We’ve rung out the old year, let’s ring in the new 2017. Feel like moving your IT environment to the next level? If you’re still not even close to the cloud hall of fame, this piece will clearly set up your plans! So, what are the cloud migration strategies you should embrace in 2017? Look at the cases from our global business partners sharing their cloud transition experience.
As stated in the International Data Corporation’s latest Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019. By 2020, it turns out a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today, according to Gartner, Inc.
Cloud migration approaches
So, here comes the new year, 2017. And there’s no time to waste – let’s quickly move to the cloud era. To make you even more inspired we’re happy to have Patryk Szudrowicz (Allegro), Jorn Jorgensen (Goodtech) joining us to go through their stories on each company’s cloud migration. How have they embraced the change? What’s the real deal in it? Results? Options to choose? Let’s get started with your finest guide for cloud in 2017:
Allegro is the largest trade platform online in Poland. It was operating applications shared among the international Naspers group (the owner of Allegro).
The main goal was to manage the user’s access to primary applications in a dynamic, multi-national environment. Another thing was that shared applications were both cloud-based and on-premises. So we needed to combine them somehow.
It was all the matter of the dynamics of growth in the entire group, rationalizing it from a cost perspective and utilizing existing investments and skillset if possible.
So, the idea was to implement hybrid common authentication and access management framework. We did it to manage access to SaaS and legacy on-premises applications for the group since we wanted to smoothly combine the new cloud capacities with our infrastructure. And of course maintain it in a coherent way.
The Main Challenge
We were determined to go through a quick adoption of cloud applications. The main challenge was to find a solution that will allow managing access for different organizations. What I mean is organizations dispersed geographically and not managed centrally.
Despite that identity management should stay decentralized, security was a key point in the project.
Instead of building a fixed infrastructure or going for only IdaaS, Allegro planned an architecture which could accommodate different types of organizations allowing various approaches for end users.
Planning and research made with Predica were crucial to making it happen.
Before going with solution full-scale Allegro verified assumptions of the project in Proof of Concept built on Azure platform. Company approach was to become as flexible as possible to accommodate the future change in the organization.
The solution was built as a hybrid of IaaS servers and Azure AD IdaaS service to serve as Allegro identity platform. In the outcome of a project Allegro successfully validated all required scenarios and proved this approach to be the right one.
There are multiple technologies and software vendors on the market. Think about your goal, needs, verify what will support it regarding long-term standards. Look through available products and building blocks.
Do not jump on the implementation right away – do your homework first.
So, my conclusion is that hybrid cloud is a perfect match for organizations using mixed types of applications. From on-premises and SaaS and the ones with dynamic organization structure (in case of mergers), going through changes and acquisitions looking for building common infrastructure to support it in the future.
Goodtech had just de-merged the daughter company providing IT services to the group. IT had a one-year transition window to replace all existing services and the bulk of administrative applications.
The former IT organization was almost entirely in-sourced, with a very traditional approach to service delivery (e.g., file storage distributed to 50+ locations) and an outdated application landscape (e.g., heavily customized Notes/Domino). Very high cost compared to breadth and quality of service.
The vehicle was to go all in on the cloud, essentially adopting SaaS first as a strategic mantra. Essentially the company was (still is) transitioning from an on-prem, location siloed application landscape to SaaS applications and infrastructure services.
The Main Challenge
We decided not just to lift and shift our existing model, but also utilize the momentum created by the demerger to do a once-in-a-decade transformation of service delivery and cost base.
We deployed (are deploying) among other things Office 365 (including migrating email and IM, as well as adopting SharePoint), CRM Online (as first step towards Dynamics 365), ADXstudio, MS EMS and a number of Azure services to support infrastructure.
In O365 Microsoft is still in the process of transitioning to Groups, which we felt we couldn’t ignore, but underestimated the effect of adopting. Also, Dynamics 365 was rolled out in the midst of the CRM development, creating uncertainty and forcing our hand with some design decisions.
A huge lift and a step change for the company. Regarding functional outcomes, it is so far so good. Also, especially on the infrastructure side, and forecasted savings are significant. Some estimates show a 25-30% reduction in infrastructure run costs once we stabilize. And the user-friendliness of the new application portfolio is miles and miles ahead of what the users were used to.
It’s a challenging approach, not for the faint of heart. Any CIO attempting a significant transformation should pick his time, and a year (effectively 8 months in my case) is not enough to do this optimally.
With Microsoft, pay close attention to product roadmaps and build strong relationships with them or vendors who know the technology. Cloud is an equalizer also for medium-sized companies, helping to level the playing field.
We would never have been able to accomplish the same outcome at the same time with the same cost if we went on-prem/data center. Our costs are now on their way down, freeing upcash e.g. for innovation. And both the end users and the business feel the applications are a huge leap forward.
So, now it’s your call. Which of these stories is the closest one to your scenario? Need any help or advice on adopting the cloud in your company? It’s time to rethink the way you do your business… And may the cloud be your next change for 2017!