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The Cloud Readiness Assessment Checklist for Your Company’s Smooth Cloud Migration

17 June 2020

9 minute read

A flock of birds in flight

Cloud migration is a pondering that’s on the minds of many business leaders across industries. While on-premise solutions used to be the ultimate choice for most companies just a few years ago, the landscape is rapidly changing.

Cloud technologies allow companies to bypass the use of costly IT infrastructure and its maintenance on-site, while at the same time providing flexibility, speed, and enterprise-grade security options. As they are becoming the industry standard, business leaders and IT departments are now struggling with a Shakespearean question: To move to the cloud, or not? And if yes, how?

First and foremost, companies have to figure out what are the right reasons for such a transition and to analyze if these are applicable to their particular case. Then, it’s a matter of identifying the right moment to jump in and migrate the legacy systems and applications. And of course, a major consideration is how to achieve the migration without wreaking havoc on the business.

In the sections below, you can find a checklist for business leaders who want to prepare a solid cloud migration strategy. With the help of these guidelines, you can ensure the smooth move to the cloud - for your team and for your customers.

The motivation and preparation checklist

Before you can answer the “to be or not to be” question for the cloud migration of your company, there are a few important points that you need to address internally.

What is our motivation and reasoning for cloud migration? You should first take a deep look into the reasons for your company to migrate to the cloud. As with any endeavor, the right motivation is key to achieving the best results.

The typical motivation for businesses to seek migration to the cloud includes:

  • Staying abreast of the competition
    If most of your competitors are in the cloud, it may feel like you’re lagging. One of the major benefits of the Cloud is the ability to scale endlessly, which allows organizations to grow as they need, and opens the door to the development of new business models.

  • Meeting customer expectations
    Depending on your industry, your customers may also have demands, such as about the availability of services, which can be delivered with cloud, as well as about more granular and flexible pricing plans. Additionally, cloud technologies offer a better insight into customer usage patterns, which allows leadership to focus on their competitive advantage and better craft their value proposition.

  • Ensuring enterprise mobility
    Remote work is no longer reserved for internet companies only. This has become evident with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as companies that can operate online with distributed teams are the ones that stay in the best shape during the crisis. Migrating to the cloud allows your business to run remotely, whether it’s a company policy or due to an external limitation.

  • Overcoming problems with hardware
    Running everything on-premise has a high price tag, and there are a number of aspects that make it costly and complicated. The hardware ages and needs to be replaced periodically. Growing traffic and increased activity require constantly purchasing more storage. Operating multi-region infrastructure requirements puts a heavy financial burden as well.

  • Bypassing issues with outdated infrastructure
    Your servers need regular updates in order to ensure uninterrupted service. Sometimes there are issues with outdated software that are difficult to resolve.

  • Overall cost management
    Your servers need regular updates in order to ensure uninterrupted service. Sometimes there are issues with outdated software that are difficult to resolve.

It’s a good idea to list in detail the reasons that apply to your business. Then you can make an assessment if there are enough ticks against the checkboxes to justify a major change such as cloud migration.

What are we going to win from it?

Next, you can outline the benefits that you can reap if you go for cloud migration.

The most common gains that companies look for include:

  • Reduction of IT-related costs for hardware and software to support on-premise solutions
  • Enhanced accessibility for your team to the company systems from anywhere and at any time, allowing fully remote operations
  • Scalable infrastructure capabilities on-demand to meet the needs of a larger number of devices
  • Less hassle with complex infrastructures
  • Development agility and quicker go-to-market process
  • Greater flexibility and speed of services for your customers

Using these as a starting point, you can set on paper the benefits that your business is seeking. Then you can juxtapose them with the reasons for cloud migration that you included in the previous section, and make an assessment.

What should we watch out for?

Your analysis should also cover the potential problems that may arise with moving to the cloud. Before you launch any operation work on the migration, it’s important to make a preview of obstacles that can pop up.

