Talk to anyone who has successfully migrated to the Cloud, or even someone who tried unsuccessfully to migrate and you will hear a common theme: Without robust planning and preparation the odds of a successful migration are against you. Planning for and preparing to execute a full-scale cloud migration requires much, much more than simply assessing your current environment and spec'ing out cloud infrastructure to mirror your current on-prem deployments. You need to assess and align people and processes to unlock the full value of the cloud.

On the face of it, cloud computing may seem easy to adopt. However, we often see clients make an all-too-common mistake in their approach to cloud infrastructure. They treat the cloud as nothing more than a remote data center to host workloads and store data, applying the same operational principles as they do with their on-prem deployments. Approaching the cloud this way may represent a path of least resistance today, but this shortcut can quickly spiral out of control without the proper governance. Utility computing, unlimited scalability, nearly instant deployment of services: double-edged swords that can cut you deeply just as easily as they can cut through your infrastructure challenges.

A Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) brings cloud governance to the forefront of your cloud-native digital transformation. A CCoE represents a best-practice approach to aligning cross-functional stakeholders…both inside and outside of IT…by creating and implementing policies related to cloud service adoption, security, managing organizational risk, and cost control. It brings together technology expertise with business leadership, finance, and human resources along with legal and compliance. By centralizing knowledge and expertise from those involved with or affected by cloud technology within a CCoE, organizations improve efficiency, enhance security and compliance, and are ultimately better able to drive innovation.

Setting up a cloud landing zone also helps with governance and sets the stage for a successful migration. AWS describes a landing zone as “a well-architected, multi-account AWS environment that is scalable and secure…a starting point from which...organization[s] can quickly launch and deploy workloads and applications with confidence in [their] security and infrastructure environment.” The “multi-account” piece contributes to sound governance because it facilitates simple correlation of cloud billing costs to individual teams, projects, applications, and goals. It also hardens security by isolating applications between accounts.

Proper planning and preparation (Peter Piper picked a peck…never mind) for your full-scale cloud migration must include performing a pilot migration: replatforming a low-stakes non-critical workload from your on-prem environment and deploying it to the cloud. It’s critical to identify a workload with few dependencies, one that would not disrupt your operations in the event of an unplanned outage. This allows your team to understand the motions and order of operations when it comes time to migrate at scale.

Now you could always undertake these efforts independently with no help or outside expertise. Many people relish DIY projects as an opportunity to learn and grow. If you have that luxury in your organization for your AWS migration, you will find AWS offers a rich catalog of training resources to help you forge your own path to the cloud. For those who wish to accelerate and minimize the risk for their cloud migration, CDW offers the Cloud Mobilize Engagement (CME) for AWS service. With this service, our cloud experts will be your guides. We will help your organization create a cross-functional CCoE with your key stakeholders, build out a well-architected AWS landing zone according to industry best practices, and work with your team on a pilot migration - Giving you and your team the opportunity to navigate the complexities of migration alongside our experts, spotting potential obstacles that may hinder a full-scale migration.  

If you wish to accelerate and reduce the risk of your AWS cloud migration, consider the Cloud Mobilize Engagement for AWS from your cloud experts at CDW. Contact us for more information.

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