Tips for Moving to the Cloud
When companies move to the cloud, there are undoubtedly numerous challenges that must be overcome. For example:
- integration of cloud services into the enterprise architecture
- corporate data security, compliance and governance
- movement of legacy apps
- monitoring and managing employee-led cloud usage
- establishing cloud services operational processes
- a decision as to whether you will use a managed IT services provider like AISN to manage, defend and protect your cloud or invest in your own employees’ cloud skills development
When you’re ready to make the big move, Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group CTO Eduardo Kassner has some great tips that we would like to share. He recommends “identifying your drivers and taking a systematic approach” to moving to the cloud. Here are Kassner’s six tips:
- Catalog existing applications. To understand what, when, and how to assess and catalog the applications in your environment. So that per assessment attribute you can then proceed to weighted and build a prioritized list.
- Define criteria for migrating or re-architecting your applications in the cloud. You should set priorities within your migration plan based on business factors, architecture as well as technical factors. Your business liaison team should work with the operations team, so that the business units involved can help establish a priority listing that is agreed upon.
- Architect core infrastructure components for cloud integration. Deploying hybrid cloud scenarios begins with the need for connectivity to the Microsoft cloud platforms, which need to be sized to be secure and performant while under the different load requirements. It then proceeds with the definition of the identity and RBAC requirements for SaaS and Azure PaaS hybrid scenarios, which includes Azure AD as a common identity provider, which can be synchronized with your on-premises Windows Server AD, or federated with Windows Server AD, as well as with other identity providers. The next step is to Secure the hybrid cloud scenarios, which includes security groups, isolation, traffic segmentation, protection and management for your identities, administrative privilege management, threat awareness, data encryption, and the implementation of governance and security policies.
- Acquire cloud development skills. Develop competencies with cloud technologies and services even as those services evolve and change. Practically, this means that staff must have time to explore new technologies and that you may need to increase your investment in IT staff training.
- Retool for adoption and change management. Rethink your IT service management and disaster recovery practices, as well as how a given cloud service integrates with your existing in-house technology infrastructure.
- Take a systematic and disciplined approach to security, governance and compliance. Invest in core capabilities within your organization that lead to secure environments.
Laurie Head is a Co-owner of AIS Network.