Last month I posted an article: An Azure Migration Assessment Methodology that give guidance on how to perform a Migration Assessment project as part of a move to Azure. Back in 2017 I blogged about a company’s Azure Maturity Level. And way way back in 2011 I co-authored an article The SaaS Development Life Cycle to give companies guidance on how to approach their first Azure project. (In 2010 the Azure public cloud had just been released so there was not a lot of guidance about that subject anywhere.)
I have been working with Azure since before it was called Azure (back when I worked at Microsoft in 2007). Most of my time since then has been helping clients adopt Azure successfully.
In working with those clients, I have observed that a company’s Azure maturity level with respect to cloud adoption falls into four stages:
Companies that are interested in moving some servers or applications (assets) to a public cloud, but have not yet selected either those assets, or even the particular public cloud to use. These companies need help in selecting the appropriate cloud. Since I am an avowed Azure enthusiast, I will assume from here on that they have selected Azure.
Organizations that have selected Azure and want to perform a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of a more major migration. Let me be blunt. Since their staff usually has no cloud expertise, they will need help to do this. They will also need help in acquiring the required training in Azure.
In some cases, they may have a specific pilot application in mind. If not then they may need a formal Migration Assessment to verify that the assets are appropriate to move.
In some cases, they will need help to assess their current assets and determine if a) they are ready to move to Azure with no changes, b) They can be moved to Azure with minor changes or c) they are not good candidates to move to Azure.
A Migration Assessment can also right-size the assets if desired, since most data center resources are way over-provisioned. The Migration Assessment can result in the selection of the pilot asset and also the planning for the next phase, a more major migration involving additional assets.
Companies that have completed their pilot project and are planning a larger migration. These companies may have already completed a Migration assessment in the previous phase in order to decide on pilot assets to migrate, or they may have skipped the assessment in the previous phase because the already had an asset selected for the pilot.
The next step is to develop a complete migration plan. This will involve partitioning assets into Build groups according to the applications that they support. Following this the Build Groups must be further structured into migration Waves for migration scheduling purposes. Waves (like development sprints) are the units of completing migration groups.
There is one more major category to consider, Companies that have a significant presence in Azure, but have not paid particular attention to governance, cost management and/or performance optimization. These companies definitely need help in optimizing their use of Azure and putting the appropriate governance controls in place.
Companies moving to Azure come in all shapes and sizes. Everything from just thinking about the cloud to proceeding to a pilot Azure project or a major migration. A significant number of them have assets currently in Azure but are not satisfied with the results as discussed above.
A good consultant has to customize what they offer to solve the client’s particular business problem and not just provide a general off-the-shelf one-size-fits-all solution. That is what I have tried to do over the years.
I hope this helps.