Planning on Taking Advantage of the Enterprise Cloud? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions First

By Eric Crump

Question 1: Do you have a true business case?

Has your IT department been struggling with the loads of data it’s storing within its physical data centers? Have there been questions about applications not working properly due to inefficiencies out of their control? Is your IT department not moving fast enough? If you answered yes to these questions, good. Let’s talk about all of the money that it’s costing you to not have a cloud-based data center. Nothing speaks to business decision makers quite like money. Cost savings as an infrastructure asset recapitalization strategy or reduced hosting cost is a great place to start.

You can’t just want to go to the cloud because your competitors are there or because you think it’s the logical next step. There has to be evidence demonstrating the cost savings, revenue increases, and operational improvements that cloud migration will provide.

Question 2: Is your organization bought in?

It’s one thing for your department to understand the value of migrating to the cloud, but what about the rest of your organization? How does your CIO and CEO feel about it? This question needs to be addressed immediately after you’ve established your business case. Start with your cloud champions – identify those who are 100 percent on board with moving to the cloud and make sure they have what they need and are in the right position to pave the way for the rest of the organization.

Another critical element of success is that everyone must be aligned on the strategy of how you’re going to migrate to the cloud. Everyone needs to know their role in order for the migration to be successful.

Question 3: Do you truly understand the cost benefit?

After you’ve made your business case and rallied the troops, it’s time to crunch the numbers. It’s important to know the true, holistic cost of the journey to the cloud, including the other indirect costs associated with the big move. For example,

  • Has your hardware targeted for the cloud been completely depreciated?
  • Is your staff trained to operate their new environment in the cloud?
  • O/S upgrade, do you need to replatform your O/S before migrating to the cloud?
  • Do you want to take advantage of DB cloud services for example replatforming your DB's to Amazon Aurora?
  • Do you need a direct connect to your cloud provider based on your use case?

Once you’ve got definitive answers to these three questions, you’re almost ready to move to the cloud. But one final item before you do: make sure application owners, whether IT or business, are completely involved from start to finish. If there’s one sure fire way to fail in your cloud journey, it’s lack of involvement and commitment from them.

The cloud is an important step in making your company agile and relevant for the future. While it may feel inevitable that your organization will get there, it’s necessary to be adequately prepared and lay the groundwork first. Your whole organization will thank you.

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