22106868_sYou’re an enterprise. You’ve done your research. You’ve read the whitepapers. You’ve heard all the success stories (along with a few cautionary tales). Perhaps you’ve already taken your first steps into the cloud, but want to embark on a larger-scale public cloud adoption strategy.

But what does that look like for your enterprise? The journey is different for you – for everyone, really. And you certainly don’t want to make it up as you go along.

Here are five important things you need to map out before you start your public cloud journey. We’re confident in this roadmap because we’ve been along for the ride before. We’ve helped many large enterprises and agencies successfully adopt and implement their own unique cloud strategies.

1. Know why you are moving to the cloud.

It’s not just a buzzword or fad. Start with a deeper understanding of the benefits of the cloud. Familiarize yourself with IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and aPaaS. What are your priorities? Are you hoping for agility? Cost savings? Time to value? All of the above? Is data growth and storage capacity a bigger draw? Better security? And yes…security IS a selling point (albeit an often misunderstood one) of the cloud.                                   

AIS’ Real World Experience: Large insurance provider, government agency, ISV.

2. Develop a security and compliance matrix. 

Despite all the advances made by the public cloud providers, security is still likely going to be where you spend most of your time initially. To streamline this step:

  1. Inventory the security standards and know which ones apply to your domain.
  2. Understand how hybrid architecture will impact security. This includes considerations around on-premises and cloud connectivity identity and access management, network topology, etc.
  3. Understand the data sovereignty concerns.

AIS’ Real World Experience: HIPAA, PCI Compliance, ATO

3. Conduct an Application Portfolio Assessment.

Which applications make sense to move to the cloud? Develop a long-term enterprise roadmap that aligns with your cloud provider’s roadmap.

We’ve found it best to start with a small app and move on to bigger and more critical applications later, once you’re more familiar with the process and everything it entails. This is a good time for enterprises to embrace a more “startup-like” or agile mindset. Think less about the technology, and more about the people, the processes and the organizational collaboration you can achieve with the cloud.

AIS’ Real World Experience: Eastman Outdoors, EDGAR Online, Metastorm.

4. Develop a cloud governance strategy.

Developing a robust governance strategy is going to be extremely important to your success in the cloud. Governance will go hand in hand with your DevOps strategy.

Governance include areas like subscription management, monitoring, roles and responsibilities, service catalog and network planning.

AIS’ Real World Experience:  FBI, large insurance provider

5. Observe, optimize, and apply.

One thing is for sure – by the time you move your first application to the cloud – there will be a new version of every service you use, not to mention a brand new set of applicable services. In some cases, there will be new certifications and best practices that may alter your candidate architecture.  While it’s impractical to even think about modifying the app (that you just moved to the cloud) to take advantage of the vNext services, it may be prudent to keep track of the changes and see if you can use them for the next application.

[pullquote]This constant loop of observing, optimizing and applying is the essence of agile cloud adoption.[/pullquote]This is where a “lead horse” initiative or a team of early adopters can help. Once the lead horse initiative has blessed a technology or a service, they can serve as a shared hub for other teams. This constant loop of observing, optimizing and applying is the essence of agile cloud adoption.

AIS provides a number of service offerings aimed at helping IT organizations “take their first formative steps into the cloud.” Many organizations are struggling with how to leverage the cloud, but by taking those first steps with us, you can start the planning, governance, and readiness without assuming much, if any, liability or risk — and be well on your way to the significant cost savings the cloud can offer.

Our envisioning service offerings allow each new client to “try us out” by allowing us to fully define and refine requirements, identify risks, develop application architecture and outline estimates and timeframes for a low cost.

Already in the cloud? Ready to accelerate your journey to fully scaled enterprise cloud DevOps? The AIS Service Catalog can help! Read more here. 

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