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Why the First Step on your Cloud Journey should begin with a Cloud Readiness Assessment

Cloud

September 29, 2022

Whether you look up, down, or sideways, you will find a ‘cloud’ surrounding your modern life. From hailing a cab to shopping, booking a holiday to a lab test, the cloud makes it all possible.

Clearly, cloud technologies are omnipresent everywhere, across any vertical – be it a product or a service. It’s a trend that shows no signs of abating. Indeed, it will continue long into the future. While the cloud is just a metaphor for the internet, Cloud computing is what lies at the heart of it – the benefits of which are numerous and all too well known. Undoubtedly, the cloud is a revolutionary technological approach towards reorganizing and re-imaging the Business Intelligence (BI) landscape of an enterprise. If well managed, both are a perfect fit and can significantly contribute to long-term innovation and growth.

The case for moving to the cloud is crystal clear and there’s hardly any ambiguity around it. Yet, many enterprises face headwinds when it comes to actual implementation. This paradox stems from many factors. However, the key challenges usually revolve around a few issues that must be understood and resolved for a smooth and accelerated journey to the cloud. These are data security & privacy, lack of resources or expertise, spends, governance, managing licenses, compliance, cloud and business balancing, cloud migration, performance challenges, interoperability & flexibility, reliability & availability, high network dependency and managing a multi-cloud environment. Many enterprises may face all or some of these challenges, while others may face just a few or none. Either way, if an enterprise is set to embark on a successful cloud journey, it makes sense to follow a 3-pronged approach:

  • Engaging a cloud partner to integrate all components based on business requirements
  • Adopting various protocols and management variations for each component, instead of going for a one-size-fits-all approach
  • If possible, always prefer hybrid operating models since frequent innovations in either model can be beneficial in managing both public and private information in a more seamless manner

While these guidelines are a good way to look at being cloud-ready, it all begins by conducting a thorough cloud assessment, or what’s also known as cloud readiness assessment or cloud migration assessment.

Understanding Cloud Readiness Assessment

To state simply, for future readiness, any enterprise should conduct a cloud readiness assessment for clarity of vision and the steps required to achieve it, with the cloud as an enabler and accelerator. Since cloud agility and elasticity are of utmost importance, the results of a cloud readiness assessment provide a formal organizational review with all the pros and cons – thus making it a highly important process towards a successful goal realization. This fundamentally overarching process includes readiness, application discovery and application assessment. From the outcome of the cloud readiness assessment, a gap analysis (including a timeline) gives a clear picture of which applications can be moved to cloud smoothly and which would require further tweaking or planning.

For a successful cloud readiness assessment, there are many tools available in the market; however, not all are equal, neither all are designed keeping the big picture in mind, nor do they give the same results. Currently (and going forward), there is a high demand for application-centric cloud assessment tools, leading to an influx of server and infrastructure assessment tools. While these are not inferior per se, they usually cater to an enterprise’s IT needs only, rather than the holistic business context. And because the devil is in the details, therein lies a significant procedural (and implementation) gap.

Undertaking a Holistic Cloud Readiness Assessment

A successful cloud readiness assessment begins with a few fundamental questions about the enterprise. While everyone may seem to be migrating to the cloud, an assessment can help frame a vision for the future of the enterprise, not just from the technology lens but also from a business perspective. With many cloud services on offer from AWS, Microsoft etc., deciding on the right one can be a tough task. With the right cloud readiness assessment, you can easily cut through the clutter and navigate the best approach that encompasses running costs, transition plans and time scales, irrespective of the type of cloud you go for.

Over and above, some processes and workloads are better candidates than others for cloud migration. Hence, before conducting a cloud readiness assessment, it’s critical to determine which applications would benefit most, based on what function they serve. These are:

  • Apps at the front-end: Apps that need rapid scaling since customers or partners use them extensively.
  • Apps nearing end-of-life: Apps based on legacy or end-of-life infrastructure which may not be supported in the future.
  • Apps facing business-critical issues: Apps that rely heavily on security, resilience, or availability for running daily operations.
  • Apps with inadequate backup: Apps demanding regular backups and a fool-proof disaster recovery strategy.
  • Apps with architectural flexibility: Apps whose use and processes would face zero or less disruption during and after cloud migration.

