Cloud Strategy

Migrate with a solid plan

Are you planning a Cloud migration? Then you’ve got some interesting times ahead! A trip to the Cloud can yield many positive results for your organisation. Ideally, you’ll transform into a digital enterprise. This is a data-driven organisation in which many processes are automated. As a result, the speed of innovation accelerates and the financial resources are spent more effectively. Every organisation has the potential to become such a digital enterprise, but not every organisation will. You have the greatest chance of success by developing a solid Cloud strategy in advance. On this page, you’ll find out how to do this!

Some conditions for a solid Cloud strategy

A cloud migration is usually the responsibility of the IT department. Which makes sense, as Cloud is all about technology. Right? Well, not quite. You really need the business if you want to develop a cloud strategy that contributes to your strategic objectives. This means that in addition to technology, you also have to take into account the required knowledge and expertise of people who do not work in the IT department.

Do not forget processes either: they must be set up in such a way that everyone within your organisation can work securely and efficiently. Therefore, a Cloud migration is the responsibility of all different departments and certainly also of higher management. Together, you have to look for the right form of Cloud management (something we like to call Cloud Governance).

With this story in mind, we arrive at four important conditions that any cloud strategy must meet:

  1. The Cloud goals serve the overarching organisational goals
  2. Internal stakeholders are involved as early as possible. Think of the CIO and the CFO
  3. Migration planning takes into account the resilience of departments and people
  4. Any retraining and training of employees has been taken into account, both in terms of planning and in the business case

The step-by-step plan

If you’re preparing for a Cloud migration, you usually don’t start at 0. You probably already use a number of SaaS applications and you undoubtedly already have some plans on paper. We therefore recommend that you determine your Cloud maturity level before you start your Cloud migration. You can do so with the Cloud Maturity Scan:

Once you’ve determined your Cloud Maturity, you know where you stand, and which goals are realistic. And then you can – finally – start! You can do so using the step-by-step plan below.

Step 1. Set your goals with a strategy map

As mentioned, it’s important that you align your goals for Cloud with overarching organisational goals. The strategy map helps with this. In this method you take the overarching goals as a starting point and then you determine the required Cloud capabilities:

  • Strategic goals – what does management want to achieve?
  • Value for the customer – what value must be delivered to customers for this?
  • Impact on business, IT and Operating Model – which adjustments need to be made on the shop floor for this?
  • Required Cloud capabilities – what requirements does the cloud strategy have to meet to support business and IT?

Step 2. Map your application landscape

Once you’ve determined the objectives of the Cloud migration, you map out the current application landscape. Such an Application Landscape Assessment can be quite some work. Many departments work independently with applications of which you may not know all the details. Therefore, make sure that you talk to each department.

Curious about the Application Landscape Assessment? Watch the animation!

Step 3. Determine the correct landing site per application

You determine the correct landing site based on the nature of the application and your objectives. Are you going to automate as much as possible and are you dealing with a non-mission-critical application? Then it’s best to purchase it as a SaaS service. Is it a mission-critical application that gives your organisation a major competitive advantage? Then you probably prefer to keep the application under your own management, making SaaS less suitable. This is how you go through all the applications until you have five ‘buckets’ of applications that have the same destination.

Tip: a decision tree is a great tool for determining the landing site of your applications. You can find it in our e-book!

Step 4. Create a high-level design

Based on the different landing sites, you can create a high-level design. This is a helicopter view of the future design of your cloud platform. In this design, you incorporate the most important new building blocks, but you also indicate which current working methods you want to include. The result is a nice shopping list for:

  • Application and platform management tools
  • Network connections (e.g. bandwidth)
  • Application and data integrations
  • Security & Compliance

Create a Cloud business case

In this fifth step you can calculate the application costs after its migration. This means you’ll also be able to tell the difference with the current operating costs. At this point you can make predictions about the benefits of the new landing site per application. You process these calculations and expectations in a Cloud Business Case. To do this, you need a financial model that allows you to make different ‘views’ of the costs per application. For instance, you want to be able to make a cross-section of all costs associated with one application, or a cross-section of the costs incurred for one type of platform. For example:

‘What are the costs of maintaining the Linux servers in our own data centre?’

A Cloud Business Case requires some research, but in many cases, you can also use benchmark data. Are you getting started with your Cloud Business Case? Then read this article first.

Step 6. Draw up a roadmap

If you know the new destination of all applications, you can start planning. You do this with a roadmap, in which, in addition to the technical activities, you also bring together the organisational activities and the impact on the business in one clear diagram. For example, different people are involved per application move, which will temporarily disrupt their daily activities or create the need to retrain. Therefore, always make an inventory of the human resources in your company. What impact will your cloud migration have on them? And is there enough in-house knowledge or do you need to bring in an external party to guide you?

Based on this inventory you can plan the actual migration. Make sure that the pressure is well distributed throughout the organisation. Then first migrate the applications that give you the fastest results in their new cloud form. Great examples are non-mission critical applications that are far more cost-effective as a SaaS product.

Migrate to the Cloud with a plan - download the e-book

Do you need a concrete plan to set up your cloud migration? Download our e-book (written in Dutch), in which we guide you through all the steps in jargon-free language. In the e-book you can read:

  1. How you determine your objectives
  2. How to calculate the impact of Cloud on your current application landscape and organisation
  3. How to make a Cloud business case
  4. How to determine which applications to migrate first
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