Managed IT

Creating a Cloud Transformation Strategy

A cloud transformation journey includes several steps including: assessment, goal setting, research, migration, optimization, expansion, and ultimately – transformation.

Blog Post

8 minute read

Feb 15, 2024

Going to the Blockbuster down the street and renting a variety of Scooby Doo movies on a Friday night was a staple of my childhood, and I’ll never forget when the store announced its inevitable closure. With the emergence of Netflix, and a redefined on-demand entertainment industry, the Blockbuster model quickly faded out of relevance.  

However, what always gets me is that Blockbuster could have been Netflix if they’d had a thorough digital and cloud transformation strategy in place.  

While it might be too late for Blockbuster to turn back time and get in front of the streaming industry, you can learn from this sort of historic societal transformation by committing to digital transformation and continual improvement. If you haven’t yet, take some time to seriously consider the benefits of cloud migration as one arm of your overarching digital evolution.

There are countless ways to get started with a cloud migration project, but with cloud hosting solutions at Impact, you don’t just get solutions—you have a whole team of IT experts guiding you along this journey.  

What Is Cloud Transformation? 

A cloud transformation is the process of migrating an organization's IT infrastructure, applications, and data from on-premises systems to cloud-based services.  

This transformation involves leveraging the capabilities of cloud computing, such as scalability, flexibility, and accessibility, to improve operational efficiency, enhance agility, and drive innovation. It often involves a strategic shift in how businesses manage and deploy their technology resources, leading to benefits like cost savings, increased productivity, and improved scalability.  

By both cutting costs and expanding your ability to serve a larger market share, you ultimately boost the bottom line.

Additionally, cloud transformation is typically a crucial component of broader digital transformation initiatives, enabling organizations to modernize their IT operations and better adapt to evolving market demands.

Cloud Transformation as a Part of Digital Transformation

While adopting a cloud-based infrastructure is a major pillar for modern organizations embracing the digital era, it’s just one aspect of a larger digital transformation strategy.  

Simply put, digital transformation is an umbrella term for a variety of initiatives organizations take on in order to update, modernize, and digitize their workflows and operations. A comprehensive digital transformation can include automating tasks with RPA, emphasizing data-driven decision-making with insights derived from business intelligence tools and AI, and the focus of this article, a cloud migration.

By embracing the future of industry and continually adopting new technologies and best practices, you end up with streamlined processes, improved profits, and data that is much more secure and available.

The Cloud Transformation Journey  

The cloud transformation journey is a strategic process through which organizations transition their IT infrastructure, applications, and operations from traditional on-premises systems to cloud-based solutions.  

The cloud transformation journey

This journey typically involves several distinct phases, each with its own set of tasks and objectives. Initially, organizations conduct a comprehensive assessment of their current IT landscape to identify existing systems, evaluate performance, and determine compatibility with cloud platforms.  

This assessment serves as a foundation for establishing clear goals and objectives aligned with business needs. Subsequently, organizations research different cloud service providers, deployment models, and migration strategies to identify the most suitable options. Once a cloud provider is selected, the migration phase begins, involving the transfer of data, applications, and workloads to the cloud environment.  

Following migration, organizations focus on optimizing their cloud infrastructure for performance, cost efficiency, and security. This optimization phase often includes customizing resource allocation, implementing cost management practices, and fine-tuning security measures.  

As organizations become more comfortable with the cloud, they may expand their usage of cloud services, explore new capabilities, and pursue innovation opportunities.  

Ultimately, the goal of the cloud transformation journey is to leverage the scalability, flexibility, and agility of cloud computing to drive business growth, supplement and improve business operations, and provide both data availability and security.

Let's breakdown each of the seven stages in a thorough cloud transformation strategy: 

1. Conduct an Assessment

2. Establish Goals

3. Research

4. Migrate

5. Optimize

6. Expand  

7. Transform 

1. Conduct an Assessment

Before embarking on your cloud transformation journey, it's essential to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your organization's current IT infrastructure, applications, and data.  

This assessment involves identifying existing systems, evaluating their performance, analyzing dependencies, and assessing compatibility with cloud platforms. It also includes understanding business requirements, regulatory considerations, and security needs.  

The assessment phase provides a clear understanding of where you stand and helps identify the potential challenges and opportunities you’ll face during your migration to the cloud. 

2. Establish Goals

Once you've assessed your current state, the next step is to establish clear and measurable goals for your cloud transformation initiative.  

These goals should align with your organization's overall business objectives and address key pain points or opportunities identified during the assessment phase.  

