Unsure about Shifting to Multi-cloud? Follow these Steps
In my last post, Why Multi-cloud Can Bridge the Gap between Public and Private Clouds, I talked about some of the benefits for companies thinking about shifting their IT infrastructure to a multi-cloud environment, a new way to build, operate and consume IT services and deliver an experience that drives innovation and growth.
Multi-cloud is far more efficient, flexible, cost-effective, and future-proof in a world where rapid application development and agile upgrades can make or break a business. It’s all about improving what your end users care most about (hint: it’s not another list of speeds and feeds). What they want is an always-on, responsive, high quality application experience.
My view is that multi-cloud makes great sense for pretty much any business. For those of you who are looking to move to multi-cloud, you might be wondering what is next. With this series of steps, you can more confidently make the shift to multi-cloud and rev up your IT transformation journey.
Step 1: Survey the Landscape
Do you have a complete, clear view of your current environment? There’s only way to know for sure, and that is to start with a detailed inventory of your IT infrastructure – hardware and software – before you do anything else.
I hear about a lot of companies proudly proclaiming they have shifted 100 percent of their IT infrastructure to the public cloud. This certainly sounds impressive, but it’s a potentially problematic situation. So, what does your world really look like? What percent is public? How many mainframes are still humming along in the basement, hosting your internal environment?
It’s also a matter of talking to relevant stakeholders to understand what’s working, and what’s not. This is just the tip of the digital iceberg. Only a full current state analysis can assess the myriad variables, ranging from governance to capacity planning.
Step 2: Imagine the Future
Should your company be 90 percent private cloud and 10 percent public? Or was it the other way around? Striking the optimal balance can seem like one of the bumpier roads in the journey to multi-cloud bliss, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you’ve completed the analysis in Step 1, you’re already halfway to the answers you seek. The next step involves assessing and understanding the IT processes and roles as they should be, not as they currently stand. You also need to assess your applications and determine which should be modernized, which should be migrated, which should be retired, and which should simply be left alone.
Step 3: Make a Map
Now that you have a clear view of the before and after state of your environment, it’s time to map out how you get from your current state to your future state.
There’s a laundry list of factors to consider, but four main workstreams stand out: governance and strategy, infrastructure, operating model, and applications. Answering these needs will inform the development of a transformation strategy and a roadmap that is actionable and relevant to your business.
Step 4: Build the Case
With flat or shrinking IT budgets, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to never underestimate the importance of making a strong case for the investment needed for multi-cloud to be successful.
This means determining the key metrics and evaluating the hard costs for components of both the current and target IT environment – everything from software, hardware and networking to facilities, staff and training costs. All of these costs form the basis of a cost-benefit analysis to calculate IT run rates, and ultimately, determine the return on investment and overall savings of the transformation.
Ultimately, the multi-cloud offers tremendous advantages for many organizations. Taking these steps is a great way to arm yourself with the intelligent insights to know for sure.