Introduction

Digital transformation evolves quickly around us. Not only organizations like Airbnb or Uber which are already cloud-native organizations, but also companies like Domino’s Pizza has a staff over 50% of corporate employees now in software and analytics. This happens in all kinds of industries, even banks like HSBC invest over $2.1 billion in 2020 in all kinds of digital initiatives just to keep up. Organizations are looking for fast adoption of new technology to become more agile and gain a competitive advantage. Several research papers from Gartner (reference), indicate that organizations are looking for:

  • Get IT up to business speed;
  • Enable the business to take first-mover advantage;
  • More efficient & agile IT operations;
  • Focus on user experience;
  • IT becomes an innovation center, not a cost center.

The primary enabler to make the above ambition work is, of course, cloud computing. RightScale

(State of the Cloud 2019), identifies several major trends, identified by CIO’s:

  • Public cloud is the top priority on 31% of enterprises;
  • 84% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy;
  • Companies plan to spend 24% more on public cloud in 2019 vs 2018;
  • 38% of enterprises run 33% on workload in public cloud and 46% in private clouds;
  • Optimizing cloud costs and cloud governance are growing challenges in 2019;
  • #1 priority in 2019 for organizations is cloud cost optimization.

 

How, When & What – The Cloud Navigator 4D model

Within our client base, we don’t see clients struggle anymore with the question of whether or not to move to the cloud. The real question is how to move to the cloud, when to move and what to move to the cloud. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer or quick fix solution. Therefore this article focuses on CIO’s, IT / Ops managers, Datacenter operators and architects who are asking themselves the same question. In case you’re one of them and don’t know How, When & Wat to move to the cloud, we have developed the Cloud Navigator 4D model to guide you. Let’s have a closer look at our Cloud Navigator 4D model.

As you can see, the Cloud Navigator model consists of 4 major dimensions (4D’s), namely Determine, Design, Deploy & Drive. Each of those 4 dimensions has several steps, 13 steps in total to navigate on the cloud journey.

Determine

First stop is to think about why you want to move to the cloud. Start with Exploring the cloud. Look at the benefits and possible use cases. Involve the right stakeholders in an early stage, preferably from the business side. The develop your own Vision on cloud and make sure this is communicated & committed within your organization. Next step is to define your Strategy in more detail and set up a project roadmap. Also, make sure your use cases are in place. The final stage of the first D is to set up a business case and make sure the right assumptions are made if you have to.

Design

After you have determined your vision, strategy, roadmap and business case, you’re ready to start designing. Start with an assessment on your current IT infrastructure and make sure you have a complete and in-depth overview of all the technical requirements to connect to the cloud, safe and secure. To test this, start with the next step and set up a Proof of Concept to test your use cases. You probably experience some troubles, but consider them as challenges. It’s way better to have them now instead of during the deployment stages. Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have an architectural cloud design in place to make sure everybody is lined up, it’s well documented and is on the same page.

Deploy

If you have the boxes checked for the assessment, PoC, and architectural design, you’re ready for the next step: deployment. Here comes the fun part for the most technician and that’s to deploy, implement and configure the cloud for production based on the design. But next to the deployment, make sure you have thought about governance, compliance and (multi)cloud management. Far too often this is neglected and for example, cloud cost control is key for success. Most likely you already have a current DC infrastructure that you want to integrate with the cloud. Therefore an integration design is a key to success. After you have integrated the cloud fully, you can start with the migration towards the cloud. Define a clear cloud migration strategy and set up a migration process with the stakeholders.

Drive

So we’re almost there on your cloud journey. However, after the last migration, you are not there yet. Now the “Drive” stage kicks in and is of great importance to the success of your cloud journey. First, training. Cloud, (multi)cloud management, cost management & cloud governance are on the horizon and completely different the current DC operations (see State of the Cloud 2019). Therefore the training of your Cloud Center of Excellence crew should not be taken lightly. After the first cloud usage, you might consider a health check. Not only on the current health status of your cloud platform but also on the operational side (people and process). Keep in mind that cost because of the pay as you use model can get out of control very quickly. Therefore you might need optimization and scale capabilities in order to help optimize and scale the current cloud solution or even consider to switch cloud provider.

Not scared yet? Good! At ITQ we tackle cloud issues on a daily basis and use this model often as a guideline to help our clients navigate through their cloud challenges. Please feel free to adopt this model within your organization. In case you can’t do it on your own, need help or advice, please let us know. ITQ Transformation Services is able to help you with any of your cloud challenges. By taking on a different approach with the help of the Cloud Navigator model, and focusing on the People and Process, we are able to manage & implement your cloud strategy successfully. We are happy to guide you on your cloud transformation journey!

Ewoud Melis

Author Ewoud Melis

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18 July 2019