Developing your Cloud First Strategy


Imagine this scenario. Your business just scaled up because of the increasing demand for your product and service. However, your hardware requirements are not enough to match the demand. Scaling up also means the inability to control the current demand for data and more requirements. Now, your team is thinking of switching to the cloud. Should your team do it? 

Cloud First Strategy is your business thinking ahead to move infrastructures and operations to cloud-computing platforms before thinking of alternatives. According to a Gartner research in 2019, cloud application services (SaaS) are expected to grow from $80B in 2018 to $143.7B while cloud system infrastructure services are expected to grow from $30.5B to $76.6B in 2022.

Cloud Migration, What to Expect?

Before thinking of migrating to cloud platforms, you need to know your business objective first. What is the current state of your IT operations? What are your requirements? What cloud model are you going to adopt? Having a well-thought-out migration plan allows you and your team to recognize both opportunities and risks that are essential in overcoming the direction of your operational strategies. 

Next is the financial cost of cloud migration. On-premise to cloud first strategy isn’t just about moving the infrastructure and applications to the cloud, it is also about investing in the bandwidth costs, manpower, and expertise needed to migrate successfully, risk aversion strategies to optimize its maximum performance, and training people to adapt to new systems.

SAP on Cloud

SAP started transitioning its ERP software strategy to the cloud in 2010. By 2016, SAP S/4HANA Cloud was released. Since then, SAP is encouraging customers to move from on-premise landscapes to SAP on the cloud. However, with the reality that the demand for cloud experts is in shortage and cloud migration is not as easy as it sounds, it is an option for various businesses to ensure successful transition and cloud first strategy options. SAP is a mission-critical application and if migration is not done properly, it will definitely affect the business financially in the long run.

Develop your Cloud First Strategy the Efficient Way 

As your organization commits to evaluating cloud-based solutions before considering other alternatives, it is of utmost importance to identify the reasons for this shift. Based on TechTarget’s survey on top drivers of digital transformation, most businesses shift to streamline operations, allow internal efficiency and process management (47%), improve employee performance and productivity (47%), and enhance customer experience and brand loyalty (43%). Aside from this, the shift to cloud migration provides an opportunity for data collection that can be used for the preventive maintenance of costly assets. 

So, how do we develop this cloud first strategy across the organization? 

1. Agree on Definition of Terms

In any business strategy, oftentimes, issues arise due to miscommunication. It is essential to agree on all the terms that will be used in the implementation of your cloud first strategy. There is no need to reinvent terms, just make sure that all stakeholders agree on a universal definition of terms that will be used all throughout your cloud computing conversations. 

2. Identify your Business Goals, Objectives, and Migration Phases

Using the SWOT analysis, you can validate potential benefits, opportunities, and risks associated with the plan for migrating to the cloud. Each organization will have a different approach, but identifying the various phases needed in your cloud first strategy will eventually allow how each department in the organization will behave.

3. Discuss the Principles to Implement in the Strategy

Brainstorming on the steps to implement your cloud-first strategy is necessary. Following several guiding principles in your implementation will save you a lot of headaches. Examine the relevance of each potential service, the expertise of your manpower, and managing the effort involved to move your infrastructure into the cloud taking into consideration of platform and automation.

4. Align your Financial Consideration with Various Pricing Models

As you determine your business strategy from on-premise migration to SAP on Cloud, it is imperative to understand the available pricing models that meet your requirements. You can either save or spend more when migrating to the cloud, but if you align these beforehand, the higher the chances for your business to save tremendously.  The Total Cost of Ownership of a cloud migration project will depend on balancing performance, resiliency, security, and the level of automation desired.

For example, a well defined and steady workload can benefit from purchasing advanced reservations of computing resources to get the most discount, while a less known workload can benefit from a high level of automation to dynamically scale up/down as well as snoozing non-production workloads during off-hours like nights and weekends.

Learn more about how you can automate snoozing in SAP systems.

5. Enhance the Security of your Data 

During the shift, private and public data will be handled accordingly, either by internal or external experts. During brainstorming meetings, it is important to identify the ways and strategies to ensure that your data is secured. It can be aligned to your staffing requirements, data center, or architecture strategies for a more efficient process of cloud migration.  The security model of most public cloud deployment and operations will depend on a shared responsibility model where the cloud vendor is responsible for the security of the cloud (cloud infrastructure), and the customer is responsible for the security on the cloud (application, OS, DB, storage and network design).

Ready to Migrate?

Now that you know what to expect, and have developed your migration plan from on-premise to cloud first strategy, it is now time to implement. But is it worth it to do this plan manually or automate the whole migration process? Will it be cheaper or will it require you to spend more? 

Every migration project requires technical expertise to implement. However, the challenge for businesses is to have technical experts perform the migration or train people to do the job. Also, businesses will have to invest in technology and tools. With the rise of automation nowadays, eliminating repetitive tasks is beneficial especially for organizations with several processes performed manually.

IT-Conductor has been in the industry for more than 10 years with the idea of automating IT into a practical solution. Doing automation for on-premise to cloud migration remotely without agents, IT-Conductor allows for seamless and more successful cloud first strategy implementation.

Develop Your Cloud First Strategy with IT-Conductor

By 2022, most organizations have shifted to the cloud with about $70-$140B in revenue using either cloud application services (SaaS) or cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS). With the demand to streamline operations, and improve performance and productivity, cloud first strategies across organizations have become inevitable. It is therefore essential to know what to expect and how to do it, especially when taking into consideration the financial cost and revenue for most businesses.

Start an SAP on Cloud Proof of Concept