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App cloud readiness assessment checklist for smooth migration. Part two: Processes and people

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(Image credit: Shutterstock / Blackboard)

In our first article, we revealed the technology aspects that you may need to consider when adapting to the cloud. Now it’s time to look at it from the processes and people’s perspectives.

Cloud readiness assessment from a process perspective

Cloud technologies adoption will eventually affect your development and maintenance processes, so it makes sense to make sure those are also cloud-friendly in terms of automation, development methodology, and testing.

Development approach

Agility is one of the benefits of cloud infrastructure. However, your development processes also need to be agile to unlock this benefit. If your project can not be decomposed into smaller sub-projects and provides the little possibility to make changes, review, and test quickly, it can be difficult to fully leverage the cloud service’s advantages.

We highly recommend using an agile approach if you decide to move to the cloud. Agile is defined by an iterative approach to project management. This methodology will give your project room to grow and change, enable continuous integration, and respond quickly to any issues that may affect cloud adoption.

Automation

Automation also provides agility to your projects, saves costs, and allows you to react to changes faster. Today automation is an essential part of any development process, and cloud migration is not an exception.

We recommend applying CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery), and continuous deployment to automate phases of software delivery. With the help of these practices, you can release new features, improvements, and fixes with greater speed and correctness, accelerating your journey to the cloud.

You can migrate your app to the cloud, even if you’re not embracing automation in your workload. However, it will take much more time and effort. On the other hand, leveraging the automation approach lowers costs, minimizes business disruptions, increases productivity, and keeps your critical applications operating optimally during the migration.

Testing

Testing is an integral part of the app development and maintenance life-cycle. It is also essential for the success of your cloud migration strategy as it helps to ensure that the migrated application is consistent with all hardware and software that your application currently supports.

Thorough testing will safeguard your application's effective performance in the cloud environment and provide a superior user experience. With the proven test automation strategy in place, you can safeguard smooth migration, avoid database glitches and crash issues, cut costs and shorten app release cycles.

Cloud readiness assessment from a people perspective

Transition to the cloud requires an evaluation of the potential of your team as well as experts capable of supporting both the migration to the Cloud and further operations.

Your current technology staff will stand at the forefront of cloud adoption and you definitely need to have a closer look at your team assessing their skills and proficiency in the following areas:

  • previous experience in the application migration and administration of apps in the cloud
  • knowledge of tools and technologies required during and after migration
  • adoption of the processes essential for a smooth transition to the cloud (agile, testing, CI/CD, etc.).

This assessment allows you to determine what skill and resource gaps you have. You can fill these gaps in different ways: hire a specialist with the necessary skills for your team, set up some cloud training for your in-house team, outsource migration turn-key or involve cloud consultants. If you decide to extend your team with outsourced consultants, check out our article on what to consider before hiring a dedicated software development team.

Budget expectations

Last but not least it is important to set your budget expectations before cloud adoption. Costs need to be constantly monitored, so it is important to first calculate the TCO (total cost of ownership) both for migration and further operations in the Cloud to meet your budget restrictions.

The cloud migration costs depend on the size of the initially allocated resources. In addition to the size, your system can consume additional computing power, disk space, and network traffic. This is charged separately. Some of the aspects to consider when calculating the TCO are:

  • Internal hardware and operational expenses (internal infrastructure and software, power and cooling costs, etc.)
  • License costs
  • Infrastructure overhead and management requirements (maintenance, automation, training, etc.)

It takes less time for a company to simply migrate its applications in the cloud with minor changes. However, this approach may entail substantial investment into app refinement and optimization after the migration. If your readiness evaluation has unveiled the need for improvement and changes to the current app and processes, preparations and the migration itself will take longer but will provide more cloud functionality in the end.

Once you have accomplished the migration process, it is quite important to leverage cloud cost control strategies to keep monthly spending in order, track potential budget overruns and the potential to optimize them. For more on the topic of cloud costs, check out “How to control cloud infrastructure costs”.

As you see, there are many ways to check and fine-tune your application for migration.

Yurii Vysotskyi, Senior Support and Maintenance Engineer, Sigma Software Group