Plan: Top 7 Ways to Alleviate Common Cloud Concerns

As you plan for your cloud migration, one of the first steps is to help overcome any objections from your organization. You need to be able to speak to common fears and concerns that your users and application leaders might have about moving to the Microsoft cloud.

Microsoft says that these are some of the common questions that come up when organizations are migrating to Azure:

  • Cost: What are the cost savings and total cost of ownership if I move to Azure?
  • Applications: Which applications should I move? What is the recommended sequence?
  • Hybrid: Will you build my entire environment on Azure? Or can part of it stay on-premises/private cloud?
  • Architecture: Will you take care of architecture changes to meet reliability, scalability, and availability requirements?
  • Downtime: What are the impacts to business continuity and to my customer relationships?
  • Compliance: Will you ensure that my data and processes follow all regulations?
  • Governance: Can you show me how you plan to manage and monitor my applications in the cloud?
  • Risks: Are there any new risks that we introduce by moving to the cloud?

If any of these concerns apply to your organization, here are several things you can do up front to help alleviate.

1. Do a proof of concept

This can be one of the most effective ways to alleviate cloud concerns across your organization. Ideally, pick a real application that you can replicate in the cloud. But probably not your most complex application, as you need to be able to execute this project quickly, usually anywhere from 30-90 days. Go through the whole process of deploying and using the application in the cloud. And make sure to give your users the chance to play around with it and see it in action.

2. Do a technical assessment

In this step, you map out your applications and servers and decide how to best move each to the cloud. Your organization likely runs hundreds—or maybe thousands—of applications across a range of servers. So it’s a good idea to put together an inventory of all physical and virtual servers in your environment. And you can even add in profile information and performance metrics about each application.

3. Get a presentation

Have your migration partner walk you through each of the concerns. This might even include a real-world demo of how to migrate and manage applications in the cloud. You can even record this and share it out with your broader users, so it can become a reusable resource.

4. Get a breakdown of estimated costs

There are several tools out there to help you estimate the costs of running applications and servers in the cloud. Your migration partner might even have a tool of their own. A good place to start is with the Azure pricing calculator. It’s a quick way to estimate potential costs across various Azure products and features. And you can even easily share the estimate with others. There’s also an Azure Total Cost of Ownership calculator.

5. Do a return on investment analysis

Cost is only part of the picture. So along with a cost estimate, it’s also a good idea to try to quantify cost savings that you’ll get from your investment in the cloud. Your migration partner might able to help you walk through this analysis. And also take a look at this Forrester report, which was commissioned by Microsoft: The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Azure.

6. Do architecture design sessions

This is where you sit down with your migration partner and whiteboard out what your cloud architecture can look like. The idea is to get a sense for how your existing architecture needs to transform to the cloud. You should also come away with best practices around how to design scalable, resilient, and highly available applications in the cloud. For inspiration, you can even take a look at many of Azure’s existing reference architectures.

7. Review case studies

Your migration partner has ideally worked on migration projects with similar clients, ideally around the same size and in the same industry. So make sure to ask for details about these projects. You can even ask for references at these clients and then go speak straight to the source. And don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions, like if there were any unexpected snags that came up during the migration. Or what the other customer wishes they had known before they got started.

Get started

If you need help on the above (or beyond), we’re standing by. At Binary Tree, we’re exclusively focused on helping enterprises around the world plan, move, and manage their way to the Microsoft cloud. To get started, get in touch.

 

Source: Microsoft. Cloud Migration and Modernization Playbook, 2018