Moving into the clouds

First of all, we need to understand why we are moving into the clouds, with all the pros and cons we have with this decision.

Image: Seven Deadly Sins of IT - We are special

Image: Seven Deadly Sins of IT - We are special

There are a number of benefits of migrating to the cloud as:

  • Scalability - need to grow or shrink

  • Flexibility - need to change fast

  • Security - higher security (perhaps)

  • Cost - lower cost (sometimes)

  • Competence - don’t have competence

  • Priority - don’t want to manage IT

But these benefits are not always true. It could be cheaper of running your own systems yourself and there can be issues to get the correct level of security for cloud solutions. It’s neither sure that your legacy applications can be moved to the cloud.

This is why we also need to see what kind of infrastructure and applications you should, or could, move to the cloud. An example of list from a business perspective could be:

  • Virtual machines, storage and monitoring

  • Application servers, integration plattforms, access management etc

  • E-mail and other colloboration tools for a digtial workplace

  • Software development & deployment environments 

  • Administrative applications as Financial and HR

  • Core business applications as CRM and ERP

  • Technical application used in production

  • Supporting business applications, e.g. for R&D

If we look at e-mail and other tools for collaboration, we more or less get all benefits with a cloud solution, so it’s a no brain to take a decision for most organizations.

The big question is if we can move our core business applications and technical application in production into the cloud?

We may run the applications in virtual machines in the cloud, but is it worth it? If we have existing applications in our own premises, managed by ourself or outsourced, then there is a huge question of the benefits.

If the legacy applications need a huge rewrite to accommodate a more digital strategy than before, yes we may have a case. Then we need to think if we should use SaaS or write bespoke solutions using micro-services and modern development paradigms, e.g. DevOps.

This is a much more complex descion to take than to recommend a cloud first strategy.

Back to our media company. What was the objectives for a cloud first strategy? It boils down to three main reasons:

  • Competence - don’t have internal competence to manage IT

  • Priority - don’t want to manage IT, but focus on business

  • Flexibility - need to change fast

For our core technical production systems, e.g. editing of films, we need local solutions and local competence, not cloud solutions.

Last, but not least important; We need to understand how to integrate the different parts from a business perspective.

How do you think about your strategy for cloud migration?