An Introductory Guide To AWS Adoption

Posted by ClearCloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most broadly adopted cloud platform. And at a time when remote working is essential, it’s popularity only continues to increase. However, migrating from on-premise solutions (or even other cloud platforms) to AWS is no small feat – nor is it necessarily cost-effective.

Yes, moving workloads to the cloud does provide a cost-saving of around 31%. And yes, your IT team will typically experience a productivity boost of 63%. But businesses can just as easily lose that value in consultancy fees when attempting to migrate or salvage a legacy system.

Get adoption right the first time though, and you’ll recognise the immediate difference in performance and cost-efficiency. And to help you do just that, we’ve provided an introductory guide to AWS adoption as well as a strategy for moving forward.

Have an overarching goal

Got big plans for this year? Be sure to note them down ahead of adoption. By doing so, you can clearly explain to stakeholders how AWS will help you achieve those aims and what you require of the team to make it so.

It’s much easier to make behavioural changes when those impacted understand why you’re making them. Whether it’s to keep costs down or to build higher-performing applications, be sure to communicate it to your employees.

What’s more, by doing so, you can evaluate the success of migrating and accurately determine the cost benefit.

Understand how AWS can help meet that goal

AWS is one of the leading voices in cloud technology. It’s popularity over other platforms stems from a simplistic approach and ease of use. In terms of pricing, AWS is also more affordable once your architecture starts scaling up.

What’s more, AWS has a better relationship with the open source community allowing for more open source integrations such as Jenkins and GitHub. Similarly, it’s also friendlier to Linux servers. This may come in handy depending on your applications and their needs.

Once you’ve articulated the role of AWS in your organisation’s evolution, the next step is to prepare an action plan that factors in all the necessary business functions and how they can embrace cloud.

Create an action plan

We’re not talking your run of the mill checklist. To adopt AWS correctly, you need to adhere to their Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF). The AWS CAF is a plan like no other. It requires you to split your attention across six areas and prepare for adoption according to each. Known as perspectives, these include:

Business perspective: The purpose of this is to help you move away from having separate strategies for business and IT, to a strategy that aligns the two.

People perspective: People relates to your employees and the measures you put in place to prepare them for cloud adoption.

Governance perspective: By integrating IT and organisational governance, this perspective allows you to identify how technology can support business processes.

Platform perspective: The platform perspective is the process of defining and describing the system design and your architectural standards according to business goals.

Security perspective: As you would imagine, this perspective helps you to structure the selection and implementation of controls.

Operations perspective: Operations helps users to run, use, operate and recover IT workloads to levels that meet the requirements of business stakeholders.

According to the CAF, each perspective dictates work streams that you and your leadership team should allocate to those carrying out your transition. By doing so, you will uncover gaps in your existing skills and processes – these are recorded as inputs.

Once you’ve got your list of inputs and you’ve secured the necessary facilities to address them, it’s time to build. However, before you roll your sleeves up and get stuck in, you need a clear understanding of what good looks like using the 5 pillars of a Well-Architected Framework.

Build according to the 5 pillars

The 5 pillars act as a foundation for AWS building and deployment. They help architects to build the most secure, high-performing and resilient infrastructure possible. By neglecting these principals, your solution could become unstable – or at the very least, fail to meet stakeholder expectations.

The five pillars are as follows:

Operational excellence: The running and monitoring of systems to deliver business value and steadily improve processes.

Security: The protection of information and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.

Reliability: The ability to recover a system and its infrastructure, while also preventing service disruption and network issues.

Performance efficiency: The ability to use resources efficiently so they meet system requirements and maintain efficiency as technologies and demand change.

Cost optimisation: The ability to avoid or eliminate unnecessary costs or suboptimal resources.

Provided your internal expertise is capable of addressing any inputs, there should be nothing preventing you from adhering to the 5 pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework. After that, you’re ready to start maximising the benefits of the cloud.

How ClearCloud can help

Most organisations run into difficulty when they don’t perform an accurate review of each perspective, or do perform a review but fail to address the inputs.

Fact is, you need the resources to build according to best practice – which is where we come in. We not only help your organisation migrate but teach your team to become architects in their own right. As part of our service, we instil our expertise into your employees so that once you’ve transitioned, they’re able to handle – and maintain – the solution themselves.

With ClearCloud, AWS adoption has never been so easy. So, if you’re looking to move off-premise, get in touch and a member of our team will walk you through our approach to AWS today.

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