It’s no secret that the cloud computing industry is growing rapidly. 451 Research predicts one-third of enterprises will spend their IT budgets on hosting and cloud services in 2018, and other analysts peg global spending on cloud services at $260 billion in 2017.
However, just because many enterprises are moving to the cloud doesn’t mean you can just go out and sign with a cloud vendor without building a compelling business case.
What will you do with the servers you have on-premises and the data centers you already lease? How much will it cost to migrate your infrastructure, data, and applications? Should you even move everything? Is it legal to move certain data? Will your information be safe? Will you still have control? At the end of the day, will this actually save me money or cost me more?
Those are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself as you ponder a move to the cloud. Need a crash course on what cloud computing is and the options available to you? Read our primer first.
As you build your business case for cloud infrastructure, applications, or staffing – make sure you consider these points;
Companies looking to move their IT infrastructure to the cloud could potentially save the most money. Based on conversations we’ve had with our clients, many utilize less than half of their available on-premises IT infrastructure. It’s good that you’re not overcapacity, but spending money to maintain, upgrade, and house on-premises infrastructure when you’re using less than half of it is a tremendous waste of money. But is it right for you? Here are the data points to take into account:
- Cost of facilities such as data centers, as well as the cost of lease time you have remaining and any penalties for breaking your lease
- Feasibility that you may need to keep some infrastructure on-premises for any number of reasons, and therefore have to manage multiple environments
- Cost of connectivity, such as leased lines
- The number of physical servers, virtual servers, and details of specifications like CPUs, cores, and RAM
- Cost of storage including SAN, NAS, and direct attached storage
- Depreciation and amortization, plus data center management costs and the actual server utilization needs
You have several options for migrating applications from your on-premises environment to the cloud. You can do nothing, retire applications permanently, re-host them in the cloud unchanged, migrate them to the cloud with some changes, completely rebuild them, or buy a new software-as-a-service package. Here’s what you need to consider in terms of cost:
- The number of workloads, and how they map to physical servers
- The cost of application changes, application maintenance costs, regulation, and compliance
- License transferability and upcoming renewals
- Any SLAs, disaster recovery, security, and access requirements for your existing applications
In some cases, people costs are second only to the infrastructure. Whether you employ full-time staff or contractors, you need to consider:
- The cost of recruitment, retention, replacement, retirement, training, and development
- The physical space requirement – such as offices – plus equipment and any other services
- Any other third-party costs and contracts – including early termination policies
Gathering all these data points could take anywhere from a few days to several months. A comprehensive cloud readiness assessment is the key to a successful cloud business case. A thorough scan of your existing landscape and internal documentation will help you craft an effective strategy to streamline your migration and cloud roadmap design. The assessments also provide a total cost of ownership analysis for a new cloud platform with applications in scope.
The good news is that you don’t need to do it alone. US Cloud’s time-tested and proven cloud readiness assessment program will walk you through four steps to give you answers to all the data points we’ve already listed in this blog and more.
1. Catalog Existing Applications
To understand what applications should be moved, when, and how, US Cloud will create a well-attributed catalog of applications managed by IT. That way, the relative importance of each attribute that can be weighted so that a prioritized list can be built.
2. Define Criteria for Cloud Application Management
Using a combination of business factors, hardware/software factors, and other technical factors, US Cloud will work with your team to establish a priority listing for sequencing the migration of your workloads.
3. Define Change Management Protocols
US Cloud will evaluate your IT service management and disaster recovery plan, as well as how a cloud service would integrate with your existing in-house technology infrastructure.
4. Craft a Secure Governance and Compliance Approach
US Cloud will comprehensively assess the security of your environment by taking a systematic and disciplined approach to security, governance, and compliance capabilities within your organization. This includes a governance and security policy, administrative privilege management, identity systems and identity management, threat awareness, and data protection.
A business case is just the first step, one we’ve taken with enterprises across all industry sectors. Contact US Cloud today to learn how we can work with you on a detailed cloud readiness assessment to craft the right cloud business case; create a detailed roadmap for success; and then work hand-in-hand with you to migrate your infrastructure, data, and applications to the cloud with minimal disruption to your business.