The journey to the Cloud can sometimes seem a million miles away to many businesses.

Yet remember, whatever path you take, you must start with a single, well-informed strategy for your organisation to reach your destination safely and securely, according to Exception, based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Failure to prepare properly may also endanger and delay your organisation’s move to the cloud, reducing all the fantastic benefits of transferring your infrastructure and applications to this brave new world. These include faster provisioning times, reduced software development lifecycles, lower IT infrastructure costs and greater future agility to name just a few.

1. Secure Cloud Migration commitment from ALL stakeholders

So where should you start before moving your applications to the cloud? You may be surprised at how many CIOs forget the basics, according to McKinsey and Company. They strongly advise securing cloud migration commitment from all stakeholders. This includes senior management, fellow IT colleagues and, particularly, finance leaders who must support the shift from a regime of capital purchase to that of operational expenditure.

Also, before beginning any cloud migration always “take a dispassionate look” at your existing IT and apps portfolio to determine what is best suited for public cloud platforms, what will stay “on premise” or what your Software as a Service (SaaS) alternatives are. It will often not be a “one size fits all” solution. Don’t be forced to adopt technology that doesn’t provide benefit just because it’s fashionable.

When planning your migration, the optimum approach would be to view the cloud within a full transformational strategy which could really maximise the value of the cloud.

2. Your Cloud Migration strategy must include digital transformation

Exception would also suggest that your Cloud Migration strategy should include approaches which are part of an overall plan for digital transformation, which includes both your business and IT goals.

Always create a well-defined set of outcome-oriented aspirations for both the short and long term in line with your approach.

One obstacle you may hear is “You’re never doing that, it’s too insecure!” Be warned, legal and risk teams have a habit of protesting from the mountaintops that the cloud is still insecure. On the contrary, research and advisory firm, Gartner, believes the issue is not the security of the cloud itself, but in the policies and technologies for security and control of the technology.

Jay Heiser, Gartner’s Vice President Analyst, advises that CIOs need to ensure their security teams are not holding back cloud initiatives with ‘unsubstantiated cloud security worries’, adding that exaggerated fears can cause lost opportunity and inappropriate spending. CIOs must change their line of questioning from “Is the cloud secure?” to “Am I using the cloud securely?”

3. Adopt new KPIs and shift IT behaviour

An agile operating model demands significant shifts in IT behaviours and mind-sets. Invest in both change management and cross-functional skills across infrastructure, security and application environments.

Finally, adopt new KPIs. Measure your technology team for standardisation and automation rather than for availability. One of Exception’s major strengths is being able to securely architect your Cloud Migration journey. Our team of Cloud Experts can map out the entire process from data migration, to defining cloud-solution needs, and production switchover mechanisms.

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