This article intends to give you a clear insight into the building of the cloud adoption roadmap. And it includes answers to the following questions:
- How important is a cloud roadmap?
- How to build the best cloud roadmap?
- What are the important aspects covered in a cloud roadmap?
- Who should execute the cloud roadmap?
- How frequently you revise your cloud roadmap?
- What to avoid while planning a cloud roadmap?
Let us begin with: Why is a cloud roadmap essential?
A cloud roadmap is the starting point of a winning cloud journey for any business. So you have to have a strong foundation before you start building up on the cloud roadmap that covers all your scopes. If you mess up with the cloud roadmap, you will miss your place in the business world. The more robust your plan is, the more rewarding your long-term cloud journey would be for your business.
You should not take cloud computing lightly. It is the most happening technology that pretty much dictates how you can leverage other different technologies for the entire functioning of your business. In simple words, if there is no cloud, there is no future.
Businesses rely on the cloud for anything and everything. Developing products and running them must be done in the cloud. Every detail passed through the cloud is subject to security, compliance, performance, and costs.
Your platform, solutions, and business are in the cloud. You need to think about your company’s future in terms of the cloud to reach where you want to go. The way you see cloud determines:
- Where your business goes in the next 5-years?
- What would be the potential roadblocks?
- What kind of professionals can help you navigate the cloud roadmap?
- How to build a cloud roadmap?
The best way to start planning for where you want to be in the next 5-years is to analyze where you are right now. Then find where you want to take your business as an established unit of valuable technology services in 5 years.
Begin to think conceptually, focusing on individual goals instead of focusing on the implementation. Think in terms of the concepts that you would want to add rather than focusing on the data warehouse right away.
Analyze in terms of:
- What are the technologies that you need to leverage?
- What data you want to store?
- What cultural or technology principles do you want to follow in your company?
Now is where the first point comes.
How important is a cloud roadmap?
Cloud is the platform for your entire business and a platform for every technology you will be using. So this is the conceptual endpoint. And you have to think in terms of the impact this state could have on the stakeholders.
So the key takeaway here is, think about these concepts:
- Where are you right now?
- Where you want to be?
- Think in terms of a conceptual sequence?
How to build the best cloud roadmap?
Where do you begin? How do you select the cloud platform? To answer these questions, you have to understand the type of automation and solutions you will have, not in terms of metrics or performance, but focus on the holistic view of your cloud infrastructure. Apart from that, focus on the security, budget, and the consumers that use the cloud.
Also, give attention to the various opportunities that the cloud can offer you.
View cloud as a group of services and not only as a single provider. Cloud is a family of native services and everything that is happening there.
What are the important aspects covered in a cloud roadmap?
Rather than focusing on the first and the end state, focus on assessing which line of business will go there first. Consider designing your cloud roadmap, which is the architecture. Take into account when you would want to change the atmosphere of operations. If you are not familiar with DevOps, then you will probably be needing it. If you are not familiar with SRE, then this is where you would want to be. It is what is working for the industry right now.
At one point or the other, the cloud roadmap will have a potential impact on the individual areas of your company. So shift your view of the business culture and adopt new technologies.
The next thing you have to consider other than changing business culture, adopting new technologies, and training staff, you have to consider how your engineers and developers will be able to leverage the cloud. It could be anywhere from an extension to the development center that would be a center for your non-production systems, to your QA, or a center where you build ML models.
The first step is to plan your cloud. You will have to align your stakeholders, security, and compliance along with DevOps, SRE, consumers, and your engineering strategy. Your staff dealing with the technology must be well-trained in the cloud and be able to leverage it to its full potential.
The next thing you have to deal with is to get buy-in from your business stakeholder. There are various aspects by which people validate your cloud in terms of finances. These include the money you spend, and why you spend it, and the opportunities for cost savings. You have to sort out these requirements ahead of time and not during the accrual process of building the cloud for your business.
Transitioning your business to the cloud is not an easy one; you will have to put in a lot of effort to move to the cloud. It includes leaving behind your old platform, migrating, re-constructing, re-engineering, and re-platforming your solutions, and decommissioning the ones you don’t need anymore. It is the initial part.
Your cloud journey is an ongoing one. There is no fixed destination to end your cloud journey. You will always have to keep up your pace with the new trends in the cloud world. You have to upgrade your cloud with current trends and have ongoing continuity support to improve your cloud environment. With the cloud, you will always need more optimization for optimized results.
Who should execute the cloud roadmap?
Operating a well-organized and optimized cloud is massive. You will need people across all different parts of your enterprise. You need your product people to monitor the security, compliance, technologists, architects, and the head of engineering. You will need eyes that closely monitor your finances invested in maintaining your managed cloud services infrastructure. They should bring you updated information about the capacity and costs of your cloud infrastructure. They should do this throughout the next 5-year plan that you are trying to navigate. You have to plan to build a solid foundation.
The next is your operations department that monitors every operational aspect of your cloud. You have to involve your DevOps and Site Reliability Engineers to do that. They will be your first line of support system. You have to make them a part of your planning. Make them learn new things, change, and adapt to the requirements of your cloud. So these are the workforce that you need to plan a cloud roadmap.
How frequently you revise your cloud roadmap?
Your cloud journey needs to be optimized frequently. Keep measuring your progress and try to understand where you are versus where you want to be. Keep doing this consistently to motivate you to what you want to achieve. Do it as often as you think you need to.
Keep a separate committee within your organization that will oversee reports and brings up new possibilities for discussion in frequent meetings. Arrange the committee to regroup every other month to evaluate your progress in the cloud journey.
Hold another meeting every three months to have a close look at your current position. The main aim of this meeting is to check:
- What is trending in the cloud industry?
- Are you in line with it?
- Are you executing according to the plan?
- What are your next challenges?
- What are the ways to overcome those challenges?
- What are your constraints?
- What are the industry specifics?
- Do you have an industry-specific milestone for your company?
After you have the answers to these questions, align this with your business.
Revisit your cloud roadmap every 6-months, and you will discover different things, like if you need to change the cloud service provider or if you need to change direction in your strategies. Having several iterations of these meetings will help to get the most out of it.
What to avoid while planning a cloud roadmap?
When you have a problem that you want to solve, there are two ways to do that. You have an expert and project sponsor. And you go in the cloud with your business strategy, and you want to concentrate on fixing one particular problem. The second way is you have people that are familiar with a single cloud computing service provider in your team. So you do your planning based on their knowledge as they know this cloud very well. But the bias you get from your engineers might affect your planning.
It will make you spend time and money, which makes you losing time and money. You might still have a cloud that works alright but not exactly in line with what you want to achieve. So it won’t help you to achieve your 5-year goal. Your priorities must coordinate with your mission. So when you get to that place, it can be a hard reality for your business. Now, it is hard to start everything back from scratch as it requires a lot of time, investment, and patience. You have to look before you leap. You have to have a holistic view of your problem instead of making assumptions concerning it.
Look at the bigger picture of your problem and how the cloud can help you with it. Cloud is not just an alternative tool. It is much bigger and powerful.