Many are sprinting toward cloud adoption at full speed, which can be intimidating to companies moving there at a slower pace. The good news is that a speedy transition to cloud infrastructure isn’t the right solution for every organization. And there are a plethora of best practices to help stakeholders in the planning stages of a cloud transition.
Here are a few items that CIOs should keep in mind during the transition process.
Start Slowly. The key to a successful cloud implementation is to move at the right pace. Make conscious, well-planned cloud investments that will allow the organization to adjust to the new platform.
- Deploy non-critical infrastructure: Virtualized servers aren’t usually the best initial purchase. Instead, try a mainstream Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, such as a cloud accounting platform, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool, or a cloud-based email and productivity suite such as Microsoft Office 365.
- Use cloud-testing environments: A cloud sandbox or testing environment is a great way to get used to a SaaS platform. It’s quick, cost-effective, and typically easy to set up.
Know the Benefits. Be prepared to lead the charge on what will likely be an enterprise-wide shift in infrastructure. To do this well, it is important for CIOs to have a deep understanding of key cloud benefits. Here are the main points:
- Scalability: New user deployment is easier with the cloud. Organizational growth will be streamlined and simplified with cloud-based solutions.
- Cost Savings: Perhaps the most important of all, the cloud is proven to save money in terms of infrastructure and management labor. It reduces strain on human IT resources and eliminates the need to purchase additional onsite hosting equipment.
Understand the Cloud and CIO Relationship. Many CIOs will be in the hot seat to define the organization’s view on the cloud. With that in mind, it’s important to be able to speak to the following principles:
- Organizational Vision: How does the cloud fit into the company’s vision as a whole and, more specifically, into strategic initiatives? The CIO’s role will be to map out these ideas for the proper teams and encourage adoption within internal and external IT.
- Persistence: There will be roadblocks in the adoption process, and the CIO will need to encourage teams to push through them. Regardless of the obstacles, it’s crucial to remain focused on the overall innovations that the cloud will support.
Be an Intelligent Shopper. CIOs are expected to have a foundational knowledge of the IT vendor landscape, and this market includes cloud providers. A couple of key points to look for in a cloud provider include:
- Contract Strength: What kind of terms are required by the agreement? What options are available for storage pricing? What are the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for uptime? These are important questions to consider when evaluating potential cloud provider relationships.
- Security: Data security is a pivotal point of cloud strategy. Use the industry standards to shop for secure providers by investigating data center tiers and certifications.
Regardless of existing cloud knowledge, a strategic CIO can use the above tenets to successfully initiate cloud adoption. By starting slowly and knowing the benefits and the vendor landscape, CIOs can lead the way and embrace everything the cloud has to offer.
Learn how eXemplify can help your organization make a cloud migration today.