There you were, minding your own business–figuratively and literally–the way you always had. Then, in the blink of an eye things went from business as usual to anything but. Stay-at-home orders caused businesses to implement Work From Home (WFH) procedures and policies. Your inbox was flooded with webinar invitations from experts telling you how to adapt to the new normal– because suddenly, all of your usual interactions and collaborations had become difficult ,if not impossible. IT staff had to quickly implement these new procedures, and had to come up with ways employees could access their IT resources securely and efficiently.
Many businesses were not equipped to pivot to a WFH type of workflow. Over the past 4-5 months, this has caused owners and principals to cobble together various 3rd party solutions in an attempt to accommodate that kind of workflow. This, in turn, has caused all kinds of issues, such as interoperability problems, loss of productivity, employee stress and confusion over how to accomplish what was before basic tasks, and of course security issues due to no cohesive plan to make that sort of access available on short notice.
Now, business owners are rightfully thinking, There must be a better way, and How can we be better prepared for a remote workforce?
Enter the Cloud
If you are like most people who are struggling with cobbled together solutions, you may be wondering if a Cloud Provider could help you be better prepared for remote WFH scenarios.
The short answer to that is Yes!, but as with most technology implementations there are things you will need to consider before adopting a Cloud Strategy.
Setting Baselines for Improvement
The first thing you want to do is to identify what business processes would benefit from being in a cloud-based environment. For WFH scenarios, that would at the very least involve RDS Farms/Virtual workspaces and all the applications that users would run within those. Those applications would then be evaluated from the perspective of how they would be accessed (web-based vs fat client), what supporting workloads are required for access to the applications, and what–if any–other infrastructure would be required.
Work With Your Stakeholders
Once the business processes have been identified, you will then want to meet with and get signoff from the possible stakeholders of the applications/project. You should develop a business case for the project and include what the desired outcome should be. Crunching all the numbers and preparing a formal plan with a cloud engineer, to give you all the relevant data for your board and leadership, will be a key part of this process. You want to make sure they have all the information they need to make a decision, and it will be important to get all stakeholders to buy in on the plan in order to have a successful outcome.
From here, since you already have buy-in for the business case, the real work begins. There are several tools cloud providers have that help them determine where on the path to readiness you are, such as Azure’s SMART (Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool) and AWS CART (Cloud Adoption Readiness Tool). These self-assessment tools will tell you where you are on the road to cloud adoption and will ask some fairly high-level questions to help make sure you are headed in the right direction. At the end of the questionnaire, they will define for you the next steps you should take to continue your journey. Some of the things it will assess are Business Strategy, Partner Support, Discovery and Assessment, Migration Planning, and Management– just to name a few. You can retake the assessment as many times as required, each time updating it with new information as you work your way down the steps for a successful cloud adoption.
Where do we go from here?
Proper cloud adoptions take time and effort. This is not something you do without careful consideration and an objective study of how your business operates and wants to grow, along with a clear understanding of what your final outcome should be. Improper cloud adoptions can cause high ongoing costs and end user frustrations. In order to ‘dip your toes’ into the cloud one of the first real steps after the planning and discovery phase is to do a ‘Proof of Concept’ deployment, basically a scaled down version of one piece of the proposed project demonstrating how things could work, and possibly fine tuning it. For that part of the project it is helpful to enlist a seasoned Cloud Integrator to assist with not only the POC, but for all aspects of the project moving forward. True Digital Security, as a certified Azure and AWS Cloud Integrator, can be that trusted resource to help guide you towards a successful Cloud Adoption strategy.
In conclusion, considering a cloud strategy enables your business to become nimbler and adapt to changes in circumstances. While this pandemic may be with us for quite some time there may also be other challenges that come along that requires you to adapt to an ever changing landscape. Today it’s WFH, tomorrow it could be increasing your web presence or being able to ramp up order processing quickly to handle a surge in orders.
Read more about TRUE’s Cloud Professional Services or contact us to discuss challenges you face and how a cloud migration could help.