Being digital ready can mean different things to different companies and different people. You might be in marketing, management, IT or operations, and you may be implementing anything from a cloud based accounting system to a new marketing automation platform.

Regardless of your job function and the technology you’re implementing, the goal behind digital transformation projects is the same: companies know they need to embrace ‘digital’ to grow, and to develop new products and services to increase revenue.

With Gartner predicting the cloud as the second highest priority for CIO’s, businesses now know that in order to grow and scale fast, it’s highly likely they’ll need to adopt a cloud solution to be more efficient and agile.

But how to you get ‘cloud ready’, and how do you make sure your IT landscape can handle the transformation? There is quite a lot companies can do to prepare themselves, and in the list below we’ve condensed the many recommendations we’ve given to companies over the years in to 5 succinct points:

1. Where is it you want to be?

If you are making a move to the cloud, it’s important to have clearly defined goals that you want to achieve as a result of moving, as well as a clear business case. Companies will construct plans to move to the cloud, but it’s important they truly understand the migration process. Answering all these questions will make choosing a cloud solution easier.

2. Understand your data

Many companies don’t have a deep understanding of their ‘digital estates.’ It’s important to have a very good understanding of the types of assets you are looking to move to the cloud (as this will affect how they are categorised once in the cloud.) To get your IT landscape ready for a transformation, companies should do an audit to determine what should move to the cloud, and what shouldn’t. During this time, you might discover applications that can be retired or refreshed. It’s also a good time to measure how much data you currently have in your estate so that you can estimate how much cloud resource you’ll need within five years.

3. At all times, make sure your IT strategy is driving with your business plan

Your new IT exists to drive business goals, plain and simple, so it’s important that your IT strategy lives hand-in-hand with your business plan. Review your business plan frequently to ensure that your move to the cloud compliments it. Moving to the cloud will not compliment your business strategy if you to operate under strict legislation and host the majority of your assets on-site, for example.

4. Map out a schedule and a budget

This may seem obvious, but many companies do not understand how much time a move to the cloud will take, and the potential risks of disruption to the business. By auditing your digital estate you will be able to get a good understanding of how much data you have, and whether it needs to go to the cloud or live elsewhere. This will give you a good idea of how long the migration will take, and whether it is something you can do as a company, or whether you will need to bring in specialist expertise so that your staff can keep up with their day jobs.

5. Take the secure path - use experts, don't jeopardise your data

For security purposes, it’s important to understand the boundaries of responsibility. Security responsibility moves closer to the cloud provider with products such as Software as a Service (SaaS). If you use an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform, you will have more control over security policy and SLAs. If you employ a trusted migration partner to manage your migration, they will advise you on security measures to take before, during and after your migration.

These are only a few of our tips on how to get your IT infrastructure ‘cloud ready’. To learn more please contact us.