Cloud Adoption Journey: Roadmap, Migration Methodology and Process

In addition to the day-to-day operational challenges, Organizations are trying to define an efficient path to new deployment paradigms (colocation solutions, software-defined services, private cloud, hybrid cloud, public cloud etc.), which will lead to increased business agility and IT efficiency while lowering operating expenses, cost optimization. This forms part of the long-term organizational vision and strategy of the Executives to support achievement of the strategic directions of the organizations through the IT Strategy. The cloud can be a catalyst for revolutionary change. However, it is up to businesses to propose innovative ideas and strategies to evolve how they engage customers, empower employees, optimizing operations, and transform their products. At this point typical Business drivers are Business Agility, Cost Optimization, Improve Quality, Modernize IT and Innovation, Improve Security and Provide Shared Services, Capacity planning for fulfilling demands of the Organization. Typical objectives are Reduced Investments and Proportional Costs, Increased Scalability, Increased Security, Availability and Reliability, Increase Harmonization, innovation and Consolidation of ICT Resources. Typical Risk and Challenges are Existing Investments and applications, resistance to Change, Limited Portability between Cloud Providers, Multi-Regional Regulatory and Legal Issues.

Cloud transformation is a journey; it takes time and patience however there is a pattern Cloud Adoption and there are five stages. Typical Journey starts with a compelling event or a business case. Those Stages are:

1. Experimentation

2. Foundation

3. Migration

4. Transformation

5. Optimization

Experimentation: At this stage, organization is trying to understand how the cloud works. Key here is to demonstrate success with technical expertise. It is experimenting as many capabilities as that cloud offers for the foundation stage in fail fast, learn fast manner. It is important to experiment in order to learn quickly both from successes and failures. Learning from how it is succeeding and what makes it fail provides the basis for delivering the disruptive innovation and value from the cloud for the foundation stage. The principles for this stage are go-fast, push the boundaries, make data-driven decisions, simplify, and communicate to succeed. Selecting those capabilities, testing and validating them for the Foundation stage. Key activities are Cloud Education and Training, Seek case studies to experiment, Build high level Vision Strategy, Business Case and Roadmap, High level Architecture, Governance and Operating Model, Start of creating Cloud Center of Excellence, Execute pilot projects and workshops.

Foundation: At this stage, it is all about building foundations towards migrations stage. In this stage, foundations of migration factory built. Objective is to build foundations to develop, test, deploy, to monitor and maintain. Businesses and IT departments envision possible new solutions to demonstrate how to advance status quo. They both envision newer, expanded, agile and better application or service. Governance, management and subscriptions are established. Foundations of Compute, Storage, Network/CDN, Database, Management, Monitoring, Security, CI/CD, Application Migration and Analytics capabilities are established. Typical Activities are assigning required resources to drive transformation, establish Governance and CCOE, TCO analysis, Define Security, Compliance, Policies and Architecture, Detailed Plan for transformation (People, Process and Technology), Application Migration and Assessment Plan, Implement Cloud technical Foundations.

Migration: At this stage, where mass migration happens. In this stage, bulk of the IT portfolio is being move as batches starting from least difficult ones. In this stage, Systems/Applications/Data prioritized and grouped by their migration difficulties. The ones that are easy and require least effort are going to be migrated as grouped. This stage foreseen for mass migration. This stage is the most challenging part and needs cooperation and collaboration across number of different enterprise units. (Technical teams, operations staff, executive team, business sponsors, security professionals, regulatory compliance staff, legal, HR etc.) Typical Activities at this stage, Effective and Efficient Migration Strategy with Application Portfolio Assessment, Efficient and Effective Migration Process, Robust Governance and Security, Bulk Migrations.

Transformation: At this stage, most of the Systems/Applications/Data are migrated and capabilities extended to optimize processes and enable revenue. At this stage, selected applications redesigned to take maximum advantage of the cloud. It is the stage where IT transforming itself and business to expand and enable their portfolio by taking real advantage of Serverless, Microservices, AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, big data, analytics and IOT capabilities etc.

Optimization: Where establishing digital business practices as the new normal supported by all key executives of Organization. Where Innovations and IT enables many business opportunities and aggressive business objectives. This is the phase to iterate thru Continues service improvement. At this stage where optimization and maintaining cloud footprint occurs. Typical Activities are optimizing cost, Optimizing Service Management and customer satisfaction, optimizing infrastructure, optimizing enterprise and application management.

Image for post
Image for post

Architectural Pillars

When designing solutions, we make trade-offs between pillars based upon business context, these business decisions drive engineering priorities. Such as to optimize and reduce cost at the expense of reliability in development environments, or for mission-critical solutions we might optimize reliability with increased costs. In order to achieve this vision following pillars selected for each stage and phase.

Security: The ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.

Reliability: The ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service failures, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues.

Performance efficiency: The ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve.

Cost optimization: The ability to avoid or eliminate unneeded cost or suboptimal resources.

Operational excellence: The ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and continually improve supporting processes and procedures.

Focus Areas

Cloud computing introduces a significant shift in how technology is obtained, used, and managed. It also shifts how organization budget and pay for technology services. Cloud computing benefits organization by giving the ability to trade capital expense for variable expense, gain advantage from massive economies of scale, make agile capacity decisions, increase business speed, agility and going global.

Cloud adoption requires that fundamental changes discussed, considered across the entire organization, and stakeholders like Enterprise architecture, Information security and risk management, Data classification, Enterprise risk management, Finance, Operations, HR, Applications Teams, Business Units — both outside and within — support these changes. Therefore, following Focus Areas need to be considered.

Image for post
Image for post

Business Value: A business model that integrates IT strategy that is agile and aligned to support business outcomes and it can adjust to business needs or technical capabilities as they change.

People: HR and people management prepare teams for cloud adoption by updating skills and organizational processes to include cloud-based competencies.

Governance: Integrates IT Governance and Organizational Governance. It provides guidance on identifying and implementing best practices for IT Governance, and on supporting business processes with technology.

Platform: Design, implement, and optimize architecture of Cloud technology and enterprise architecture based on business goals and objectives. Provide strategic guidance for the design, principles, tools, and policies that includes patterns for target state environment, implementing new solutions on the cloud, and migrating on-premises workloads to the cloud.

Security: Selection and implementation of controls that meets organization’s needs.

Operations: IT Operations that you run, use, operate, and recover to meet the requirements of business. IT operations supports business operations from planning and sustaining, through change and incident management.

Cloud Migration Process

Opportunity, Analyze and Evaluate: This process is all about looking for opportunities that cloud can bring and evaluating them for the business. Determine the right objectives and cost benefits analysis. Undertake the preparation and initiation activities required to meet the business directive for a new enterprise environment. Developing a business case and high-level aspirational vision of the capabilities and business value to deliver because of the proposed environment. Determines the current state of readiness to migrate and identifies areas with strong capabilities and areas further enhancement needed to migrate at scale. In TOGAF ADM cycle this is where preliminary and Architecture Vision phases. TOGAF Requirement phase encompasses each Cloud Migration process. Understanding the requirements of the business and benefits of the new system, assessing gaps in the existing system. Understand the security and compliance implications and ensure the proper controls are in place. Typical activities are looking for opportunities by following Business Scenarios, Use Cases and Business Goals, Capability-Based Planning and Assessment to evaluate capabilities, Gap Analysis in those capabilities, Communication Plan based on communication framework, Establishing CCOE , reviewing Training Plan, Business Transformation Readiness Assessment, Business Value Assessment, Security Risk and Assessment.

Image for post
Image for post

Discovery and Planning: Discovery Process is all about inspecting and discovery of the environment (Applications, Data, Servers, Networks and Storages) and its interdependencies. Planning, analyzing, assessing and prioritization of the portfolio and formulating master plan for migration. In TOGAF ADM cycle this is the Business Architecture, IS (Application and Data) Architecture, Technology Architecture, Opportunity & Solutions, Migration Planning phases. Once discovery phase completed we can start planning for migration. The goal is prepare for the migration plan, which is analysis that outline resources and costs of the migration along with resulting savings. It includes migration strategy for each application specify priority, resource allocation and identify tools to facilitate migration. The complexity of migrating existing applications varies, depending on the architecture and existing licensing arrangements. Testing, Validation and contingency plans outlined. Typical activities are Discovery and Identification of Application, Systems and their Dependencies, Categorization and Classification of applications and systems, Prioritizing Applications and Systems, Outlining a migration plan

Image for post
Image for post

Designing, Migrating, Testing and Validating:

“Migration factory” is where the focus of the migration moves from the portfolio level to the individual application level, each application is designed, migrated, and validated according to one of the 6 (Re-host knows a lift and shift, Re-platforming, Replace, Refactor, Retire, Retain) application migration strategies. Starting with least complex applications, towards more complex application migrations in continuous improvement approach. In TOGAF ADM this is the Migration Planning and Implementation Governance phase. Architecture Roadmap, Implementation & Migration Plan are integrated with enterprise’s change activity. Focus of the Migration Factory is execution of the migration plan with teams, tools and processes to streamline the movement of workloads to cloud. Teams work through a prioritized list of workloads based on migration patterns, apply known migration and operational patterns, and reduce risk. Finally, having a strategy with business for functional and performance testing, validation and retiring old systems. Typical activities are Design Application, Data & System, Design System & Solution Architecture, Test Application, Data & System, Deploy Application, Data, Deploy System, Solution, Migration Planning, Migration of System, Solution, Application and Data, Validate New Environment


Finally, as applications are migrated, iterating on new foundation, turn off old systems, and constantly iterate toward a modern operating model. We can use foundation stage and migration stage as a forcing function to adopt a DevOps culture and adopting CI/CD.

