Assessing the impact of data center migration on IT, business and governance
Just a few years ago, moving to the cloud was a journey for only the most daring organizations. Thanks to improvements in security and reliability, a growing number of companies are eager to take the leap. Data center migration, however, should not be taken lightly: a careful assessment of all its potential effects is not a luxury, but a crucial step for a successful transformation.
Keeping track of all the implications of changing your IT infrastructure can be a daunting task, and having the right experience certainly helps. Pascal Haspeel, architect in the core tech services team, has been helping organizations make informed IT choices for over 20 years.
“From scalability and security to fixed fees, there are many reasons to consider moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud,” he explains. “Our goal is to provide organizations with unbiased advice on the ideal IT architecture for their specific situation.”
To cloud or not to cloud
For Pascal, the ideal architecture isn’t necessarily cloud-based. “It’s entirely possible that some parts of an organization’s IT infrastructure are better kept on-premise,” he continues. “But to know what should go where, we need to get as complete a picture as possible in the form of a ‘migration roadmap’. This document includes specifics on which parts of the IT infrastructure should and shouldn’t be moved to the cloud, and what interdependencies exist between them. Companies often approach us with very specific requests, such as assistance with the implementation of Microsoft Office 365. Very often, however, they haven’t considered how this will impact the company as a whole. A migration roadmap makes these effects explicit.”
A play in two parts
In general, an assessment should include two major parts: one that is technical, and one on governance. While the first part is pretty obvious, the second is often overlooked.
1. Technical assessment
“More and more, we’re using automated tools to scan existing environments and determine not only what’s there but also how everything is connected,” Pascal goes on to say. “After this, we perform a code inspection to determine how certain applications could be moved the cloud, and according to which model. Sometimes, we’ll need to upgrade applications to a newer version to make cloud migration possible. During this entire assessment process, we’re continuously looking for optimization opportunities. We then discuss our findings with the client and provide a cost and timing estimation for each scenario.”
2. Governance assessment
The technical aspects of cloud migration are only half the story, however. “One of the effects of moving to the cloud is the elimination of traditional silos,” explains Gunter Dewitte, cloud services sales manager at delaware. “Certain responsibilities may overlap, which can cause confusion. Companies are starting to realize that they have to reorganize themselves as a result of cloud migration and need to reconsider roles and responsibilities. Based on our research, we develop a ‘governance runbook’, that contains all the rules and agreements needed to keep the organization running smoothly. The upside of this is that it can really help business and IT work closer together in the long run.”
A three-step migration assessment
Every successful migrations starts with three consecutive sets of questions:
- What’s the solution? What’s the added value? What does migration look like? How much time and money will it cost?
- If I move (parts of) my IT environment to the cloud, what will be the impact on my IT and organization?
- What’s the right choice for us in terms of our business activities? For example, there are different requirements and regulations in finance vs. pharma.
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