Remote working and a renewed push for better online services for customers is the new normal. Organisations are therefore increasingly moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud to support this. And while there has been talk in the past of how simple it was to start the journey by “spinning up instances with a credit card”, many are finding that it’s not as straightforward as they had thought or hoped.
The increased complexity of IT, disruption to operations and lack of the right tools and skills are all things that can hinder progress towards transformation. It’s also important to recognise that cloud isn’t the answer to everything (yes – we said it!) – some workloads are better suited to on-premises. In short, identifying the right approach is critical.
Transformation can take different forms. You could be migrating a single workload to the cloud for the first time, looking to move additional or different resources, or moving between clouds. But wherever you are on your cloud journey, Maple can help you avoid the common challenges and unlock all the benefits.
The first and most wide-reaching stumbling block for many on the cloud transformation journey is a lack of strategy. Without a robust, well thought-out plan, you can quickly run into issues around workloads that have different requirements and need different approaches, not to mention unexpected costs.
Cost is one of the key benefits to realise through cloud, but a lack of strategy or clear KPIs can lead to unexpected costs or unplanned overspend. These can seriously impact the ‘success’ of you transformation. It’s also a dynamic environment, with new services being released all the time, so it’s important to be aware of that and where your costs are.
Vendors offer a dazzling array of services, with more appearing every day. But beware – many can’t be extended to other cloud platforms. Moving between clouds can be a lengthy and costly process, so it’s important to understand your chosen vendor’s offering and the limitations.
Cloud providers work on a shared responsibility model, where they secure the infrastructure but not the data or applications. This means it’s your responsibility to configure services correctly, have backup provisions in place and making sure the migration itself is secure.
With experts across all of the major cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), we use a proven migration framework to assess, plan, design and deliver your migration project.
Our approach is broken down into five phases. These can be repeated on an iterative basis to make sure continued service improvement and optimisation is achieved.
Some teams manage to implement cloud migrations only to find they’ve replicated the infrastructure, and the limitations, of their previous set up or find that it’s costing more than anticipated.
Successful migrations are that those that consider existing environments, technical and business requirements and the budget and skills available to carry them out.
Gartner first outlined five strategies (R’s) for migrating legacy applications, but AWS now talks about seven R’s:
The cloud adoption frameworks of the three major cloud providers all recognise the discovery and planning phase as the key to successful cloud deployment. Maple’s discovery phase mixes toolsets and workshops to help our teams get to grips with the current landscape. This includes collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders and covers both the infrastructure and application layers.
The assessment phase delves into the information gathered during discovery. Again, working closely with both business and technical stakeholders, Maple review their findings and identify the best way to proceed in terms of the right environment, the right deployment model and, as appropriate, the right cloud partner.
The outcomes from the discovery and assessment phases feed into creating a plan for the required IT infrastructure and processes. This will include (but not be limited to):
Phase 4 first sees a period of development happen to make sure the identified platforms are set up to deploy the ‘early adopter’ workloads, that need the least re-engineering, modernisation, or investment. This creates a baseline platform to support optimisation and wider deployments. Once this is in place, further deployments can be performed in a staged process to maintain stability, minimise disruption and reduce risk.
As technologies change and new services are released, it’s important to continuously manage and optimise your digital assets. This can be done with the help of appropriate toolsets and by working with knowledgeable partners, who can make sure you continue to benefit from lower costs, reduced management overheads and better performance.
A cloud transformation project delivered in partnership Maple will benefit all stakeholders:
Maple offer a full range of services across the major cloud providers, including hybrid cloud options: