Tips for cloud transformation
The journey to cloud adoption is more complex than simply following a list of directions, it’s about the softer steps in between.
It’s important to get people in the right mindset for the migration to cloud and all focussed on the end goal, according to Joe Wolski, CTO of ANS, a leading provider of digital transformation and cloud-managed services.
The firm was founded in 1996 and in 2001 came together with Inflexion’s investment UKFast to create the UK’s independent leader in secure cloud-led digital transformation across the public and private sectors. The newly combined Group is catering to the rapidly growing opportunity for digital and cloud services as it combines ANS’s public cloud, DevOps, applications and data expertise with UKFast’s leadership in private cloud, hosting and security.
Joe joined Inflexion’s Digital Exchange in November to speak with the portfolio about his top tips for migrating to the cloud:
- Focus on a single platform
Business performance trumps lock-in, so keep it narrow and focused at first. The technical complexity of multi-cloud capacity really mounts up, as does the cost. So picking one primary over multi-cloud enables you to move quickly. Whilst doing the migration, consider not just ‘if’ applications can be moved into cloud, but ‘how’ they should be – migration should start with an assessment.
- Design for the 80% not the 20%
As with so many things, it’s best to focus on the 80%, and cloud is no different. You won’t get an answer for everything in cloud, so don’t let that 20% distract you from your journey to cloud-first.
- Iterate the capability in line with adoption
When delving into something new that you know nothing about, it can be tempting to throw money at the problem. But putting lots of resource into the migration to cloud and then having no one to manage it doesn’t work. The aim is to be agile and fast by starting small and then build it up. This means you develop skills and knowledge within the team, which can then mature and scale as the people innovate, learn and develop on demand. Eventually you breakout and go again.
- Prioritise culture and mindset
You need the buy-in of the entire team to make it work, not just IT or management. This can mean forgetting many things you’ve accepted, and learning new methods entirely. For example instead of the ‘virtual architect’ mindset with designs for stability and managing through system GUIs, it’s about a ‘cloud architect’ mindset with designs for efficiency and managing through automation scripts. Likewise, the economics shift from buying upfront and too much to permanent right-sizing, including just-in-time provisioning.
- Develop a policy-based operating model
Apply an MVP across all domains since then you pay for what you use but incur no commercial debt; it counters the temptation to turn things on which you never use and yet are billed. It’s important to focus on having policies that ensure this doesn’t happen. Major cloud providers will have policies you can work with, offering zero access initially and granting access by exception only, rather than paying for everything.