The journey to the cloud moves through a number of stages, but one of the most important is planning. It’s here you determine your cloud strategy, firm up on your stakeholders’ requirements and collect the information you need to establish the migration tasks.
Planning may be time-consuming, but it could save you a great deal of time later by avoiding rework and other costly tasks. Fortunately, there are also tools that can automate many of the planning tasks, giving you more time to focus on strategic activities.
One of the most important elements of the planning process is people. Who needs to be involved in migration planning and how can you capture their input? While migration might seem to be a technical issue, increasingly cloud decisions are driven by business.
Executives want to improve agility and customer service. Departmental managers see the cloud as a route to greater productivity and efficiency. And, users welcome the freedom and flexibility of being able to access applications and services anywhere on any device.
Senior figures from IT must be involved to make the business vision a practical reality. According to CIO.com, that is increasingly the role of the CIO whose responsibilities are moving from functional to strategic.
Security professionals also make an important contribution, particularly when companies are subject to regulatory compliance. Project managers who will take responsibility for delivering a successful migration should be involved to ensure that the project has a realistic budget and timeframe.
Create a Strong Business Case
To help non-technical decision-makers understand the risks and opportunities of cloud migration, workshops can be useful at an early stage in the planning process. These sessions help all stakeholders gain a rounded perspective on migration and make more informed decisions.
Before detailed technical planning can begin, it’s essential for all stakeholders to agree objectives and to approve the business case for migration. Gartner recommends a decision framework that enables decision-makers to evaluate and rank the challenges and benefits of migration for each application or service.
An application that offered high benefits with low challenges would be a strong candidate for migration. A situation that featured high benefits and high risks might need further consideration to determine the strength of the case for migration.
Automate Migration Planning
With a business case in place and agreement on objectives and criteria for success, the IT and project teams can carry out detailed planning of the migration process for each application or service. It’s here that things can become very time-consuming without a high level of automation.
Migration automation tools provide essential support at each stage of the process from data collection and processing to project management and reporting. Automation tools like VTG’s ZENfra™, for example, provide detailed analysis and reporting capabilities. ZENfra™ creates a variety of preset or customized reports that provide essential data for migration planning and validation.
The information available from ZENfra™ analysis and reports provides an accurate picture of the current infrastructure and its interdependencies, strengths and weaknesses. That information can be used to create a migration action plan and project management tasks.
Spending time on planning and involving the right people plays dividends in the form of a successful migration and a strong return on investment.