Digital Transformation Demands New Rules for IT and Business

by Tom Maida, Director, SaaS & Cloud Applications

One of the biggest challenges digital transformation (DX) presents is making decisions that are based on both technical and business data, and driving results that enable IT to meet expected business outcomes and strategic goals. DX requires a new way of thinking about everything – from infrastructure strategy, to how IT operates, views and manages the many resources and tools across a hybrid landscape.

And the list of business-driven decisions that IT needs to make can be daunting:

  • Which workloads migrate to the cloud, and to which cloud?
  • Which apps are most critical to the business?
  • Which have compliance requirements? Geo limitations?
  • When does each app migrate – what are the sequence requirements?
  • What are the success factors to track over time – ROI? Lowered CapEx? Improved app performance? Customer satisfaction?
  • What is the minimal cost savings to support cloud migration
  • Which applications are likely to have latency problems and must be kept on premises?
  • Which legacy apps must be maintained and which will be replaced? How – build, buy, SaaS?
  • What are the data protection, security, resiliency and latency requirements for each app?
  • How do I mitigate risk and execute change without impacting availability?

But how does IT determine which workloads to move, where to move them, and when? How does it identify and evaluate all of the critical and relevant technical, business, compliance and security requirements for each application and asset? And how does it determine the risk of outage or disruption of services, ensure it’s acceptable to business and recoverable, and find a solution to mitigate it?

It’s all about the rules

To be efficient, agile and scalable, IT teams need to apply specific business rules to their decision-making processes. Rules need to be built which will rationalize workload placement, determine which cloud platforms to support, and identify which workloads should migrate at all. They need to test and rapidly iterate through multiple scenarios to evaluate many factors at once – such as risk, cost and ROI – and ability to meet RPO and SLAs.

At TDS, our migration experts leverage the rules engine in our TransitionManager platform at every phase of a migration project and customize rules to align with each customer’s business requirements.

Rules can be built to speed up and improve discovery
During discovery, our rules engine evaluates all fields to ensure data quality and remediates errors or fills gaps in missing data. All data captured and stored in TransitionManager can be queried and evaluated. During analysis and planning, this enables teams to make many decisions, such as evaluating assets for suitability to move with a transport tool like HCX, and then assigning labels to group those assets together. If there is a change and a different migration tool will be used, teams can easily reassign assets to a new tool.

Rules can be built to achieve cost goals
There are many factors to consider when evaluating the cost of an IT decision. And there are many tools that assess and evaluate cost for specific issues – such as the costs of running on a specific cloud, operational costs of poorly performing applications, FTE costs for managing infrastructure vs an MSP, etc. Rules can help with cost assessments by leveraging data points from cloud vendors’ own tools, a client’s business requirements and any other specialized, purpose-built costing tools.

Rules can be built to test what-ifs and make the best decisions
The rules engine also allows you to rapidly iterate through multiple, what-if scenarios, a process that is otherwise complex, time consuming, and highly error prone. You can evaluate multiple options and use multiple criteria for each option. And, actions can be taken based on an outcome, such as modifying a value, grouping assets, applying a disposition, assigning workloads to a migration wave group, or creating a task for future action.

Rules can ensure a confident execution
Before executing any moves, our rules engine can do pre-flight checks to validate that the target environment has the capacity, ports and other features needed to support each access. And this is all done as part of an automated workstream.

Click here to learn more about how rules can enable the success of your Digital Transformation.

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