Adoption of the cloud is still a relatively recent IT initiative. According to research done by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), only 6% of companies claim to have been using cloud solutions for more than five years.1

Many organizations have adopted cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. Others have adopted a “cloud-first” development paradigm for new projects, while still others have focused on a cloud migration strategy for part or much of their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Perhaps you are just beginning your journey and learning what the cloud can mean for your business.

Cloud computing is a fast-maturing technology, and it is here to stay (caveat: well, at least for 20 to 30 years until another technological revolution replaces it).

“By 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy is today.”
— Gartner, Applying a ‘Cloud-First’ Checklist to Ensure Successful Sourcing and Business-IT Alignment, April 2016

While things are moving fast in cloud adoption, some organizations remain hesitant. Fear of change and analysis paralysis are hindering the onset of a cloud migration strategy. Moving your IT environment to a cloud service can seem like a daunting task.


Cloud Adoption Success Factor: Embark on a Journey, Not a Monolithic Project

One of the keys to a successful cloud computing journey is to take small steps rather than assume that your organization must move into the cloud in one fell swoop. Have you heard the adage “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That is especially true here. Some applications are better suited for the cloud than others. Some are easy to migrate, while others are more difficult. Resist the urge to make cloud adoption a monolithic project with a single pass/fail completion or delivery date.

So, where do you begin? It is our recommendation to begin with a thorough assessment of your application portfolio. Good news: There are many automated tools out there to help you monitor, measure, and then model possible cloud configurations. The tools we use at Astadia map out dependencies, forecast costs across multiple clouds, and provide the output needed for a prioritized, phased roadmap for migrating existing workloads to the cloud (for those apps that are assessed to make the move at all since not all workloads could or should be migrated to the cloud).

We also recommend taking a value-based approach to your application rationalization. Map your identified applications to a quadrant based upon value and complexity, and knock out some smaller wins first. It is also prudent to bake in a well-defined continuous feedback loop and deliberate pauses between milestones to refine your cloud migration strategy as you gain experience and confidence.

One additional note: To be ultimately successful, cloud adoption must have full buy-in and executive sponsorship from the leadership team, including the CEO. We strongly encourage a holistic assessment of the people, culture, business environment, etc., to prepare the organization for all the changes and impacts that a move to the cloud will bring.

Businesses and organizations are increasingly seeing the benefits of moving applications, databases, and infrastructure into the cloud. With careful planning and achievable milestones, you will avoid missteps along the way. Your organization will learn from the experience and gain the many benefits that come from cloud adoption.

1. CompTIA, Trends in Cloud Computing, September 2016


This article was originally posted “What Is Your Cloud Migration Strategy?” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.