Once this identification is made correctly, the next step is people, process and financial outcomes. This gives enterprises a top-down view of every element that makes it a functional organization. It also identifies all evident and not-so-evident pain points that impede both current and future innovation and growth.

People: Many a time, the biggest error many enterprises make is assuming cloud migration is just about technology. But the first and foremost aspect to look at is the people – employees, vendors, customers, etc. and the impact on them. Will you retrain or redeploy employees if required? Some tasks may get automated, some may completely disappear, and new ones may crop up. Is your staff ready to understand new processes and security measures? While migrating, disruption might occur, which in turn, may disrupt customer services as well. How will that impact your relationship?

Processes: A cloud readiness assessment is a huge transition that will impact the entire enterprise. Of course, operationally, there would be many advantages, but it still is a ‘change’. In this context, it’s prudent to carefully examine how the cloud migration assessment will impact the processes and their ability to migrate seamlessly. Should it be done at one go or in phases? How will security be impacted? Will compliances and contracts (both governmental and customers and/or vendors) still be adhered to? If not, how will you address it?

Cost benefits: Last but not least, what should be considered is a simple question: what is to be gained from your cloud migration assessment and how much does it cost? Sure, migrating to the cloud is often associated with savings in opex, but identifying other associated costs is key to a smooth and seamless migration.

Choosing the Right Cloud Readiness Assessment and Implementation Partner

Whether you are a startup or a global enterprise and irrespective of your position on the cloud journey, cloud migration or cloud transformation can be greatly beneficial from a business perspective. But how can you truly get the most out of it? Once a cloud readiness assessment is done, how do you go beyond the insights and generate a blueprint for a transformational future? Over and above, it’s a known fact that when legacy applications are migrated to the cloud, containerization often creates hurdles in an otherwise accelerated cloud journey.

At Hexaware, we have asked ourselves some of the toughest and most perplexing questions that enterprise face when it comes to the cloud. Which is why, we conduct a holistic and thorough cloud readiness assessment to map ‘as is’ and what ‘should be’, with every milestone of the journey charted down to the last detail – thanks to Hexaware amaze®.

Powering Hexaware’s ability to drive large-scale enterprise cloud transformation, amaze® modernizes and extends the enterprises’ digital footprint by bringing data, infrastructure and applications to the Cloud, thereby helping enterprises embrace true digital transformation.

And because amaze® – our proprietary IP, is designed to work across applications, data & AI, and infrastructure, both the assessment and its implementation are holistic and granular. With amaze®, enterprises can now re-imagine customer experiences by delivering cloud migration with transformative solutions across any cloud and drive cost optimization with hyper business agility while unlocking and unleashing the full potential of the cloud in a seamless, accelerated, automated and cost-effective manner. The amaze® suite also ensures rapid application cloud migration in weeks, thanks to cutting-edge automation and an intelligent code refactoring engine. A seamless affair, you can quickly migrate irrespective of your current architecture to PaaS, CaaS, or FaaS on any cloud supporting open-standard architecture like GCP, AWS, or Azure. Then, there’s a significant reduction in TCO, which makes another compelling virtue for today and tomorrow.

Can’t do without the Cloud. Can’t begin without Cloud Readiness Assessment

Summing it, the cloud is the future, and the future is the cloud! As Marc Benioff, the Founder Chairman of Salesforce, puts it: “If someone asks me what Cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, the Cloud is a better way to run your business.”

For more information on how Hexaware amaze® can accelerate and transform your Cloud journey, visit https://hexaware.com/services/cloud-transformation .

About the Author

Ajay Kumar Mycherla

Ajay Kumar Mycherla

Ajay leads the amaze® for Apps product engineering development team. He is a certified AWS Solution Architect. In his current role, he is responsible for managing product features implementation in line with amaze® for Apps product roadmap and quality standards on various technologies like Java and .NET database integration platforms.

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