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How to Prepare the Organization for Cloud Migration

Anoop Prasad | 03 Sep 2020 | Cloud Migration, Newsletter

Cloud momentum is gaining ground globally as well as in India. According to a report by Nasscom Indian Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) spending was estimated to be about $ 1 billion in 2018, and forecast to grow at 25 % per annum to reach $ 2.3–2.4 billion in 2022. The report titled ‘Cloud – Next Wave of Growth in India’ said Cloud spending in 2018 was estimated to be about 6 % of the total IT spending.
Clearly more organizations are embracing the Cloud to take advantage of new capabilities. Umbrella Infocare has enabled the Cloud journey of many organizations across different business sizes and verticals and acquired deep insights into what works and what doesn’t while migrating workloads to AWS.

Based on our experience, we share our insights that can help organizations prepare the path to Cloud.
1) Just get started: Getting started is the important first step. While planning is important often dwelling on execution details stalls migration initiative. Umbrella has found that early Cloud adopters started small—just a small team of 1-2 dynamic engineers is good to get going, open an AWS account and try out services from the console. It will get the adrenaline flowing as you get familiar with the environment, acquire skills and get the confidence. Many organizations have already tread the path, faced similar questions and arrived at effective answers and solutions.
2) Cloud’s Executive Sponsors: Cloud initiative must have executive sponsorship with a senior leader owing the program and providing strategic direction. Ideally the program is led by the CIO or a CXO taking care of critical things such as aligning technical and business objectives; calibrating short-term and long-term goals and managing expectations of stakeholders within and outside the organization. The Cloud Executive Office comprises representations from procurement, legal, risk and audit teams; Chief Information Security Officer; Heads of infrastructure and delivery; along with the managers of engineering and product from Cloud team.
3) Migration Goals: Important to start with knowing the business goals of migration. It could be to reduce costs; achieve digital transformation; close down the datacentre. More important to have convergence of business and technical goals by discussing and agreeing upon specifics and publishing the goals, so there is a consistent direction to the Cloud journey. Our experience finds Cloud journey hits unnecessary roadblocks with differing expectation levels amongst stakeholders—common challenge being the business need for agility and the need for security and compliance.
4) Schedule a session with AWS or Partner for all Questions: As you embark your journey, there will be numerous critical questions to get clarity which will affect your decision making. Different stakeholders may have questions all of which are important to address. Gather all questions systematically and schedule a session with AWS or a certified partner to clarify your questions. These discussions will help understand the big picture and provide the correct inputs in making tactical and strategic decisions. It is best to leverage the expertise of an experienced partner who has migrated hundreds of servers, understand the complexities of migration, have in-depth knowledge of AWS services and features and can help navigate licencing and pricing challenges.
5) Develop a Governance Framework: Each organization must align security and compliance objectives with regulatory requirements of its business and design its security strategy accordingly. The Cloud Migration team must understand the model of shared responsibility and develop a framework of best practices such as infrastructure-as-code, who to provide access to what kind of resources, how to monitor access, raise alerts and take auto-remedial measures. AWS datacentres have dozens of industry certifications to ensure customer data security at the physical level. But it is the customer who alone is responsible whether to allow access to the server, network and data and configure it accordingly.
6) Communication Strategy: All Cloud efforts must be accompanied by a communication strategy to educate stakeholders about the nuances of the new model and align existing systems and processes and optimize as the model evolves. For example, procurement must become adept at managing operating expenditure, just as legal must become aware of new implications in the Cloud model. Since the success of any new initiative depends on user adoption, every stakeholder must be aware of behaviourial changes which includes adherence to governance framework to meet security and compliance requirements.
7) Take Stock of Skills: The existing team may lack new skills related to managing Cloud so many of our customers have relied on a combination of upgrading skills of existing team by helping with trainings and certifications, and by leveraging the technical expertise an experienced partner brings to the table. Training and stock taking is a comprehensive activity encompassing departments such as purchase and legal who must be reoriented to understand the nuances of working with new operating models.

As a Premier Consulting Partner of AWS, Umbrella Infocare has institutional assets and knowledge base to build a strong operational foundation for large scale migrations. It includes a migration methodology for executing legacy migrations in a methodical way and a robust set of tools to automate and accelerate common migration scenarios.  
By migrating to AWS, enterprises are able to focus on business innovation instead of dedicating time and attention to maintaining existing systems and technical debt. Businesses are no longer hemmed down with scalability, agility and time to market issues, instead by taking care of the infrastructure and its management, AWS Cloud facilitates businesses to focus on expansion and differentiation.

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