Simplifying cloud deployment: developing a migration, transition or transformation plan

This is the third in a series of six blog posts on the benefits cloud clients get from rolling out cloud-based solutions. Also in this series are

Once the customer’s level of readiness has been determined, a plan is developed which will include the nuts and bolts of the on-boarding process and the lifecycle management. This is where choosing the right partner can really make a difference and the best partners have the following capabilities:

  • A tried and true migration methodology
  • Experience in migrating infrastructure and applications to the cloud
  • Ability to address a range of requirements, including physical to virtual migrations, project management and on-boarding
  • Can implement a hybrid cloud model if customers want to migrate some, but not all, of their IT infrastructure and services to the cloud
  • Ability to customise services to meet unique needs

The plan is essentially a roadmap that defines what the customer can expect and when it will be delivered.

It includes a detailed custom network design, any type of phased-in implementation, escalation procedures, security and compliance considerations, SLA options, training, reporting, a timeline, as well as a date and guideline of when and how the team will hand over the ‘keys’ once the implementation is complete.

There are three types of roadmaps that can be developed, depending on the client’s needs:

  • Migration plan — The discrete set of tasks that are developed to implement customer environments to cloud services.
  • Transition plan — A plan that focuses on the impact for the customer, which includes the processes, policies and adjustments needed to move them from their current state to a new state. Some examples included in the plan are service transition, change management, service asset and configuration management, release and deployment management, service validation and testing, evaluation, and knowledge management.
  • Transformation plan — A plan that includes the change of technologies, processes and policies to transform the organisation. This plan utilises technology to spearhead the vision, resolve, business case governance, accountability, workable approach and execution model, capacity planning and the ability to implement and operate.

The engagement manager and the implementation manager play critical roles during this phase and the dedicated engagement manager should work directly with the customer and harness the service provider’s internal resources as issues arise.

While the implementation manager manages the day-to-day operational implementation. The customer should have multiple points of contact beyond the engagement manager, including access to the account manager, solution architects, sales, executive sponsor, or operations from the readiness assessment. Daily, weekly and monthly updates should be provided on how the migration is progressing.

At the conclusion of this phase, approximately 98% of the project is complete. It is during the optimisation phase where the remaining 2% of the project is fine-tuned.