With a CI/CD pipeline, for every change in software code, it is built and tested automatically. Code analysis are executed against it. If it passes quality control gates along with the required tests, it is automatically deployed. The automated acceptance tests are executed against it. This process of quality control and automation is ideal in fast-paced software-centric and cloud environment where releasing fast and stable versions of software frequently.

CI/CD pipeline consists following steps: Specifics about CI/CD and which tools will be used will come from Devops Work stream

1. Commit: When a developer finishes a change to an application, he or she commits it to a central source code repository. Tools like git lab.

2. Build: The change is checked out from the repository and the software is built so that it can be run by a computer.

3. Automated tests and Bug tracking: The change is tested from multiple angles to ensure it works and that it doesn’t break anything in the system/software. Tools like Jenkins, JIRA needs to be considered.

4. Deploy: The built version is deployed to production in an automated way and configuration items are managed by configuration management systems such as ansible, chef, puppet and powershell dsc

We don’t need to try to solve for every scenario we may or may not encounter. Ideally, building off the foundational expertise needs to be developed. If not, using first few application migrations to develop that foundation, and operating model will continually improve and become more sophisticated as migration “factory” accelerates. In this phase telemetry, monitoring, User Acceptance and other Tests, metrics and SLAs are established.

Cloud Governance

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Cloud Governance is defined as the process by which policies and management expectations are set, maintained and effectively communicated through an organization. Cloud Governance is achieved through the clear definition and enforcement of policy and role management.

Image for post
Image for post

Strategic trigger is the first stage. It is the event that initiates the need to use the Cloud computing.

Define and align stage is the planning phase of adopting the Cloud service or transforming the existing environment to the Cloud.

Build and implement stage covers issues related to people, processes and infrastructure technology

Deliver and measure stage ensures that the implemented service is aligned with the planned services.

Operate and feedback stage is the final stage in the framework. Feedback for the organization management becomes a temporary project recalled only in case of malfunction or failure that affects the business.

Image for post
Image for post

Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) is a team of IT Officers and Executives that leads Cloud Governance to enable business units to access self-service model and provides catalog of standardized and templates of services, which can be selected, and auto provisioned. CCOE leverage technical capabilities to provide IT Services for the business. CCOE provide performance and progress reports to Cloud Steering Committee. Program Manager and Enterprise Technical Advisor review, coordinate and approves process, principals, concepts, architecture and policies. Each Work Stream work with their peers in their respective area towards their deliverables and cooperate with other work streams. Typical KPIs are Mean Time to Deploy, Mean time to Recover, IT FTE/Server, Cost per Server / Year, Cost per Client / Year, QoS, Reduction of Process Complexity, Percentage of outage, percentage of availability and downtime
Cloud Steering and Performance Committee Reviews Performance of CCOE. Cloud Steering Committee steers Business Service Offerings, Capabilities, and Market Space. Ensures right mix of services to meet required business outcomes at an appropriate level of investment. Steers Business Service Pipeline, Business Service Catalog and Retired Services. Understand anticipate and influence customer demand for services and Patterns of Business Activity, Manage Budgeting, Accounting and Charging, Needs of existing and potential customers and ensures that appropriate business services are developed to meet those needs. Maintain positive relationship with customers. Typical KPIs are
Number of Planned New Services, Number of Unplanned New Services, Number of Strategic Initiatives, Number of new Customers, Number of lost Customers, Adherence to Budgeting Process, Cost-/ Benefit Estimation, Post Implementation Review, Adherence to Approved Budget, Adherence to Project Resources, Proposals for Cost Optimization, Reduction in Opex,
Cloud Architecture Group provides vendor agnostic Architecture Building Blocks. Specific Solution Architecture will come from Work Streams. Responsible from service design, transition and service improvements. Implementation group implements solution architecture with the guidance from Architecture group. Architecture and Implementation group will be working together during implementation. Architecture group provides Level 3 support for Implementation group to ensure smooth transition to operations.
Cloud Implementation Group is the group performs actual implementation and operations.
Work Stream 1 Cloud Infrastructure: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines for IaaS on premise and cloud and deliverables.
Work Stream 2 Security: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines for security & risk compliance architecture and deliverables.
Work Stream 3 Devops: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines for CI/CD architecture and processes and deliverables.
Work Stream 4 Application/Data: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines for application and data architecture and deliverables.
Work Stream 5 Training, Vendor, Communication: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines training, vendor, communication plans and framework deliverables.
Work Stream 6 End User Computing: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines end user computing deliverables.
Work Stream 7 Monitoring and Dashboard: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines Monitoring, Analytics and Dashboard deliverables.
Work Stream 8 Service Management: Is responsible for providing specific planning and design guidelines Service Management Framework and deliverables.

Image for post
Image for post

Originally published at on April 27, 2018.

References: Enterprise Cloud Strategy Book Eduardo Kassner, Stephen Orban Stages of Cloud Adoption & Cloud Migration Process,AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (Focus Areas), AWS Well Architected Framework (Architecture Pillars)

Written by

I am passionate about Technology, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and Blockchain

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store