There are many use cases for moving to the cloud from next generation workspaces (BYOD, VDI, Collaboration tools) to services such as SaaS, IaaS and PaaS.
But, when it comes to cloud transformation (data centre consolidation, virtualisation and automation), then there are some key things companies need to consider before they take the leap. There are several cloud deployment options available to a business.
One is to deploy a ‘roll out across all workloads’ approach, which involves re-platforming legacy IT and applications – potentially all in one go.
Another is to ‘cap and grow’ – i.e maintaining legacy apps and data on legacy platforms, whilst building new apps in the cloud. In both cases, this is still a massive undertaking. Whichever approach they choose, businesses should think very carefully before trying a ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) approach.
To ensure ultimate delivery on their cloud roadmap, they must evaluate the benefits of specialist professional services support.
There is often a drive for economies of scale as a priority with cloud/SaaS model implementations. This has caused fundamental shifts in the approach and value that professional services can take.
However, what’s often not considered is that moving an application, or the data it holds, does not necessarily move the associated business processes that the application and its data store rely upon or integrate with.
It is like moving a boiler, for example, without considering the downstream impact. This could cause the failure of connecting pipes and anything they are connected with, such as taps, or radiators.
Similarly, if an application is moved without considering how the whole is connected, then the devices, connections attached and integrated to it will also fail. So, whilst the cloud and SaaS models offer huge advantages, there are many things to be considered before making investments.
To establish a service as commercially viable, new start-up MSPs, established IT resellers and service providers offering cloud based services, tend to focus on generating sufficient customer numbers.
This means that initially, they tend to provide the bare minimum of implementation services or additional services to make the break-even point quicker.
Unfortunately, this rather short sighted tendency is causing many customers difficulties. This in turn means these customers fail to see value and start looking elsewhere.
The channel could be sacrificing long term customer stickiness for short term growth.
Also some organisations rely too much on internal staff skills rather than looking to more specialist providers and vendors. The channel is focused on trying to train their own staff to provide these services, missing the value which could be delivered by specialist partner’s networks or vendor expertise.
This trend is also being seen in customers which emphasise developing skills internally to make organisations more self-sufficient.
Vendor professional services offer additional value through acting as a broker for their customer in their journey to the cloud. They can assist in engaging not only their own staff but specialist partners for cloud and network architecture design, and applications, data and business process discovery services.
This means that nothing gets overlooked, the boiler is considered in connection with the taps and radiators.
In a cloud migration project, professional services need to drive the virtual data centre and network architecture for the cloud. A cloud network architect should be employed to create a ’Journey to the Cloud’ movement plan.
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This plan will involve:
- Deploying discovery services to identify application, data and business process dependencies.
- Pulling performance information to right size the application, data and business process.
- All this needs to be done before moving to the cloud.
Trends indicate a strong move towards a hybrid cloud environment, it’s no longer a case of if but when companies move their data. But, as with renovating you home, careful planning needs to take place first to ensure a smooth transition and the success of the project.
Sourced by Henk Nagel, director professional services EMEA at Commvault