Virtualization Featured Article

Cloud Migration ROI: 5 Things to Expect from a Real Cloud Assessment & Plan

May 08, 2018
By Special Guest
Steven Balusek, Quisitive -

With Forrester predicting that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform in 2018, the question of cloud migration has changed from why, to when.

The cost savings, agility and opportunities for growth and innovation are all clear business drivers for the cloud. Unfortunately, there is also a great deal of anxiety and hesitation surrounding cloud migrations. The costs and time required to implement the migration itself are a concern for many businesses and confusion over true cloud migration ROI makes it difficult to justify the upfront implementation costs.

A cloud assessment is crucial to getting a better understanding of your cloud requirements and creating an accurate migration plan. As a low-hanging fruit approach to answering a myriad of questions, many companies will consider using a cloud calculator as a determining factor in their preparations. I would advise companies however to look beyond the calculators, which only give a rough estimate of potential costs and savings, but don’t factor in all costs and dependencies associated with an IT environment, and aren’t tailored specifically to your infrastructure and data needs.

To consider all apparent (and not so apparent) factors for your migration, these five elements should be part of your company’s comprehensive evaluation before deciding to move to the cloud:

1.Thorough Data and Usage Analysis

Unfortunately, few companies have a complete understanding of every part of their infrastructure and usage. Your cloud assessment should begin with taking inventory of all your application and inventory environments, collecting data usage information and gaining a complete understanding of all your assets and requirements. Make sure to run the usage analysis for at least a month to gain a complete picture of your data usage including any variances in workloads during peak and off-peak times. 

2.Cloud Migration Cost/Benefit Analysis

Once you understand data usage and needs, it’s important to understand your business needs to create an accurate cost/benefit analysis. There are three costs to get a better understanding of:

  • Established Base Case: What it would cost to run your environment in its current state, including any necessary remediations or refreshes?
  • Cloud Cost Estimates: What it would cost to move your environment to the cloud and the consumption costs associated with running on the cloud?
  • Retained Cost: These are the costs that still exist from your base case, which will still exist even after you move to the cloud.

However, only taking these costs into account won’t give you an accurate picture of your actual cloud consumption costs. It’s also important to interview key stakeholders and conduct a design analysis to identify potential improvements that can be made to your infrastructure, and implement them during the cloud migration to create the most cost-effective solution.

3.Cloud Migration Plan

Using the above analysis and your cloud migration ROI model, the next step is creating a detailed cloud migration plan. Based on my experience, I would recommend a three-year period be used as the base length of time when performing ROI analysis and creating a cloud migration plan. This helps plan far enough ahead without relying on too many future predictions. Your cloud migration plan should focus on three stages:

  • Change: Define the problem, estimate the impact of a change and define the value of a cloud migration.
  • Ideate: Explore and discover your options and based on the earlier stages of your cloud assessment, define the right solution.
  • Act: Design a cloud migration specific to your infrastructure and data needs.

4.Existing Architecture Analysis

As was mentioned during the cost/benefit analysis, a cloud assessment is a good opportunity to analyze your entire environment and identify potential optimizations that can be implemented as or after you move to the cloud. There are a number of benefits the cloud offers that your existing architecture may not be designed to take full advantage of. Examples may include standardized server images, useful SaaS applications, data structure improvements and other opportunities to maximize the value of your cloud infrastructure.

5.Executive Business Case

One of the hardest parts of any cloud migration is getting executive buy in. A cloud assessment isn’t complete if it doesn’t provide the deliverables you need to sell your initiative to the C-level decision makers. Presenting a business case and ROI for a cloud migration should include a comprehensive and clear breakdown of everything involved in the cloud assessment in formats that are easy to present.

Armed with valuable data, key business and stakeholder objectives and a clear roadmap for success will make migrating to the cloud much less daunting and more valuable for your business today and into the future. 

About the Author: Steven Balusek, Chief Services Officer, Quisitive

Steven Balusek is a skilled consulting director, practice manager, engagement manager and lead technical architect with over 20 years of consulting experience in a wide range of industries including financial services, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. He is a passionate leader with a track record of quality delivery and operational excellence. He oversees all aspects of operations and delivery for Quisitive’s client services team, specializing in the technology areas of Sitecore and Microsoft Azure.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Click here to share your opinion – Would color of equipment influence your purchasing decision, one way or another?

Featured Blog Entries

Day 4, Cisco Live! - The Wrap

Day 4 was the final day of our first ever Cisco Live! We had a great show, with many great conversations and new connections with existing and potential end users, resellers, partners and job hunters.

Day 3, Cisco Live!

Day 3 of Cisco Live is history! For Fiber Mountain, we continued to enjoy visits from decision makers and influencers who were eager to share their data center and structured cabling challenges.

Day 2, Cisco Live!

Tuesday was Day 2 of Cisco Live for Fiber Mountain and we continued to experience high levels of traffic, with many high value decision makers and influencers visiting our booth. One very interesting difference from most conferences I attend is that there are no titles on anyone's show badges. This allows open conversations without people being pretentious. I think this is a very good idea.

Day 1, Cisco Live!

Fiber Mountain is exhibiting at Cisco Live! In Las Vegas for the first time ever! Our first day was hugely successful from just about any perspective - from quantity and quality of booth visitors to successful meetings with customers.

Industry News