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7 Critical Success Factors for Cloud Adoption [Whitepaper]

(Below is the Introduction to the Astadia CloudGPS whitepaper, 7 Critical Success Factors for Cloud Adoption.  You can download the fulll whitepaper by clicking on the link.)

Chances are that if you are reading this, you have or will soon begin a close relationship with cloud computing.  In fact, Gartner indicated in a July 20, 2016 press release that more than “$1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years.”

The undeniable impact that “The Cloud” is having throughout the world is the result of three rivers of change merging together – the capabilities of cloud computing, the proliferation of smart computing devices into the hands of end-users and an insatiable appetite and receptive environment for disruptive business transformation.

This may seem like it happened overnight, but the idea of providing IT needs from the modern Internet can be said to have begun in the mid- to late 90s as the application service provider (ASP) paradigm took hold - using the Internet to provide web-based applications without the need to install software on local machines. 

Enter Amazon.com in the late 90s, as an online retailer selling books (yes, just books in the beginning).  As their success grew into the new millennium, so did their technology demands; and as their needs outstripped their IT capabilities, they were driven to rethink their approach.  Benjamin Black, one of the co-authors of the proposal that resulted in Amazon Web Services (AWS), commented to Network World that they sought to abstract and decouple infrastructure from applications.  As noted in the article, the fundamental key to AWS today remains the undifferentiated access to incredible infrastructure capabilities to anyone.[1]

Today, an entire cloud ecosystem has emerged with compute, storage, and networking capabilities fueling platform services such as big data and analytics, bringing to life entirely new business models.  It is continually evolving to meet the demands and imagination of today’s businesses and customers, governments and constituents, employers and employees.  Leading the way are the major public cloud vendors – AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Soft Layer and Oracle Cloud – supported by an ecosystem of thousands of independent software vendors and consulting providers.

The promises of cloud computing – increased performance, lower costs, elasticity (instant scalability up and down), reliability and, yes, impressive security, have resulted in a gold rush of sorts, with massive effort and spending being invested in adopting the cloud throughout organizations. 

In many cases, well-intentioned cloud initiatives or “cloud mandates” are issued, directing a full and complete change-over.  Clearly there have been successes, but less talked about have been the failures – one recent report indicated that 40% of enterprise workloads moved to the cloud have been pulled back to either on-premise or co-located datacenters.[2]

This does not come as a surprise to the platform change experts of Astadia.  For over 25 years, Astadia has been engaged in the practice and discipline of platform change and total lifecycle services.  Pre-cloud, the major platform change projects related to moving applications and databases from mainframes to distributed server architectures in the datacenter.  In recent years, there has been a growing push to take the remaining mainframe workloads out there (there’s still a significant amount) directly to the cloud.

Our experience in migrating and modernizing these mission-critical, business-logic-of-record applications has resulted in our rock-solid methodology, best practices and lessons learned that ensure a successful cloud adoption project.  We interviewed our gurus, spoke with additional third-party experts and conducted additional research to bring you this whitepaper.

In the whitepaper, you’ll read about 7 Critical Success Factors for Cloud Adoption, including:

  • Embark on a Journey, Not a Monolithic Project
  • Understand Cloud Essentials
  • Understand the Business Drivers
  • Apply the Right People, Processes and Partners
  • Develop the Appropriate Metrics to Gauge Success
  • Choose the Right Cloud Service Provider
  • Determine When to Tackle Business Transformation

You should explore these critical success factors to determine how they may apply to your own cloud adoption projects.  There are undoubtedly more factors not listed here.  We look forward to your feedback and welcome the opportunity to partner with you to ensure your cloud journey is a success, too.  Please leave us any comments or questions here and subscribe to this blog for ongoing discussion and updates.

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[1] Network World article, March 2, 2015, “The myth about how Amazon’s Web service started just won’t die – how AWS got started,” by Brandon Butler. 

[2] Data Centers in Flux: The IT Optimization Challenge, Q3 – 2016, DataLink & IDG Research Services


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Posted on March 14, 2017

Categories: Cloud Adoption, Cloud 101