4 Levels of Cloud Maturity: What Level is Your Business?
The need to support rapid iterations to products and services via technology to stay competitive is one of the key reasons that companies across industries are investing in cloud migration. McKinsey reports that cloud spending is expected to grow at six times the rate of other IT spending by next year.
Moving your data and infrastructure to the cloud offers some compelling benefits. In particular, cloud technology operations is low-maintenance in comparison to traditional data centers. Monitoring your systems, setting up backups, and completing disaster recovery exercises are major expenses for organizations managing on-premise infrastructure. Frequent outages and performance issues can degrade organizational productivity and customer confidence.
With the cloud, these operational processes can be automated. Leveling up your cloud maturity leads to reduced costs and greater efficiency at your company. To get those benefits, you have to take the right approach to your cloud migration project.
4 Levels of Cloud Maturity
Cloud migration isn’t one size fits all. Every business has unique needs and will need to create a plan for moving to the cloud that’s tailored to their particular situation. Generally speaking, there are a few main levels of cloud maturity we see. Knowing your options can help you better understand the place you are in now, and which level you should strive for in the future.
It’s worth noting that reaching a higher maturity level isn’t always better. The option that is most appropriate for your business depends on the details of your situation.
1. Pre-cloud (Traditional Data Centers)
This is where most businesses started out at some point. If your company runs exclusively on classic virtual machines or bare metal in a data center, then you’re at the pre-cloud maturity level.
For enterprise companies, owning your own data centers made sense for many years. It was a good way to control your data and reduce risk. Maintaining this kind of IT architecture has become increasingly challenging though. It involves high costs, and the amount of maintenance required (as described above) consumes valuable IT resources.
The main reason to stay at this maturity level is a resistance to change. A cloud migration project requires time and risk, and many companies are hesitant to take the plunge. In most cases though, that simply means putting off the inevitable.
2. Lift and Shift
The lift-and-shift level of cloud maturity offers a compromise for companies that want the benefits of the cloud, but aren’t ready to leave the legacy systems behind. Lift-and-shift cloud migration involves moving the system you already have into the cloud.
This can be a way to move to the cloud with less disruption since you don’t have to do a transition to entirely new tech products. Not all legacy systems will work seamlessly when moved to the cloud though. You may spend more time and money trying to adapt old architecture to systems it wasn’t designed for. Make sure you think through any potential compatibility issues before choosing this level.
3. Partial Cloud Adoption
A cloud migration doesn’t have to be a full transformation that happens all at once. Some businesses can benefit from having some of their applications and infrastructure shifted to the cloud while keeping others on the old system. Sometimes this kind of partial upgrade can work for an extended period of time. It’s often a good option for companies who are concerned about the risk of full cloud migration and would rather ease into a change.
You can move some of your departments and staff onto the cloud, or just start with certain types of applications, and see how it plays out. Based on the results, you can then decide whether you’re ready to move the rest of your employees and products into the cloud as well.
4. Full Cloud Adoption
This is the level where a company moves away from data centers entirely and shifts its architecture exclusively to the cloud. This is also applicable for implementing green field projects directly on the cloud. For companies ready to make the transition, full cloud adoption can bring real benefits. Cloud applications tend to be more agile and require far less maintenance. Once your systems are on the cloud, updates are faster and you can start to tap into cloud-only products and features.
For many businesses, this the level to aspire to eventually, even if not today.
The Secret to a Successful Cloud Migration Project
Moving to the cloud may allow you to tap into a lot of benefits, but only if you do it right. A cloud migration that isn’t well planned and executed can be a disruption to your business and cause more problems than it’s meant to solve.
The best way to avoid unnecessary issues and delays is to work with someone who has extensive experience with the cloud migration process and make sure you have the right tools to support you. A skilled partner that’s completed many similar projects will not only know what potential pitfalls to be aware of but will also help you make a more informed choice about which level of maturity to plan for.
Addteq has helped clients with lift-and-shift transitions. We’ve helped engineer partial cloud adoption for companies hoping to try it out before committing. We’ve also helped companies ready to move toward full cloud adoption, make the transition seamlessly. In each case, we aided the company in evaluating where they were and deciding which level was right for them.
In addition to our expertise, our hosted and managed software development solution Codefactori provides the features needed to support a frictionless move to the cloud and provide all necessary integrations between your company’s different products.
If you know a move to the cloud is in your company’s future, but you can’t envision what the process of getting there should look like, our DevOps experts are ready to help.