What to consider before starting your cloud journey


Today’s vastly changing digital landscape has expedited organizations’ need to provide scalable and reliable IT solutions that improve business operations and enhance productivity. Migrating to the cloud has become a key growth avenue to introduce new digital services and experiences while ensuring business continuity. According to our 2021 cloud report, cloud platforms have become an integral part of Canadian organizations’ digital transformation ambitions.

There are many advantages to cloud adoption. In addition to cost, flexibility and accessibility, once organizations start to deploy cloud, more than one third of Canadian businesses (38 percent) found the greatest benefits to be improved cybersecurity, business agility, simplified and standardized infrastructure and sourcing control. Despite these clear benefits, there are several factors organizations should consider before migrating to the cloud.

Consider the use cases and how they relate to your organization

It’s important for organizations to first educate themselves on the various use cases that rely on innovative technologies to determine which ones best align with their organizational objectives. To measure gradual success, organizations should include milestones within their cloud adoption journey that align with their overall business goals, as well as develop KPIs. These KPIs should assess the benefits of cloud, such as enhanced security, improved agility, operation and sourcing efficiencies as well as accelerated innovation to determine which areas of their business benefit from migration.

Conduct your due diligence

A main reason organizations are unhappy with their cloud deployment is due to a lack of proper planning in the early phase of the adoption process. This means organizations need to first take stock of their existing solutions and workloads within their IT environments to define what data they wish to move to the cloud, the security aspects that need to be addressed and what the impact of cloud deployments will be on performance and cost. This will help mitigate the need to repatriate workloads, as well as overspending.

Assess value before making a large investment

It’s important for organizations to understand exactly how the cloud services will impact their business and processes prior to adoption. They need to have a clear understanding of how cloud migration affects budget and a realistic idea of costs and timelines. Additionally, as cloud services introduce new operational processes and require oversight to ensure effective operation, organizations should first conduct proof of concepts to get hands-on experience with the technology and to develop policies and governance models accordingly before making any large investment in cloud solutions.

Security considerations around identity and data are critical

Identity access management programs authenticate and protect data and ensure availability of services. This means special consideration should be given to leverage the controls made available through cloud services. Traditional on-premises identity access management principles need to be reviewed and amended as needed, especially as employees continue to work from home. Given the highly dynamic nature of cloud services, organizations should leverage a zero-trust architecture alongside identity access management and data policies to help protect business data and sensitive information.

Seek out experienced partners

Deploying and managing hybrid environments requires new skills and expertise that not all organizations have the capacity to manage. That is why businesses looking to migrate to the cloud should seek out partners that can guide and support the cloud journey, while helping to simplify aspects such as security, migration and management. Experienced partners can help bridge the gap around expertise and skills that organizations may have identified during the planning process.

More information on our 2021 cloud report can be found at the link here. If you’re interested in learning more about CDW’s cloud solutions and how we can help your business, visit cdw.ca/cloud.