Despite the growing awareness about cloud storage, many organizations still see migrating to the cloud as a challenge. Some companies have started the migration process but quit halfway due to the gross underestimation of the work required. Thus, the migration to the cloud is halted midway, before they can realize the major benefits it brings to an organization. Organizations also tend to set their expectations too high without completely understanding how cloud storage works.
Yes, the cloud does make application scaling faster and easier. But migrating to the cloud is not simply shifting all the company’s data and operations to the cloud. It is much more than that. Moving to the cloud requires dedication from the team. Applications now run dynamically, on a platform that is not under the direct control of the team. So, they need to be monitored carefully. When an error shows up, it isn’t very easy to know whether it is from the application or due to the cloud service. One needs to become proficient in navigating the world of the dynamic cloud.
With strategic planning and dynamic execution, any firm can smoothly transition to the cloud. The cloud consultancy services define the Cloud Maturity Model as a step by step blueprint to analyze a company’s maturity in the cloud. The model is intended to help organizations successfully migrate to and adopt the cloud.
Adopting the cloud involves different levels of maturity. These levels are what essentially form the Cloud Maturity Model. For successfully adopting the cloud, it is important to have continuity between the maturity levels. Moving from one level to another is neither easy nor can be done quickly. Also, the specifications of each level vary for each organization. Some businesses skip certain levels as well. The various steps in achieving cloud maturity are described below:
Getting Introduced to the Cloud
The first step is getting acquainted with any technology that is becoming familiar with it. Experiment with the cloud. Since you are only testing the waters, use those applications (or parts of applications) that are not critical to the project. This is the first level. So, use a few important applications to check how cloud services work. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is usually used in the initial stages. It is easy to use, and one can avoid dealing with complex processes regarding the cloud. However, there are no policies defined yet. Teams may work in isolation and conduct stand-alone migrations first.
Level 2 involves securing the cloud. This is the stage where the company has to form policies on cloud services and their usage. Is our data secure? Can we trust the cloud? How to monitor applications that run on the cloud? Is there clarity on the functioning of the cloud infrastructure we want to implement? These are the questions to be discussed. All the stakeholders are requested to give their inputs for cloud policies. Getting past this point is crucial for the organization’s success in migrating to the cloud.
Moving Applications to the Cloud
This is the level where companies slowly start reaping the benefits of cloud adoption. This is the time for the replacement of on-premises servers and backend resources. It is important to establish clarity on how the cloud works when applications are moved to the cloud. Now, companies can move to extend their monitoring strategies from their premises to the cloud. Application visibility and monitoring strategies need to be carefully defined as they can make or break the process of shifting to the cloud. If defined properly, the company can expect to see lowered costs, increased flexibility, and other benefits.
Enabling Additional Services
Moving to the cloud is not just about shifting the firm’s data and applications to the cloud and running them on cloud servers. There are numerous value-added services that the cloud has to offer. It is time for the company to make use of these services as well. If you have moved your database to the cloud, you might as well let the cloud manage your database efficiently. This is the point where the effect of dynamic cloud kicks in. At this stage, employees are quite familiar with how the cloud works. Therefore, it is time to move some strategic applications and services to the cloud.
Using the Cloud-Specific Services
At the 5th level, the company is already a cloud-enabled organization. Certain services are unique and specific to the cloud environment. To reap the maximum benefits from the cloud, companies can subscribe to these special services – serverless computing, data warehousing, schema less databases that are highly scalable, queuing, and notification services, to name a few. At this step, evaluate your monitoring strategy is giving you the desired visibility to the applications as they run dynamically on the cloud. Different cloud management services providers offer different services. Analyze each provider’s list before choosing a cloud management services provider.
By level 6, applications have been tested and moved to the cloud. Monitoring strategies are in place. Policies surrounding the usage of cloud services have been defined. The company is availing of the benefits of value-added and cloud-specific services. Now, new applications run on the cloud by default. The aim is to move all operations to the cloud and eliminate on-premises servers and data centers. However, goals may differ from company to company. Some organizations may choose to retain their data centers for the time being. Most of them do not want to deal with the management of data centers.
Migrating to the cloud is a journey that requires patience. It happens in stages. It cannot be done overnight. However, since cloud management services are on the rise, making things simpler for companies, it is better to jump on the bandwagon sooner. Once the employees become proficient in managing cloud applications, the company will start realizing the benefits of moving to the cloud. Could adoption, when done rightly, can deliver enhanced agility, greater flexibility, and a significant reduction in expenses. Thus, companies may refer to the Cloud Maturity Model while carrying out cloud adoption.
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