Here is a list of some of the usual concerns:

  • Are there any system or application interdependencies that can hamper the migration of one or many elements?
  • Are there any applications or systems that have to be updated or otherwise modernized before transferral to the cloud?
  • Are there any on-premise technology integrations that might break up the user journey for your customers or for your team?
  • Do you have to comply with any industry regulations that do not allow the storage of sensitive user data in the cloud?

Who can execute the migration?

Last but not least, you should make an internal audit of expertise. It’s important to identify whether you have the needed experts in your team who can actually perform the migration successfully. The list of professionals who would need to be involved in the process includes a business analyst, project manager, infrastructure specialist, security expert, and potentially, also an architect for larger and more complex migrations.

In case you lack the skills internally, you can opt to work with an external consultant who can analyze and execute the cloud migration with you. Even if there are specialists in your staff, you may still choose to use some third-party help. The considerations for this include the time of your employees which would need to be redirected to the cloud move, as well as cost assessments. There are various options for using external assistance. It can be in the form of advice, actual execution but without the planning phase, and complete planning and migration.

In general, it often pays off to work with a trusted partner who can offer you high-quality cloud migration services. That’s how you can avoid an extra burden internally, as well as ensure the smooth transition process.

The cloud migration process checklist

Once you’ve completed the preparatory checklist and you’ve reached the educated conclusion that your business would benefit from cloud migration, it’s time to plan the actual process. How are you going to execute the move?

Map out your existing infrastructure

The first step in this action checklist is to identify what your on-premise environment looks like right now. You should map out your servers, workloads, utilization metrics, and storage, among others. It’s key to spot all the interdependencies between systems and apps. Make sure to also assess the impact of the move on aspects like your data governance, security rules, and disaster recovery plans.

Conduct a gap analysis

On the basis of the mapping, you can also inform your gap analysis. It is necessary in order to decide what will happen with each of your applications. Some will be retained, while others will need to be re-hosted, refactored, re-platformed, or re-architected. It will also give you an overview of non-functional aspects, such as issues with security, resilience, storage, maintenance, and cost of operation.

Choose the type of cloud and the right cloud vendor

You need to select the model and type of cloud that would best suit your company’s needs and security requirements. The cloud platform types include IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. The four possible types are public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud, which is usually a mix of a few public cloud IaaS environments.

Then, you have to choose a cloud vendor. This is a complex decision in its own right, as you have to combine a number of considerations. The typical criteria that you need to keep in mind when assessing public vendors include security, compliance, support, and pricing, among others. For private cloud vendors, you have to analyze factors such as location, reliability, integration, and complexity of technology.

Estimate the cost of migration

Once you’ve chosen the vendor you’d like to work with, you can also make a total estimation of the cloud migration cost. You need to consider that some applications may actually be more expensive to be run on the cloud, while for many, the case is the opposite. Don’t forget to account for both the initial investment and the total cost of ownership.

Lay out your migration roadmap

As a final step, it’s worth creating a migration roadmap. It would contain all the information from your preliminary analysis, together with step-by-step details of the actions that have to be taken. The roadmap would also set the time frame for conducting different phases of the migration, which should be planned with a full overview of business considerations.

Ready to start your cloud migration journey?

Taking the step to move your legacy systems and applications to the cloud is not a simple process. Working with an experienced third-party software consultant, however, can help you make the right choices and figure out the right timing so that you don’t put the cart before the horse. Collaborating with such a partner would allow you to conduct the most appropriate cloud readiness assessment before you push the start button.

You can get started with Resolute Software’s cloud readiness assessment package. This assessment will provide you with an all-encompassing overview of needs and a roadmap for a winning and cost-effective cloud migration.

Ready to go? Get in touch with us to learn how we can help.






Antonia Bozhkova
Antonia Bozhkova

Antonia is an experienced digital marketing professional with proven success in developing results-oriented initiatives that achieve business objectives. Skilled in marketing strategy, user behavior analysis, and content marketing, she has the ability to influence thinking and effect change in organizations.

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