Ensyst has worked with a number of organisations over the past few years, helping them plan and execute a major cloud transformation. Each has been a bit different and has had its own challenges but I’ve noticed some broad similarities.
One of the most noticeable factors is how and why the business is approaching cloud transformation. In my experience, they fall broadly into two camps.
In this series of posts I will explain what these are, and expand on each in more detail.
The burning platform
Firstly, there are organisations that want to transform by a particular date because of some compelling event. The nature of the compelling event varies. There have been mergers, divestitures and datacentre contracts coming to an end. In one case, a server room was located in a building that was due to be demolished.
Despite differences in the nature of the compelling event, all of these scenarios had two things in common. The first was a specific date by which a significant portion of the infrastructure needed to be running somewhere else. The other was a real and measurable impact of not meeting this date. This ranged from financial penalties to being unable to operate. We refer to this first group as those with a burning platform.
The luxury of time
The second group includes those who want to realise the benefits of cloud but don’t have any specific date by which they need to transition. Alternatively, they have a date in mind but there is no real measurable impact of not moving the bulk of the infrastructure by this date.
This second group has a few advantages. For one, they enjoy the luxury of picking the workloads that will derive the most business benefit for the least effort. They are also able to break the overall program into discrete, “bite-sized” chunks. Lastly because they tend to transition over a longer period of time than the burning platform brigade, they are able to fine tune or even drastically alter their vision as the platforms they are migrating to continue to evolve and innovate.
Which camp are you in?
As you might expect, understanding which of these camps they’re in will have a major impact on the approach best suited to an organisation for the transformation. In fact, if an organisation opens discussions about transforming to a cloud first model, our initial questions are designed to understand why.
What’s motivating this?
Is there a date that specific things need to be done by?
What’s driving that date?
What’s the impact of not hitting that date?
If you can answer these questions, you probably already know in which camp you sit. The next step is understanding how that will shape your journey to the cloud.
In my next blog I’ll explore how an organisation with a burning platform should approach their transition to the cloud. I will follow this with a look in more detail at the phased cloud transformation approach.
In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us or join the conversation via the comments, Twitter or LinkedIn.