A coffee in the cloud: 5-minute successes

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Posted on: 18/05/2020

Posted by Matt McEvoy Principal Azure Architect | Modality

Over the next couple of months, I will be writing a number of blogs that center around effective cloud adoption. This series is aimed at anyone who wants to understand the benefits of adopting cloud technology, whilst avoiding the surprising pitfalls of a platform that is evergreen. Having spent many years successfully transitioning businesses from traditional data centers to Microsoft Azure, I can confidently say that I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly!

If you have already deployed workloads to Azure and are 100% satisfied that you have conquered confidentiality, integrity, availability, and CIA, whilst balancing costs with performance and value – congratulations, you have reached nirvana! Although, I’d urge you to carry on reading as you might just learn something new.

For everyone else, including those who are considering migrating to Azure, those who need assurance it will work for your business, or those who have deployed solutions in Azure and are suffering from accidental architecture, then I invite you to read on.

What is a Cloud Adoption Framework?

Simply put, a Cloud Adoption Framework is a collection of proven guidance designed to help businesses implement and innovate with the cloud technology necessary to succeed in Azure. The framework is designed to help you drive your desired business outcomes and is agile in nature, therefore helping you to undertake a much simpler adoption journey. By embracing a framework built on best practice, you will be better positioned to align your business motivations.

However, motivations vary, and having one or more will really help you to achieve your desired outcomes. It’s also vital that you clearly communicate your motivations and business drivers, along with measurements for success to allow for intelligent decision making throughout your efforts. Below, I’ve identified three common classifications and some examples:

Classification 1 Critical – Business Events
Example 1 End of support for mission-critical technologies

SQL 2008 and Windows Server 2008

Example 2 Regulatory compliance changes

If motivation is classified as a critical business event, it’s recommended to implement much earlier and run the strategy and planning steps in parallel, although this requires a growth mindset and a desire to repeatedly improve processes as lessons are learned.

Classification 2 Migration
Example 1 Cost savings – reduce technical debt
Example 2 Reduce technical complexity

When migration motivations are a priority, strategy and planning will play a vital role early in the process. However, it is highly recommended to implement the first workload in parallel with planning to allow the team to gain practical experience with the business and address the technical issues involved in a migration. In addition, this helps the wider team to understand and plan for any learning curves associated with Azure.

Classification 3 Innovation
Example 1 Modernize security posture and controls
Example 2 Transform products or services

Innovation isn’t the right adoption path for every business or workload you have. It typically takes longer than a migration, with most cases requiring a larger than usual investment in bespoke code and data management. If innovation motivations are of the highest priority, strategy and planning will require additional investments earlier in the process.

If you’d like some independent expert advice, we are happy to help. Get in touch with us today.

Next Time

Over the course of my next few blogs, I will cover the following topics in more detail:

  • Strategy – Define your business justification and expected outcomes
  • Planning – Align plans (inventory, people, skills etc.) to business outcomes
  • Readiness – Partner with Modality Systems to help prepare your cloud environment
  • Adoption – Migrate or Innovate? Modernize or develop a new cloud or hybrid solutions
  • Governance & Management – Strong environmental governance and modern operations management
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