How To Build A Cloud Roadmap?

cloud roadmap

How To Build A Cloud Roadmap?

Strategic planning is essential if you wish for your business to succeed. It not only gives direction to your efforts but also helps drive focus on its critical aspects. Hence, it would be correct to say that strategic planning helps the organization build clear and concise goals and focus the efforts of all involved in the same direction. Cloud migration is also one such activity where this strategic planning plays a pivotal role. In the Cloud culture, this strategic planning is often referred to as the “Cloud Roadmap.”

Cloud Roadmap

Typically, a Cloud roadmap is a visual communication tool. It outlines how the move to the Cloud will roll out and consists of the key tasks, deliverables, and time frames or cut-off dates. A Cloud roadmap consists of three key phases:

1. Planning
2. Infrastructure
3. Implementation

IT teams and Cloud Computing companies make Cloud roadmaps to keep in sync with their strategy and all the stakeholders accountable. It also happens to be the best way to know the current status of the migration process.

Importance Of Having A Cloud Roadmap

If you tend to jump the gun without having an end goal and a plan of action to reach there, maybe that’s the reason why success is still a distant dream. There are critical things to consider, like logistics and budgets. You also need to have a schedule. In their absence, things will surely go off-track.

Do keep in mind that the Cloud is not simply technology. Instead, it is the very foundation of business today. Companies store their data, build applications, run solutions, and do so much more over the Cloud. The Cloud also has to adhere to certain norms for performance, compliance, security, and costs. You would naturally be thinking of what you want from the Cloud, where you would want to be in the next couple of years, and so on. The best and only way to achieve this is through a Cloud Roadmap.

The Cloud Roadmap will tell you clearly where you are at present, where you wish to be, and the detailed path that will take you there directly. Once you know where you are and where you wish to be, it’s all about building a sequence or a chain of actions to achieve the ultimate goal.

Building The Cloud Roadmap

Building a Cloud Roadmap that visually translates your vision is not very difficult if you follow the following steps:

1. Communicate To Connect – The first step is to communicate with the upper management, stakeholders, IT department, business colleagues, actually everyone who will be impacted by Cloud migration. Help them understand how the move will benefit them as well as the company as a whole. Remember, every new idea usually faces a lot of opposition. So, don’t keep communication one way, from you to them. Instead, have an open communication system. It will help alleviate fears and aid in easy acceptance of the change. You will get cooperation from your managers, and maybe they will even help you identify their applications that can switch to the Cloud. That’s like killing two birds with one stone.

2. Make An Inventory Of Your Workloads – Everything will not move to the cloud all at once. The transfer will happen in phases. And for that reason, you need to have an inventory of your workloads ready on hand. It will help you and the IT team plan not what will migrate first and the order to follow thereafter. This sequence needs to be worked out in detail as you wouldn’t want to disrupt the related process. Proper planning will help reduce downtime. As you proceed, you can also include those workloads that are not yet fully automated. For example, analytics, transferring such tasks to the Cloud will help you leverage the power of Cloud computing to the hilt. Some processes may have to be re-engineered to suit the Cloud environment. Therefore, a full workload inventory will come in handy.

3. Critically Analyze Your Workloads – When you move your workloads to the Cloud, you need to know how critical they are to your business’s very existence. Also, not being unable to access them for a couple of days will make the business suffer any setback. The idea is to figure out the mission-critical workloads. As it is, they will need to be moved to the Cloud sooner or later. Knowing their criticality or value addition to business will be a big help when the switch is made. If you plot them in a chart from most critical workloads (Tier 1) to less important ones (Tier 4), you can start with moving Tier 4 processes first. Applying the learnings as you move up the tier will make for the most accurate and smooth transfer of Tier 1 workloads.

4. Begin Migration By Matching Workloads To the Cloud Service – The Cloud is highly flexible. It offers a plethora of opportunities in the form of a wide variety of solution environments, cost structures, functionality, and performance output. You can gain better security, safety, and performance control if you opt for a hosted private Cloud. As you move your Tier 4 operations, you can start exploring the Cloud with minimum risk. As you move each workload using the service provider’s online toolkit, the workload evolves into a virtual machine. This virtual machine is what you finally upload on the Cloud.

5. Cloud Management – Migrating to the Cloud makes sense only if you plan to stay abreast with how you are using the Cloud. If you cannot exploit the opportunities presented by the Cloud solutions, it is a wastage of money. Always opt for a Cloud service provider who provides Cloud management tools that your in-house IT team can use to keep track of things. Streamline the administrative functions to ensure that your Cloud usage and requirements are continuously managed.

Things To Include In The Cloud Roadmap

Apart from the start point and the endpoint, many other things will form a critical part of the Cloud roadmap. These include:

1. Building the Cloud architecture
2. Adoption of new technology.
3. Training the staff to leverage the Cloud or Clouds.
4. Re-Architecturing and re-engineering your solutions for better placement on the Cloud.

The Bottomline

Think of the Cloud Roadmap as the path you will follow to achieve the desired state. Nevertheless, it does not end once you have reached there. Business is fluid, and you need to be in constant sync with all the new trends and technologies to maintain the momentum. If you closely follow the happenings, you will be able to enhance your software with minimal trouble and also that which you store on the Cloud. All in all, there will always be scope for improvement.