A coffee in the cloud: modernise to save

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Posted on: 12/06/2020

Posted by Matt McEvoy Principal Azure Architect | Modality


In my previous blog ‘A coffee in the cloud: 5-minute successes’ I introduced the five stages that form part of a digital transformation strategy alongside three examples. This second blog provides a step-by-step guide on preparing a high-level transformation strategy that aligns the partnership between business, technology, and people. I have focused on a common scenario that Modality regularly experiences – Modernise to Save.

As part of your strategy it is important to classify your motivation based on the following three situations:

  1. Critical Business Events – e.g. Reduce capital expense, extended support for mission critical technologies or a merger, acquisition, or divestiture.
  2. Migration – e.g. Cost savings, reduction in vendor or technical complexity or scale to meet new market or business demands.
  3. Innovation – Transformation of products or services, legacy application transformation.

I have created a high-level example of a digital transformation strategy below.

Modernising services by migration and transformation

The first step in developing your cloud strategy consists of defining and documenting the motivations. You will need to meet with key stakeholders to discuss the drivers behind these motivations. Make sure these are understood and aligned to a RACI and all decisions are recorded.

Modernise to Save. Modernising your datacentre and aspects of your critical/non-critical workloads, by migrating large-scale unsupported physical and virtual servers to a resilient highly available and scalable platform that delivers SLA’s above 99%.

The second step is documenting the business outcomes of the motivations. This can be in a statement form or displayed as a simple table.table 1

Business outcome – Higher performance and lower costs with complete support. Increasing the compute performance across the SQL infrastructure will increase the number of parallel workstreams by 70%. The extra performance will reduce the number of abandoned web orders by 25%.

The third step build a quantifiable business case to validate the financial model that supports your motivation and outcome.

Business case – Financial savings. Provide up to 55% savings by utilising Azure Hybrid Benefit with SQL licenses you already own that have active Software Assurance. Run both environments for up to 180 days to allow for the migration. Improve your budgeting and forecasting and save up to 33% by prepaying for one to three terms with reserved capacity, combined with the hybrid benefit you can realise cost savings of 80%. Azure SQL IaaS provides an extensive support period when we migrate windows 2008 server and SQL Server 2008 VMs.
Other key areas of economic benefit include a reduction in license costs, increased DBA and IT Staff productivity through reduced administration and zero requirements for traditional maintenance.

The fourth step is to identify suitable projects that are aligned to the motivations. This step can be used to gauge the technical effort and understand the amount of time it takes to align people, processes, and technology. Whenever possible, your first project should set out the criteria that demonstrates progress toward the defined business outcome. As part of this stage provide clear project expectations, the likelihood is a service or workload deployment of some form will be delivered.

Project identified – e.g. [Modernise current Windows and SQL 2008 platform to Azure IaaS & PaaS].
Project expectations example:
– Project X will be used as a source of learning and skills gap analysis.
– Project X could result in production deployments, but it will probably require partner effort.
– The output of Project X will provide a set of clear requirements that deliver a longer-term production solution.

As part of any adoption lifecycle, there are other considerations of which you should be aware. These include balancing competing priorities, defining a security strategy and portfolio-management.

I hope this high-level example has provided insight to any business at the start of its digital transformation journey. If you feel more comfortable working with an Azure Gold Partner, Modality is offering independent advice via a Modernisation Maturity Assessment. This takes about one hour and can be delivered remotely. You will receive a comprehensive report outlining gaps and improvements.

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For further information, or to book a Modernisation Maturity Assessment. Get in touch with us today.

The next blog in the series will look at planning and readiness helping to prepare the organisation and technical requirements before moving to the adoption stage.

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