A new approach to realising cloud benefits in server migrations

One of the most valuable assets that organisations have are their custom-developed software applications to manage core business data. The most effective way to protect these software assets is to put them in the cloud.

This business case is well understood by technology consultants to enterprises. What’s not as obvious? There’s a much better way to perform cloud migrations than the standard industry approach.

By modernising the approach, it’s possible to successfully complete a migration to the cloud in days, not months. 

The common industry practice has been to progress the transition to cloud services through a sequence of identifiable stages in tandem with the development of cloud vendor offerings. These stages can be identified by the way the internal ICT team engages with the cloud vendor for those services.

  • Stage 1: The internal team manages all applications and associated hardware servers on-premise.
  • Stage 2: The internal team manages all applications and fewer on-premise servers that house multiple virtual servers.
  • Stage 3: The internal team manages all applications and relocates all hardware and virtual servers to a ‘server farm’ or hosting provider like a data centre.
  • Stage 4: IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service. The internal team manages all applications and outsources the managing of the hardware and operating system (OS) layers to the provider of IaaS like Amazon Web Services.
  • Stage 5: PaaS – Platform as a Service. The internal team manages the application code to develop the software, and lets a cloud vendor manage the hardware, OS, application hosting and production environment with PaaS like Microsoft Azure.

Blue Zoo followed this protocol in 2015 when moving our award-winning enterprise capability intelligence platform Governance Manager to the cloud. It took six months of deploying, testing, releasing and supporting each of these migrations sequentially through all the stages.

The most recent cloud offerings have rapidly matured to the point that this sequential approach to migrating in-house applications to the cloud is no longer necessary.

Last year, when undertaking to migrate virtual servers to PaaS for the state government of Victoria, we brought them from Stage 2 directly to Stage 5 in one week.

Doing things differently enabled our customer to leverage cloud technology to significantly cut costs and improve business resilience months faster than if we had approached it like everyone else.

Project lead advisor and Blue Zoo’s Co-Founder/MD Jason Wilk observes,

“The tools and capabilities of PaaS vendors are now robust enough for us to recommend this direct methodology with confidence.”

“If you have bespoke software, it is possible to migrate straight to PaaS. If you don’t want to develop your own software, or you have legacy systems with limitations, we further recommend that you also outsource your applications layer and embrace SaaS or Software as a Service.”

“This is the fast way for enterprises to enjoy the business benefits of moving their ICT systems to the cloud.”


2018-05-18T17:09:34+00:00 April 6th, 2018|

About the Author:

Derek Shellabear is a Principal Advisor specialising in technology strategy, sourcing and governance.