, you need to select a cloud platform that is tailored towards them. Cloud comes in various forms. Even the two most commonly used public platforms, AWS and Azure, have significantly different functionalities. You need to select one that can deliver on your goals.

In Azure, there are web apps for example that you can throw content at allowing for an easy build. On the one hand, this approach is straightforward and easy enough to use. On the other, it means that it’s near impossible to install third party modules on your site as you grow.

While it could be argued that AWS is easier to enhance, it is also less open to a hybrid strategy. As a result of restrictions against private clouds, certain organisations prefer the fluidity of Azure.

Should you fail to recognise the incompatibility of your platform with private clouds or technologies, you may be required to scrap the project and start again – a costly decision even a short distance into the process.

4. Avoid the hidden costs

Cloud is pay-as-you-go meaning it can spiral up and down without any consideration for your cashflow. If your cloud provider charges for egress network traffic for example, you can suffer enormous costs with next to no warning.

Imagine a celebrity putting out content on a media site of yours, or even simply mentioning your organisation. All of a sudden, thousands of their followers could flood your site – leaving you to foot the bill as you’ll be paying for each and every one of them.

So, make it clear to all stakeholders that while you may reduce costs in regard to the maintenance of your private servers or virtual machines, an increase in usage can still create further costs.

However, should you apply the right foundations and have the necessary expertise in-house, you can restrict traffic to your application. But this requires internal knowledge…

5. Get the expertise in-house to maintain and enhance your solution.

One of the biggest tech trends we’re witnessing at the moment is the rapid uptake in containerisation – with a predicted 50% of businesses using the technology in 2020.

When we say containerisation, we’re referring to the packaging up of software code (and all its dependencies) so that it can run consistently on any infrastructure. While it is true that developers are now able to create and deploy applications faster and more securely, it is not a skill that can be easily picked up in-house.

However, even with this simplification, you are still required to govern the environment and workloads. Without having the proper training in-house, you’re unlikely to be able to operate them to a good standard.

Be conscious that it’s a significant change for a traditional developer to go through – let alone a member of the team with limited knowledge of DevOps who will now be expected to supervise the technology themselves.

How we can help

At ClearCloud, we have the necessary expertise to walk you through cloud adoption. Whether launching your applications in AWS or upholding best practice within Azure, we ensure you switch to your chosen platform with minimal disruption to your business.

What’s more, we’ll train your team on the day-to-day running of the platform allowing for a more organic evolution and a reduced reliance on external support.

Like the sound of our approach? Get in touch today by emailing us on info@clearcloud.co.uk or by calling 0161 533 0286.

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