The Voice of the Channel


Collaborative Selling, Part III

What Do You Do After the Plan?

By Tim Cecconi

You've done your due diligence. You've performed an intelligent analysis of your application-readiness for moving to the cloud and your business goals over the short- and long-term, and you've got a plan of attack. Now, what do you do?

Instead of trying to swallow the proverbial elephant, I suggest trying chunks. By this, I mean taking a crawl, walk and run approach to moving your applications to the cloud. Doing so will not only maximize the results for your business from an ability to meet business expectations, reduce risk and maximize potential cost-savings but also get you one big step closer to regaining control of your IT environment.

We recommend starting with your lower-tier (non-mission-critical) applications that have been confirmed to be cloud-enabled, and possibly some of your testing workloads. Once you have proven "successes," you can move up the stack to the Tier 1-2 mission-critical applications that drive your business forward.

Look at the common technical options for moving them to the cloud: How do you go about cloud-enabling them? On which type of environment does your analysis suggest they belong – public cloud, hosted private cloud, hybrid cloud? And then test the applications in each of these environments: conduct detailed, pragmatic POCs and see how they perform.

Don't simply take it for granted that the applications will work in certain environments. Find out for sure. You can have your IT team conduct the POC themselves or you can engage with a partner for independent verification. Whichever you choose, make sure you do a peer-to-peer same-time analysis of these environments over a period of at least 30-60 days so you can really see how your applications will behave in a real-world scenario. This will give you real data to share with your CEO when he/she asks "Why Haven't You Moved Everything to the Cloud Yet?"

Your POC should take a look at both environments and answers questions like:

  • How did the migration process go? Migrations are never without hiccups. Did the cloud service providers (CSPs) give you their procedures for change orders during the migration?
  • Were you able to meet performance needs and recovery SLAs? Consider recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) for your workloads.
  • Did you pay for what you needed? Calculate your costs for preparation, migration, and utilization? What is the bottom line? Is it acceptable to you? Were there upfront capital expenditures? Was the bill a set operational expense? Did you factor in other costs such as cloud bursting?
  • What about governance, risk management and compliance? How did your CSPs do? Were you able to keep law and order in the cloud?
  • What level of outside automation did the CSP allow? How do it perform for you? At what cost? What were the gaps, if any? Was this in line with expectations and needs?
Unfortunately, once you've proven the ability to move applications/workloads to the best cloud platform, you are still not done. The areas where many companies run into trouble is in the analysis of new interdependencies as well as recovery of the environment, especially with workloads that are put into the public cloud. This will be the focus of the next post – Part IV of this series.

Be sure to check back and keep us posted on your testing.

Tim Cecconi has 22 years of experience in Global Enterprise Technology Sales and has spent the last 12 years at Sungard Availability Services as a senior vice president of sales responsible for Global Channels and ITOs, NA Healthcare, NA Government and NA South East. Tim has a BA and MBA from the University of Central Florida, where he also played college football.

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