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Eduardo Kassner author block_1

So, you’ve made the decision. You’re moving your organization to the cloud. But, now what?

In our eBook, Enterprise Cloud Strategy, my co-author Barry Briggs and I explored what makes the cloud so compelling to enterprises. Our research was based on the real-world experiences of enterprise IT teams and, in it, we identified methods to identify how to assess your application catalogue to start your cloud journey.

There are a lot of good reasons for enterprises to move to the cloud, including greater business agility, keeping up with the speed of innovation, and cost savings. Cloud adoption is growing and many organizations are now operating in a hybrid environment that consists of a blend of on-premises and cloud-based services.

Despite the benefits of cloud computing, companies face numerous challenges, including the integration of cloud services into the enterprise architecture, security and compliance of corporate data, managing employee-led cloud usage, establishing operational processes for cloud services, and even the development of the skills needed in the cloud era.  In their efforts, IT departments are looking to implement policies and processes so that employees and business departments can drive business growth without compromising the security, compliance, and governance of corporate data.

In the recently published “Azure Onboarding Guide for IT Organizations” eBook, by Joachim Hafner, he further discusses best practices for enterprise IT departments onboarding into Microsoft Azure-based services within their organization.

Tips for Moving to the Cloud

When you’re ready to make the big move, we recommend identifying your drivers and taking a systematic approach. Here are six tips to get you started.

    1. Catalog existing applications. To understand what, when, and how to assess and catalog the applications in your environment. So that per assessment attribute you can then proceed to weighted and build a prioritized list.
    2. Define criteria for migrating or re-architecting your applications in the cloud. You should set priorities within your migration plan based on business factors, architecture as well as technical factors. Your business liaison team should work with the operations team, so that the business units involved can help establish a priority listing that is agreed upon.
    3. Architect core infrastructure components for cloud integration. Deploying hybrid cloud scenarios begins with the need for connectivity to the Microsoft cloud platforms, which need to be sized to be secure and performant while under the different load requirements. It then proceeds with the definition of the identity and RBAC requirements for SaaS and Azure PaaS hybrid scenarios, which includes Azure AD as a common identity provider, which can be synchronized with your on-premises Windows Server AD, or federated with Windows Server AD, as well as with other identity providers. The next step is to Secure the hybrid cloud scenarios, which includes security groups, isolation, traffic segmentation, protection and management for your identities, administrative privilege management, threat awareness, data encryption, and the implementation of governance and security policies.
    4. Acquire cloud development skills. Develop competencies with cloud technologies and services even as those services evolve and change. Practically, this means that staff must have time to explore new technologies and that you may need to increase your investment in IT staff training.
    5. Retool for adoption and change management. Rethink your IT service management and disaster recovery practices, as well as how a given cloud service integrates with your existing in-house technology infrastructure.
    6. Take a systematic and disciplined approach to security, governance and compliance. Invest in core capabilities within your organization that lead to secure environments.

Preparing and Training IT Staff for the Cloud

We know how important training is in a technological environment that’s constantly changing. That’s why we are committed to providing the resources to help bridge that gap. Check out our new, free Azure skills courses, taught in an interactive online-learning environment that focus on core development skills for Cloud Administration, DevOps and Data Science.

Check back often as new courses are being added all the time.

Another great resource for you is the Microsoft IT Pro Career Center, which will help you map your cloud career path. Learn what industry experts suggest for your cloud role and the skills to get you there.

Are you taking on the challenge of a cloud migration? What tips would offer partners preparing to make the move in the future? Share your advice in the comments below.