Before embarking on a cloud journey, every enterprise should conduct an assessment of their IT landscape by an external advisor or an internal team. But how deep should the evaluation go and what’s covered? Let’s clear up the confusion about cloud advisory and discover how to start your migration and modernization programs off right.
To create a successful migration roadmap, due diligence or cloud discovery and assessment is critical because this first phase will directly impact the migration execution and management. Any action plan to migrate and/or modernize workloads to the cloud must consider the source environment and the business requirements.
Most enterprises typically seek help from cloud consulting service providers who bring in technical expertise as well as proprietary tools, accelerators, and frameworks required to deliver the project.
Determining the assessment extent
Choosing between the following two assessment types prevalent in the market will depend on the stage of the cloud transformation journey the organization is in and the cloud consulting support needed:
- Low-touch assessment: Often, clients want a quick, high-level assessment before deciding to move to cloud. The scope is restricted to business and IT strategy alignment. The objective is to arrive at a top-line business case looking at Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return on Investment (ROI) using the information gathered from stakeholder interviews without deploying any discovery tools. These projects typically take one to two months
- High-touch assessment: This detailed exercise will recommend a roadmap that will help clients later migrate workloads to cloud. Discovery of workloads is largely tool-driven. The migration execution team will reference the analysis and recommendations. Occasionally service providers also conduct Proofs of Concepts (POCs) and migrate a few apps on cloud during this phase, mostly to determine the larger execution program feasibility. Projects at this higher level can take up to five months
Cloud advisory objective and depth
Organizations carry out high-touch assessments to gain an in-depth workload evaluation, resulting in nearly 60 to 70% of clients proceeding with a cloud migration transformation journey. In more than 90% of the cases, we observed clients immediately implementing the decommission/archiving-related recommendations.
The following key activities are conducted in these deep appraisals:
- Assessing application health: Reviewing application-specific attributes such as availability, criticality, stability (issues per month), etc. is important to identify the apt migration strategy
- Categorizing using 7Rs analysis: Tagging each workload with the appropriate migration strategy is the major goal. Depending on their characteristics, the workloads are segregated using the 7Rs: Rehost, Replatform, Refactor, Rearchitect, Replace, Retain, or Retire. For each application, a target state for each of the components (Database, Web server, app server, etc.) might also be identified at this stage
- Planning migration waves: The group of applications that must be migrated together will determine how they are moved. The migration plan serves as a reference for the execution team
- Determining TCO: The cloud advisory service provider also can be tasked with analyzing the costs of migrating and hosting
Choosing an advisor
Most all service providers have developed cloud advisory capabilities with the market growth. The majority also leverage proprietary tools and accelerators along with the popular third-party cloud migration tools such as Cloudamize, Device42, Movere, etc.
Everest Group believes that the cloud migration and modernization space will continue to evolve in the coming years. Until the dust settles, we see the market reeling with incoherent definitions and interpretations, resulting in dissimilar pricing for advisory services. Understanding what’s involved in the starting assessment will help you select a partner that will set your journey off in the right direction.
To access more information about the future of cloud and cloud management, watch our recent webinar on demand, Hybrid Cloud: The Future of an Ideal Enterprise Architecture. To share your experiences with cloud advisory programs, please reach out to [email protected].