Cloud readiness is a major concern for many organizations as they seek to take advantage of many benefits a cloud migration offers. While moving data and processes to external outlets is more or less a seamless process when dealing with personal needs, such as using an online calendar and backing documents or photos up online, migrating company systems are more complex, particularly for organizations with aging legacy systems and sensitive data.
Cloud Readiness Definition: Cloud readiness is used as a general term to denote an organization’s overall preparedness to migrate processes and systems to the cloud. From the moment an organization’s leaders make the decision to move, until the actual deployment occurs, a cloud readiness scan must be performed and a myriad of areas must be addressed to ensure continuity and security.
A cloud readiness checklist is used to identify potential issues, so that risk can be minimized or avoided. Checklists commonly include a myriad of areas to address.
Application Readiness for Cloud/ Priorities: Most, but not all, processes and data can be moved. Some require more finesse than others and, occasionally, the difficulty of moving is not worth the benefits. For this reason, it’s important to work with an agency that specializes in cloud readiness services. Independent experts who handle setting up services and migrations on a regular basis are familiar with numerous services and programs that can help assess needs and mitigate issues.
Grouping: Occasionally, different aspects of the same utility or application are managed and paid for by different departments of an organization. Most often, this is seen with aging legacy software. For example, one component may handle payroll and be overseen by an HR department, while a second component may monitor inventory. It’s important to address each aspect of existing applications to determine if they can operate independently, if they must be moved at the same time, and which department needs to budget for changes, among other things.
Timeline: Determining the best timeline to reduce impact on business operations is paramount. If certain services have a major impact on revenue during a certain part of the month or year, a timeframe when impact is minimized should be selected.
Workload/ Capacity Needs: A cloud readiness tool is used to assess the current workload and infrastructure needs of any processes that will be moved. This establishes a baseline for needs and cost estimates.
Security/ Privacy/ Compliance: A cloud security readiness tool should be used to verify that all regulatory standards can be met with the new environment. Additional information related to the security of data and privacy must also be evaluated.
Moving to the cloud does not have to be an all-or-nothing plan. Oftentimes, existing applications can be moved to the cloud on their own, freeing companies up to focus on development rather than troubleshooting and maintaining hardware. Other times, organizations may benefit more from upgrading applications as processes are moved to the cloud. There is not a single cloud readiness strategy that works well for every enterprise, so a unique roadmap must be created and then rolled out, to ensure the greater needs of the business are met.