Common goals may include improving agility, reducing costs, enhancing scalability, increasing security, enabling innovation, or a combination of these. Setting specific and achievable goals ensures alignment and provides a roadmap for success throughout the transformation process. 

3. Research

With goals in place, it's time to research and evaluate different cloud service providers, deployment models, and migration strategies. This research phase involves understanding the capabilities, pricing models, and service-level agreements (SLAs) of various cloud platforms, such as public, private, or hybrid clouds.  

It also involves assessing factors such as data residency requirements, compliance considerations, and vendor reputations. Thorough research helps organizations make informed decisions and select the best cloud solutions for their specific and unique needs. 

4. Migrate

Once you've chosen a cloud provider and planned your migration strategy, it's time to start migrating your applications, data, and workloads to the cloud. The migration phase involves a series of coordinated activities, including data preparation, application refactoring or re-platforming, and migration execution.  

Depending on the complexity of your environment, migration methods may vary, ranging from lift-and-shift migrations for simple workloads to more complex restructuring for outdated legacy applications.

In the migration process, it’s essential to prioritize workloads based on business value, risk, and technical feasibility, executing the transformation in a phased approach that minimizes disruptions. 

5. Optimize

After migrating to the cloud, the focus shifts to optimizing your cloud environment for performance, cost, efficiency, and security.

This optimization phase involves properly allocating resources, implementing cost management practices, optimizing network configurations, and leveraging automation tools.  

It also includes fine-tuning security controls, monitoring performance metrics, and optimizing applications for cloud-native capabilities. Continuous optimization ensures that your cloud infrastructure remains aligned with evolving business needs, delivering maximum value over time. 

6. Expand

As your organization gains confidence in its cloud capabilities and experiences the benefits of a cloud transformation, you may choose to expand your usage of cloud services. This expansion phase involves scaling up existing workloads, migrating additional applications or data sets to the cloud, and exploring new use cases and technologies.  

It may also involve expanding into new geographic regions, adding multi-cloud or hybrid cloud deployments, or even integrating with other cloud-based services and ecosystems.  

The goal of expansion is to leverage the full potential of cloud computing to drive innovation and business growth. 

7. Transform

The final step in a cloud transformation strategy is to embrace a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.  

This transformational phase involves fostering a mindset of agility, experimentation, and learning within your organization. It includes encouraging collaboration across teams, promoting DevOps practices, and embracing cloud-native development methodologies.  

A cloud transformation strengthens your organization with streamlined processes, reduced data costs, and stronger data security practices, all while providing you with unmatched flexibility and scalability.  

Benefits of a Cloud Transformation Process

Now that we’ve walked through the steps often included in a cloud transformation journey, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that stem from migrating to the cloud.

Stats on Cloud Transformation

  • Scalability: Cloud computing offers the ability to scale resources up or down quickly and easily based on demand. This means organizations can adapt to fluctuating workloads without over-provisioning or underutilizing resources, leading to improved cost efficiency, streamlined processes, and operational flexibility.
  • Cost Savings: Cloud services typically operate on a pay-as-you-go model, allowing organizations to reduce upfront capital expenditures on hardware and infrastructure. Additionally, cloud providers manage maintenance and updates, reducing operational costs associated with managing on-premises systems.
  • Improved Flexibility and Accessibility: Cloud-based applications and data can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling remote work and collaboration among distributed teams. This flexibility enhances productivity and empowers employees to work on their preferred devices without being tied to a specific location.
  • Enhanced Security: Reputable cloud providers invest heavily in security measures to protect data and applications from cyber threats. They often employ advanced encryption, authentication mechanisms, and compliance certifications to ensure data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This level of security is often superior to what organizations can achieve with on-premises systems.
  • Business Continuity: Cloud platforms offer built-in redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities, minimizing the risk of data loss and downtime in the event of hardware failures, natural disasters, or other disruptions. Data backups, failover mechanisms, and decentralized data centers ensure continuity of operations and data integrity. 

Wrapping Up on Cloud Transformations

Migrating to the cloud is an important part of the digital transformation process for any organization. In today’s economy, if you don’t already have your data on the cloud, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.  

However, there’s no need to panic. There’s still plenty of time to migrate to the cloud, and you can make this entire transition even smoother by working with a high-quality managed service provider capable of mitigating the growing pains involved with this type of major transformation.  

If you know you want to move to the cloud but don’t know where to start, you may consider a strategic partnership. With Impact’s cloud services, you have a whole team of experts in your corner, ready to help overcome every obstacle along the way.  


Managed IT


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