A step-by-step framework to adopting a multi-cloud strategy

In Indirect Resellers, Direct Customers

We know that a multi-cloud strategy is at the core of driving digital transformation to meet growing and evolving business demands. But managing the realities of the process of adopting a cloud-first approach is easier said than done.

The cloud-operation model offers several features that are desirable from both a business and information technology perspective. It is worth noting that when transitioning to the cloud the focus changes from the operating platform to applications and functionality. The cloud transition also impacts the lifecycle of how the applications and services within the various models are purchased, established, operated, and phased out.

The cloud services and models that are chosen also affect both benefits and challenges, as a single SaaS application may be different from a SaaS-based cloud productivity suite, which in turn differs from a feature of a PaaS or an IaaS.

It is essential for an organization to define all the drivers of why you should move all or parts of the business to the cloud: Defining these drivers and goals will help the organization to understand not just the why, as in Strategic Goals, but also help to establish a solid Business Case with a sensible set of measurements to keep track during the transition to the cloud.

Any organization that implements cloud services in scale will experience challenges related to a variety of topics, ranging from culture and technology understanding to processes.

The way to ensure successful implementation of cloud services is to address a set of factors that impacts adoption excellence: these factors include organizational maturity to adopt standardized services, how to monitor and adapt current processes, how to obtain (and control) the required services, continuous learning, and the ability to adapt to change over time.

Not all challenges are the same across different organizations, and some will be tougher to overcome than others. However, to be able to take full advantage of the public cloud as well as get the required return on investment it is important that these challenges are met.

Crayons Cloud Adoption Framework aims to minimize any friction by following a multi-phased approach to adopting the cloud.


Step 1 – Assess

The first phase is all about understanding the cloud readiness posture and infrastructure and application portfolio. A cloud readiness assessment can help us understand the organizational maturity across different perspectives. The results can help guide where the organization requires training or process improvements.

Another starting point is a detailed migration assessment that aims to provide an accurate picture of current infrastructure and applications in use within the organization. This allows you to design a successful roadmap based on application dependencies, suitability, and readiness while ensuring cost performance optimization the moment applications are ready to migrate to the cloud.


Step 2 – Prepare

Once we understand the current status with regards to the organizational cloud readiness combined with the infrastructure and application map, we can commence building an in-depth per-application cloud migration plan that details actions and priorities.

In addition to the migration plan, we would recommend building a commercial and technical governance foundation for cloud services. This is how we connect the how of implementing cloud services to the why of business, security, and IT requirements. Having the foundation in place allows you to deploy to, and manage applications in, the cloud in an organized and controlled manner.


Step 3 – Implement

Having planned our cloud foundation, we can start building our cloud infrastructure and migrating applications according to the migration plan.

This is when all our hard work during the assess and prepare phases pays off, as we have a clear vision of the work we need to do. Additionally, having planned everything also means that we have standards that are being used during implementation including naming and structure standards, operational standards for service creation and infrastructure as code to enable automation while minimizing manual errors, and governance standards for consumption reporting and operational readiness.


Step 4 – Operate

Once we go into the operate phase, we turn on production mode where the focus expands to operational excellence across the organization including training, reporting, cost control, and security.

Now is also the time to revisit our organizational cloud readiness to verify that we have matured and identify where and how we should focus to improve even further.


In closing

While it is possible to just start using the cloud without any planning, we have also found that issues with governance, security, and cost will crop up without the proper foundation in place.

Crayon can assist throughout any stage of the cloud adoption journey, and the earlier in the process the better, as we can provide deep advice and insight. Start by engaging us with a Cloud Migration Assessment and lay the foundation for successful cloud adoption.


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Stig Rakke - Global Cloud Services Product Lead, Crayon