In its 2021 State of the Cloud Report, Flexera shared the results of a survey on cloud adoption and migrations across industries and types of organizations. The report confirms that cloud migrations are accelerating rapidly, as IT leaders grapple with the pressure to accelerate their modernizations while managing costs. And the public sector is no exception to this trend.
The passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 included a provision of a billion dollars in funding for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). This additional funding for modernization will enable agencies to further accelerate migrations to the cloud, a major but essential step forward if IT is to keep pace.
But it’s not easy. In the course of our work and recent conversations with state, local and federal leaders, as well as a review of a flurry of RFPs and RFIs, it’s clear that many are clamoring to get their cloud migration plans underway to meet the increasingly sophisticated service expectations of their constituents.
I’ve seen many organizations start and then stumble with these efforts, as they run into the challenge of identifying their full IT landscape. In fact, not long ago I was at the helm of a major business unit for an enterprise organization and we thought we were ready to move forward because we had a good handle on all of our infrastructure and associated applications. But we soon learned otherwise. I wasn’t too pleased to discover that there were many rogue assets that we knew little about, which quickly forced us to put our plans on hold.
It’s clear that I’m not alone in running into unexpected hurdles and unknowns when building an aggressive cloud strategy. In the State of the Cloud Report Flexera’s results show that understanding app dependencies remains not only critical but a major challenge for 51% of the respondents from across industries.
As you make decisions about your IT infrastructure, consider that you’re not just migrating an application–you are migrating all of the infrastructure that is connected to it. And in today’s dynamic environments, interdependencies between apps can be complex and extensive. Failure to account for those complexities and interdependencies across the IT landscape often leads to delays, breakdowns, and disruption to critical business services.
The first step, particularly for a complex enterprise, like a federal or state agency, is to recognize and understand the entire IT estate. You need to know exactly what assets are in your IT environment and have current, accurate configuration data. IT staff must understand application-to-application and application-to-services dependencies as well as application-to-infrastructure. Oftentimes just identifying the primary application is not enough, and a clear depiction of upstream and downstream relationships is required to fully prepare for changes and communicate impact to stakeholders.
For example, let’s say you’ve recovered your primary application in the public cloud, but you were unaware that a SaaS provider you used for a web service is part of your payment flow and needed to be notified of an IP Address change.
While such a dependency might be easily overlooked, it could lead to the inability to deliver a critical business service. A clear picture of the overall impact of an operational issue, such as a failed server and how its effects might reverberate beyond the primary application, will save you critical time and reduce the otherwise negative impact your organization would experience.
This clear and complete understanding of your environment is a critical foundation for making decisions, increasing speed and agility, eliminating costly downtime and maintaining regulatory compliance.
Once you have a complete view of how the various applications and other IT components are dependent on each other, you can decide which groups of applications can be moved. This can save tremendous time and resources in a data center migration, a move to the cloud or some other system improvement – and avoid disruption to services.
To see how TransitionManager helps you to better understand your applications and their dependencies watch a demo here.
Source: Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report. https://info.flexera.com/CM-REPORT-State-of-the-Cloud
For the state and federal government sector, the pressure to modernize has escalated. The good news is by leveraging IT experts and specialized tools to migrate, government agencies do have a way forward.
To effectively manage your systems, you must understand application-to-application and application-to-services dependencies as well as application-to-infrastructure. Business is on the move.
Senior Migration Consultant Stephen Molloy had many great questions from the attendees during our last TransitionManager demo webinar. Here he few moments to address one that stood out.
We recently collaborated with a solutions architect at AWS on a blog to describe how TransitionManager provides the necessary insight to understand complex environments to help teams analyze, plan, understand, and reduce the risks associated with migrations.
When teams use a single platform they can take a holistic view of their project. Rather than using discrete tools to individually track spend, identify security vulnerabilities, and manage governance, an orchestration platform enables teams to assess and evaluate these areas - and more - in relation to each other. And this leads to better decision making, better planning, and improves the likelihood of delivering expected business outcomes.
Organizations face challenges when confronted with a cloud migration, whether they are just beginning or are under pressure to accelerate their journey to the cloud. So where are organizations going wrong when planning and executing their cloud migration strategy?