Simplify your Cloud Migration

Most IT departments I talk to have a solid plan for these migrations, a plan that's been well thought out and even tested; but I think it's fair to say some don't. The latter is usually found when a C-level manager has dictated the use of a Cloud solution in a "get it done and don't bother me with the details" type of management style. Very 1997 I know - I thought those days were over, Mr Gekko?

Migrating to the Cloud at the moment? Or at least planning to sometime soon? Lots of businesses are either moving key IT services out to the Cloud right now, or are planning to in the near future. Many organizations have adopted the "Cloud First" ethos, of procuring Cloud solutions for new platforms, rather than on prem.

IT departments are unlikely to declare IT Bankruptcy and ship everything out to the Cloud over the next long holiday weekend, even if there is pressure from the C suite to get 'Cloud first' apps in place as quickly as possible. Migrating systems to the Cloud, needs careful planning and consideration, not just the move itself but an understanding of the data, processes, policies, APIs, people, & supporting platforms involved. In other-words, the details.

Take a move to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange for example. Of course I mean Office 365, but many businesses are still thinking about how best to get to Exchange 2010; you see they're still lingering on their trusty Exchange 2003 infrastructure. We have spoken before about the complexity of the peripheral applications that surround the Exchange Server being a hindrance to a migration project, and how dealing with this complexity makes you and your business 'Migration Ready'. Most of the careful planning and consideration has to take into account all those peripheral applications and services first, extending the scope of the project into, perhaps, much more than was first considered. Hardly surprising we lose track of the details and start to focus on the final outcome.

So let's stick with Microsoft Exchange as an example: How about this as an alternative strategy to get your business to the cloud. At Mimecast we often talk about a strategy called "Just Enough on Site" which is about finding the balance between on-site and Cloud. You're augmenting your network with Cloud. Exchange 2010 is an on-ramp to Office 365 Exchange Online - what do I mean by that? Well, rather than try to move everything and everyone to Office 365 Exchange Online now, simply take your time. The Exchange 2010 migration should be a focused move to a platform that will allow you to introduce the Cloud into your business in small well planned steps.

Jumping into standing up cloud instancesall over the place might work, but it's far better to take your time to sweat the details for a while, and think about how you and introduce the cloud to the network over a number of smaller migrations rather than one great big one.

As they say round here - "Let the network see the cloud".