Cracking the Cloud Migration Code

Cracking the Cloud Migration Code

By Special Guest
Michael Liebow, Managing Director, Accenture
  |  January 16, 2017

For many businesses today, the discussion of whether to move to the cloud is over. It is now a question of when—and, more importantly, how.

The various challenges organizations face when planning cloud migration and management typically center on what to move and how to move it. A closer look reveals three critical areas companies must manage during a cloud transition:

  1. Legacy Applications (and what to do with them)—Not every app can move easily with a lift and shift. So do you wreck and rebuild? Run them identically in cloud?
  2. Application Modernization—What are your options to rebuild and maximize applications so they run most efficiently in a cloud environment?
  3. Cloud Management—Finally, once you have moved your applications to cloud, what’s the best way to manage them, maximizing visibility into resource data?

Complicating matters, there is no “one pane of glass” to manage the enterprise cloud. Developers who want to leverage native cloud provider tools are typically at odds with IT managers who must secure and optimize the cloud estate. However, both are demanding more advanced technology to maximize their growing list of assets.

While there are no easy answers to any of these persistent puzzles, there is help. Many companies are employing a cloud management platform (CMP) for greater governance with analytics, cost controls and policy management. The right CMP can help organization migrate to cloud up to 50 percent faster, managing an entire large-scale migration process throughout the lifecycle—from data collection to wave planning to migration and cutover, to reporting.

“A cloud management platform should operate like a ‘cloud Uber app’ for IT consumption and delivery that can help organizations navigate their journey to the cloud,” says William Fellows, Research Vice President, 451 Research. “As an integrated platform, it provides a range of functions and services concerned with accessing and optimizing the use of cloud services.”

At Accenture (News - Alert), we have been enhancing our own CMP, the Accenture Cloud Platform (ACP), to help clients move their assets faster and more efficiently, and ultimately realize greater cost savings and faster business outcomes, tapping a robust ecosystem which includes leading cloud providers like AWS.

An open, scalable and technical solution, ACP enables services to be ramped up or down as needed. The platform is key to centrally managing all enterprise cloud resources—public, private or hybrid—by automating and accelerating cloud solutions, while also supporting more traditional IT governance and controls that help clients move to a more agile cloud operating model.

Comprising proprietary features that adroitly support blueprint and native template management across multiple datacenters, ACP helps organizations decide which apps to move and which to rebuild. This is especially useful for companies lacking staff to tackle a full migration. We offer the techniques to address modernization and management with important features such as automation, which companies may also lack within their own environs.

Additionally, ACP offers cloud resources in the form of IaaS (virtual machines) or PaaS (building apps as new), as the situation warrants. Perhaps more important, we have the experience to distinguish when it’s appropriate to employ one or the other. By answering critical business questions, we help clients distill the complexities of technical configurations, ultimately making them easier to use and deploy.

Establishing a rigorous development/test/production cycle, the Accenture Cloud Platform can show a company how to apply policies to resources based on tags of their own choosing. According to feedback and other critical learning, ACP plays an important role in helping an organization manage its templates, map and publish, and select and configure applications much more easily than a company could on its own or by just using native cloud portals and tools.

Once ACP helps a company successfully migrate to cloud, it can play an instrumental part in helping manage its cloud estate more effectively, saving huge costs along the way. Tools such as analytics, for example, help manage the operational governance that can transform an entire IT organization.

Advanced analytics, in fact, can play a significant role in controlling expenses by identifying cost and utilization overruns, thus saving an organization up to 40 percent on IT spend. ACP can also help eliminate underutilized resources—orphans and zombies—that typically bloat cloud budgets. And analytics for cost control can work across all PaaS services, including Lambda—not just VMs or S3.

Other important assets ACP offers include management tools that can help sort out the complexity of cloud bills, errors and chargebacks. We help identify spikes, and report and resolve accordingly.

Our sophisticated cloud platform also offers centralized tag (News - Alert) management at scale using advanced metadata, which helps companies find missing tags and rationalize them across data centers and cloud platforms. Additionally, tags left to develop “in the wild,” without controls over consistent creation and application, can become long messy lists that become less useful over time.

Once you decide to make your move to cloud, two other important decisions will follow: How to manage your migration (and the resulting IT estate); and which partner to join with to leverage a CMP so you can do both efficiently, securely and cost-effectively.

Says 451 Research’s (News - Alert) Fellows: “Crucially, a CMP should enable operators to access and orchestrate assets that they own, as well as ones that they don’t—a strategy that Accenture embodies by tapping its ecosystem.”

Edited by Alicia Young