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AdvantageFeb 7, 2017 12:00:00 AM2 min read

How Do You Start Your Move to the Cloud?

Over the last two years, the perspective on the question of moving to the cloud has gone from having to justify why you should to justifying why you shouldn’t. That shift in mindset opens the pathway to making it a reality. Fair enough… so… what do you do?

It is natural enough to consider the option of counting up your physical hardware and software infrastructure and replicating that in a cloud service provider’s facility. There can be benefits to doing this, but it’s marginal at best. There is even the possibility that doing this could cost more than sustaining your current on-prem operation (more in a subsequent post). But the full benefit that the cloud can deliver cannot be realized unless you take a different approach. We call it “3 Steps to the Cloud.”

In the initial step, which we call Cloud Advisory, we consider your business drivers and help formulate your cloud strategy. IT is an enabler of business activity, so clarity about your business needs creates the best outcomes. Approaching your organization with a fresh perspective, we ask some questions: what does the business need now? What can be expected to be needed in the future? What can’t you do that you would like to do? What is too difficult to do now? What is your tolerance for outages? How can you become a more digital company? Which IT capabilities can be delivered from a partner and which are best delivered from your team? Answers to these questions suggest which workloads can be moved to the cloud and which are best suited to be operated in a different environment, including by your team in your facilities.

With these inputs, our second step is to help find the most suitable cloud service providers to execute this newly-developed cloud strategy. As of January 2017, there are over 1600 colocation facilities and over 300 managed cloud service providers in the US alone. Each have unique capabilities and capacity that may or may not align with your needs. Advantage’s experience and network of provider relationships can cull the population to a shortlist from which proposals can be quickly received and compared. By having multiple providers compete for your business, you can have confidence that you’re receiving the right service at the best value. Advantage will assist in all proposal evaluations, and will even make recommendations if need be. But the final decision is yours.

Once the analysis is completed and the decision are made, you’re ready for step 3: to make it happen. Advantage’s experienced project management team will ensure that your migration stays on track and is completed in a timely manner. They will work with both the selected provider and your team to develop a project plan with detailed timelines to ensure that you realize the targeted benefits and business objectives.

Advantage will help you move quickly through the 3 steps so that you can begin transforming a key driver of business in a way that increases your competitive readiness and strategic strengths.