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Without a plan, moving to the cloud can be a difficult puzzle to solve

  • Posted on June 25, 2015

moving to the cloudThere is understandably a race for businesses to go digital. However, many make false starts because they rush the process.

According to research by Vanson Bourne, 93% of IT decision makers plan to go digital by moving to the cloud. The cloud offers elastic scalability, providing global reach without increasing capital expenditure. Importantly for those looking to migrate, the cloud increases agility by reducing development time, thus accelerating applications to market and driving growth.

It’s this speed that is important to organizations, particularly with the end of support for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching. From July 14, 2015, there will be no further updates or security patches, making the race to migrate even more panicked.

Before moving to the cloud, it’s important that businesses evaluate the exact reasons for doing so. Understanding the business goals that need to be achieved ensures that a step-by-step plan of priorities – based on effort, complexity and overall result – can be constructed. This helps the IT and line of business decision-makers know where to focus their energy.

An incremental approach is also key as it allows businesses to learn as they go. Treating modernization as an evolutionary process that is refined over time means that improvements can be made, migration to migration. It also gives businesses the opportunity to learn by doing, identifying the steps they need to take and where most work is required.

After the first step of understanding business objectives, the second step is to identify applications that offer the greatest value from being hosted in the cloud and focus on moving these. Prioritizing critical applications first means that day-to-day disruption of the business isn’t prolonged.

Avanade has a proven process of working with organizations to accelerate time to value for Cloud application. Avanade’s Application Roadmap to Cloud tool helps produce a plan that consists of four elements:

  1. Cloud strategy – what are my business goals for moving to the cloud?
  2. Application portfolio assessment – which migration approach and applications should I consider?
  3. Target application migration – how should I effectively migrate or modernize my target applications?
  4. Application managed services – how can I manage my applications in the cloud?

Avanade applied this approach with a global consumer products company, that had long-since outgrown the IT infrastructure supporting its online presence.

Its legacy environment lacked the flexibility to rapidly make changes to site content or add new sites as acquisitions occurred.

The company also sought to optimise visitor’s user experience and to expand access to brand sites for mobile device users.

Within 12 weeks, Avanade developed and implemented a Sitecore solution deployed on Microsoft Azure and migrated two brand sites to the platform. This laid the foundation for the transition of all the company’s disparate web properties to a single platform in the future.

This platform allows the company to deliver a cohesive, integrated experience for customers across channels and brands, driving customer loyalty.

The key to this project’s success was understanding the business objectives for migrating and where best to make a start. With a variety of options and paths to follow, things can get confusing. Start with ‘Why?’ and give yourself the space to learn, adjust, and improve until you find the right approach for your business.

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