The Automation Logic Viewpoint

Automation Logic are specialists in working in highly regulated enterprise industries. Over the last 12 years, we’ve accumulated our expertise in delivering tailored cloud platforms and we have formed a point of view about what Cloud Landing Zones are and their benefits. 

With our experience within both public and private sectors combined with our knowledge around regulatory requirements and their impact on security and governance, we can guide the implementation of solutions that enable our clients’ quick evolution and ultimately digital transformation whilst maintaining compliance and operational readiness and efficiency. Based on this expertise we developed our Cloud Landing Zone service offering, which aims to tackle the customer problems faced during the early stage of our clients’ cloud migration journey and de-risk adoption throughout their transformation efforts. Leveraging our knowledge from multiple customers, we have developed a mechanism to assess and re-align the existing platforms to sustainably yield long-term business benefits as defined in your Business Case.

The most common business problem we see is the evolving requirements for cloud-native applications that span, historically, virtual machines, and now containers and serverless workloads across public and private clouds. Security and risk management leaders must address hybrid cloud workloads’ unique and dynamic security requirements to maintain an effective security posture to protect you and your business. This article outlines AL’s point of view on how a landing zone can help address these challenges and aims to set the context on why a landing zone is essential for short- and long-term successful cloud migrations.

About Cloud Landing Zones

A Landing Zone is a central platform used as the foundation for a cloud-based environment. Done right, it is an accelerator to self-service capabilities for application and service teams. It will also enable rapid cloud-native development for clients’ that have achieved cloud maturity. With out-of-the-box security and compliance, it provides safety and governance, optimising operations without impacting the pace to deliver value to customers and end-users. 

Landing Zones (LZs)  are the basis of a multi-subscription/multi-account cloud environment that caters for scale, security, governance, networking and identity management. LZs enable accelerated application migration are a catalyst for modernisation and innovation at an enterprise scale in the cloud. These attributes make them the cornerstone of successful cloud adoption for most enterprise-scale organisations due to their benefits and flexibility. 

Cloud adoption can be an accelerator for business transformation in many ways. However, this cannot be achieved without a solid foundation. Landing Zones allow users to follow best practices and adopt the right ways of working, allowing them to experiment, innovate and develop at pace. 

Business Benefits of the Cloud Landing Zones

LZs enable a quick Return on Investment (ROI) by providing a solid foundation to allow technical teams to safely and rapidly deliver value as quickly as possible. By building these landing zones, clients access a large number of short- and long-term business benefits.

Workload visibility – Landing Zones are the fastest path to having a consistent approach to monitoring and alerting. That is the foundation for observability and the scaffolding for continuous improvement; it is only possible to know what to improve if you measure your current state. This is required to improve service reliability and resilience to maintain user experience and trust.

Secure workload access – Secure access to workloads by the customers, users, and developers ensures risk-reduction in terms of security. Access security is paramount when PII (personally identified information) is concerned or handling data that may be confidential. 

Rapid onboarding – Self-service capability significantly reduces time to value so developers can focus on value delivery to the business. Using Landing Zones allows you to onboard new services and the team members, reinforcing the agile working methods.

Enhanced rate of innovation – The competitive edge today is distinguished by how fast we can release new features. Being able to experiment in a safe space (a sandbox) and deploy your applications quickly and safely helps to meet customer demand, changing business priorities and long-term goals.

A faster rate of change – To realise the benefits of the enhanced rate of innovation, you must be able to technically implement changes rapidly. That means reduced time-to-value and therefore features delivered to the end-users faster.

Cost management – Managing the costs associated with your workloads and overall IT business operations is vital to ensure the overall health and profitability of the enterprise, down to service level. Landing Zones give you better standardisation and visibility, resulting in enhanced cost management across your digital estate.

Support for technical debt reduction – Technical debt is an operational reality in today’s ever-changing and complex landscape. Legacy workloads must often be maintained and supported to continually serve the end-users needs and the original value proposition and slowly evolve to support new capabilities. Secure onboarding of legacy to the cloud enables you to gradually migrate and modernise these workloads to reduce their negative impact and develop and re-align these services to business priorities and reduce costs.

These benefits aim at supporting business continuity for both short and long-term horizons. Short-term is achieved by early platform adoption that supports the long-term vision by adopting a correct Operating Model that in conjunction with technology allows for platform evolution due to changing business requirements and user demand.

Value of Cloud Landing Zones

For one of our Government clients, our team built a landing zone in partnership with AWS, leveraging best practice and using their native tools. We did that in 2020, and since then, we’ve been improving and maintaining their landing zone, helping our client meet their evolving needs. It became a valuable resource to our client because it provided a stable platform that we used to quickly migrate the majority of the clients’ applications into the cloud. The Modernisation platform Landing Zone was wholly designed and architected by us. We looked at best practices similar implementations within Government agencies and worked with AWS to get validation and technical governance when required. It’s a bespoke platform used for hosting a large number of applications for the Government Client. 

By implementing a Cloud Landing Zone, you lay the foundation for success. With the right approach, you can gain the benefits early on, allowing you to quickly build a fully capable enterprise-scale solution to support your digital transformation.  

With many tools available such as the Well-Architected Framework, modularity of the design and an ability to scale and evolve the Landing Zone – you are making a single investment to support your end-users and customers through an ability to provide them with a cost-effective, reliable and performant set of systems that meet their changing needs.

To support cloud adoption and effective cloud operation for our customers and Workload Migration effort complemented and governed by our WM Service Offering, Automation Logic has built a pre-packaged Landing Zone with plug-and-play modules. We can take it to any client and deploy an entire customised Cloud Landing Zone in days/weeks rather than months; this will add to the cost and time savings throughout the overall migration and adoption process.

Written by Adam Jasinski.

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