Lesson #6 – Your Cloud Packing Guide
Say you are selling your house and buying a new one. You probably aren’t going to take everything in your existing house, box it up and move it directly into your new house. Maybe you are upsizing because your family is growing, maybe the kids have all gone off and started their own life and a smaller abode is perfect, or maybe you are just moving to a better neighborhood. No matter what the reason, this is the perfect opportunity to sort, filter, upsize, downsize or upgrade many of the things you own.
You look for things to sell on Craigslist or eBay. Then you have a series of garage sales and once all the good stuff is gone, you then start making the trips to your local charity (love the tax incentive). Now it’s time to purge. Backup the big dumpster, pull out the big, black garbage bags and start getting rid of all the crap. Then and only then is it time to start boxing up the stuff you want to keep. And even then, after all that, you still probably leave a few undesirable things in your garage, under a couple of sinks and in the back yard.
It might not be exactly the same as moving houses, but going from your old data center to the Cloud is an amazing opportunity to “clean house”. Sit down with your customers and talk through priorities and the action plan. Here are some categories and examples to help you plan:
DO NOT MOVE
Maybe you are planning to replace this system or there is current work happening. Some systems have dongles for software licensing and currently prohibit cloud as an option. Do you have legal / compliance issues that add complexity to the system? This option should be an exception, not the rule.
Who uses this system? How much is it used and how much value does it bring to the organization? Do you have duplicate functionality in a different system? Can you use a SaaS / PaaS solution instead? Is it time to decommission the system? Look for as many of these systems / applications as you can possibly find. Reduce your overall technical debt.
Can you find a partner to do this cheaper, faster, and / or better? Can you get out of the business of supporting non-essential capabilities? Is there a SaaS, PaaS or Managed Service offering that you can take advantage of? Move up the technology stack as far as possible when and where it makes sense.
Do you have hard coded applications? Do you need to accommodate a hybrid cloud configuration during migration? Are their opportunities to optimize capabilities to take advantage of specific cloud services. Consider investing to increase business value or reduce technical debt.
Can you consolidate applications, software, infrastructure, or licensing? Is it time to upgrade? Do you currently have stability or scalability challenges? Is the system so old that you are afraid to touch it? Carefully prioritize projects that require re-architecting. Make sure they are worth the investment.
LIFT & SHIFT
Don’t miss the opportunity to sunset, outsource, refactor or re-architect your systems. It’s easy to say that we will come back and fix this one later. It’s not so easy to come back later and actually fix something. Last resort if none of the above fit and this can be accomplished with minimum efforts.
Moving to the Cloud is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often. So don’t waste it! Take the time to “clean house” and make your organization better than it has ever been before.