Regardless of your business model, a forward-thinking digital strategy will determine the future of your enterprise.
If there is anything that COVID-19 has proven, it is the power of modern computing systems to adapt in times of crisis. The shift to modern working as a means of survival is now being recognised as an instrument of growth. Although everyone’s definition of what is modern will be different, these recent events have highlighted the fact that brittle and inflexible systems will hold your business back. Even as global vaccination efforts continue apace and the world returns to some semblance of normality, the ways people work, shop, and exercise have irrevocably changed. Businesses that ignore these shifts are at severe risk of becoming legacy themselves.
To remain competitive many IT leaders are pushing more and more legacy workloads into a consistent cloud model. Unlike one-size-fits-all SaaS solutions, many of these business applications bring with them a tough set of decisions for architects to make around what to lift and shift and what to rearchitect for the cloud. With deep experience in running many different applications on Microsoft infrastructure, this is where VIGILANT.IT can help.
A STAGED APPROACH TO YOUR MODERNISATION JOURNEY
Architecture design should not be a replication of existing architecture choices, but be driven by several key choices, such as:
Reliability & Security
Geo-redundant vs local redundant. Data encryption vs tokens. While hyperscale cloud providers invest billions in security every year, many security responsibilities remain with you to safeguard the target architecture.
Multi-cloud vs Hybrid-cloud vs Single-cloud Strategy
balancing best-in class fit vs operational complexity and skillset fragmentation.
Tight platform integration
Considers cloud native services vs cross-platform soluctions e.g., infrastructure as code with Azure Resource Manager vs Terraform
Level of automation (Infrastructure as Code)
considering architecture modernisation ROI and IT staff skills ramp-up.
Our specialists work with you to perform a discovery of your applications, infrastructure, security and networking in your environment and prepare a discovery report and vision / scope for the remaining phases of the engagement. This provides a general view of the application landscape, enabling the identification of application clusters and their prioritisation in the migration roadmap. Once these application clusters have been identified, we define a migration strategy for each (ranging from rehosting or re-platform to retiring). While the bottom-up assessment is done from an infrastructure level and up, the migration roadmap is defined per application cluster, considering business dependencies and a technical roadmap considering legacy platforms and the integration or convergence with Operational Technology systems.
ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING
In the assessment phase, our specialists work with you to assess your environment, gathering information from application owners and key stakeholders. This allows us to recommend a high-level journey to a target architecture. Although general IT concepts for the cloud remain the same as on-premises, cloud solutions introduce several new architectural patterns. These strategic choices then drive the design of an end-state reference architecture (e.g. Cloud, Data Centre, Networking, Security, Identity And Access, etc).
In the migration phase, our specialists help your organisation plan the journey identified during the discovery and assessment phases. While the scope of the initiative can encompass a migration of a full data centre or all applications of a specific business unit, the migration is not a one-size-fits-all approach as applications have different business and technical requirements. It is key to assess the cloud suitability and business value of each application. Cloud suitability is measured through a set of criteria such as technology stack compatibility, integration needs or elasticity.
While the main reason to move to the cloud is often the acceleration of business innovation and the improvement of IT capabilities, it also has the potential to generate cost savings in licensing, servers, facilities and maintenance. However, to realise them requires a strong cost management approach to ensure a disciplined assessment and implementation of relevant levers. In Optimisation we will be monitoring your architecture’s technical and financial performance to identify areas for optimisation. These may include rightsizing public cloud instances, tuning into fixed private cloud capacity, snoozing off-peak, deployment policy & automation, show-back or charge-back and off-premises management, among others.