Any shift to a new IT architecture can be difficult. Migrating to a hybrid cloud may be one of the most challenging moves, given the vast number of legacy processes and services that an enterprise must reconcile or reposition across multiple commercial cloud environments.
It is important to note that migration does not necessarily mean modernization. To achieve the benefits of modernization, newly migrated systems need to be primed for future refactoring or replatforming to leverage cloud-native services like artificial intelligence, machine learning or serverless computing.
What’s in the way
Several obstacles often arise in hybrid cloud migration projects:
- Application owners and IT staff are reluctant to migrate to the cloud due to perceived technical limitations, funding availability, priorities and increased security risks.
- Procurement cycles can be inefficient and decentralized, making it hard to adapt quickly to changes in solutions and parameters.
- In a multi-cloud environment, management and governance of contracts, billing and service level agreements (SLAs) can be challenging, often requiring multiple tools, processes and service providers.
- The Shared Security Model of the commercial cloud introduces a new level of complexity to managing the risk and responsibility of hosted systems and data, which further complicates the process of assessing the optimal modernization approach.
A three-phase solution
All of this adds up to the unfortunate reality that there is no single tool, solution or service that can address all these challenges. Success requires a holistic, end-to-end approach that must incorporate three primary phases: Assess, Transform and Manage.
- Assess: Executives have to define the overarching governance framework, identifying the stakeholders to be included and building consensus around the program’s goals and objectives. The information gathered during this phase establishes a baseline from which the current and future states of security, financial, technical and operational models can be evaluated transparently. (For government organizations, it is crucial to establish alignment with relevant cloud strategies from the start. This will drive adoption and maximize service capability while ensuring the security and compliance of workloads and data.)
- Transform: The future state governance model, migration strategy and schedule come into play here, driving the individual transformation and migration projects. Enterprise security, compliance and operational models must be instituted to manage new hybrid cloud technical and business processes. The transition into the steady state requires that a new service management and support structure be in place.
- Manage: Finally, as the transition phase ends, the organization must begin active, ongoing management. A secure, centralized hybrid IT management platform can deliver the needed governance and transparency of the federated cloud environments. It also achieves operational efficiencies through the automated requisitioning, provisioning and billing/chargeback of cloud workloads and data. Continuous optimization and improvement of the operational environment—with a focus on identifying innovations and services to be implemented for future transformation activities—is another benefit of this approach.
These three basic phases are the keys to developing a comprehensive enterprise/hybrid cloud strategy and operational framework that not only drives the success of a hybrid cloud migration, but also provides opportunities for modernization and transformation.
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