3 Things CIO’s and CTO’s Should Focus on for Their Journey to Cloud

If you have delayed your cloud journey till now, you should do this.

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Cloud environment is scalable, reliable, convenient, cost-effective, and easily accessible.  To reduce operational costs and mitigate security risks, to meet the rapidly increasing capacity needs and accommodate new geographies, a company must shift to the cloud. Cloud migration gives a company competitive edge and keeps it ahead of business rivals.  The time to migrate to cloud was yesterday.  

It is difficult to imagine that a business has not started their cloud journey yet.  But, in case business priorities did not allow the organization to look deep and hard into cloudifying the IT stack and business applications, we have a few suggestions to make. 

The CIO/CTO of such organization should immediately form a taskforce to create a business case for cloud migration.  The taskforce may even be asked to develop a roadmap for migration. The taskforce could comprise of IT Executives, Architects, and Business Function representatives.  The CIO/CTO may head the taskforce.    

The CIO/CTO should immediately form a taskforce that will create a business case for cloud migration.

The journey to cloud will be long and cumbersome.  There must be different people in charge of different aspects of this journey.  A CIO/CTO may be the overall in-charge but there are a few key areas that the CIO should focus on to ensure success of cloud migration.  Below are top 3 focus areas that should be close to a CIO/CTO’s chest:

  • Technical and Domain Knowledge
  • Migration Methodology
  • Program Governance

Focusing on these areas will help with assessment of the staff capabilities, development of an approach to the target state, and progress-tracking of the cloud journey.

Technical and Domain Knowledge

Assessment of current team capabilities is an important aspect in planning the cloud journey.  The current employees are well versed in the legacy technology. Their business domain knowledge is critical to the successful migration of the applications to the cloud.  But they would need training and retooling to upgrade their skills.  IT will have to understand the skills gap. They will have to involve business in explaining and justifying the budget needed to fill this gap.  This assessment will also help in determining sourcing requirements to fill the gap.  The IT department should work closely with the HR department in this assessment.

Migration Methodology

Agile or iterative methodology is the norm, however, the IT will have to go a step further and decide a specific one from the various flavors of these methodologies.  With any business in any industry, documentation of the legacy systems is conspicuous by its absence or incompleteness.  A business may have to use Test-Driven Development methodology for migration.  This would ensure that a verifiable Definition of Done (DoD) is captured upfront for every application and every business scenario.

There are several vendors/System Integrators who bring their own methodology to assist with cloud migration.  Some bring just a framework comprising best practices while others bring a methodology which is tightly coupled with the toolset that they sell.  A business has to decide whether they can handover the keys to an SI (Systems Integrator) and let the SI drive the show.  Or, the business could leverage the SI’s expertise only as a consulting partner for cloud migration.

IT will have to work closely with HR to determine skills gap, training and sourcing requirements. 

Program Governance

Cloud journey is long and arduous.  A robust set of Program Management and Governance practices may have to be institutionalized.  A few important practices are:

  • ROI calculators and prioritization framework
  • Guides, checklists and templates
  • Stakeholder communication plan
  • Program dashboard to monitor progress and measure success

Communication with the business stakeholders and field operations is one of the most important activities of such endeavor.  Communications to update the end-users may also be needed.  A good stakeholder communication framework would be necessary and must be established upfront.

If the entire cloud migration project is outsourced to an SI, a good set of delivery milestones and tollgates must be established in the contract.  The business must be ready to provide the needed support and attention to the SI partner. 

The above are just a few of the key focus areas in developing a cloud migration approach.  These help provide guiderails for a company starting on a cloud journey.  The CIO/CTO will have to keep adjusting the plan as BAU is still important while the journey takes place.  Ultimately, Customer Experience (CX) would be the yard stick for defining and measuring cloud migration success.

The CIO/CTO will have to keep adjusting the plan as BAU is still important while the cloud journey takes place. 

For a detailed discussion and to know the key considerations for Cloud Migration, you may refer to our other article – Cloud Migration: Lessons From Cyber Trenches And Foundries.  For more information or a conversation on how CES can help with Cloud Migration, please contact us at sales@cesltd.com.

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