A good discovery captures the pertinent technical and organisational information needed to plan a successful, de-risked migration. It assesses people, process and technology, providing a crucial health check before undertaking a digital transformation. A successful discovery also informs the outline of a roadmap, outlining the necessary steps to plan and execute their migration.
Discovery is an important part of any migration, however, it is often overlooked or rushed, due to time pressures. Naturally, we want the most tangible results fastest, which usually come in the form of deployments. What we ignore is that the fastest path to results is when deployments are successful the first time round. And for that, we need the discovery to be executed properly.
Due to the complexity of cloud migrations, challenges are common. When they do arise (and they will, especially when a deadline is approaching) they have great impact. The goal – the core purpose! – of discovery is to mitigate and minimise the impact of that risk and empower migration teams to effectively and rapidly address these challenges.
Over our 11 years of experience, having delivered over 60 successful engagements, discovery has proven to be the most important phase to get right. It is the key to ensure successful migration events. We’ve found that not only does discovery de-risk cloud migrations, but it also accelerates the deployment phase, which helps customers get to their target state faster.
This document highlights the key areas of a discovery and the value it brings not only to carry out migrations, but to accelerate and de-risk them as much as possible.
Any solution that seeks to add value must address a problem. In order to perform a successful discovery, it is important to understand the problems that need to be resolved.
From the challenges we’ve helped solve in our previous engagements, we have outlined the problems customers face in the early stages of their cloud migration. The different phases detailed in our workload migration offering address the different problem themes customers will face as a natural progression in their cloud adoption journey. Our offering is focused on addressing those customer problems and ensuring that value is delivered early, without introducing unnecessary and unwanted risk. Below are the four problem themes addressed in the first phase: Discovery.
Technical ecosystems are complex. Teams change, plans change and knowledge is lost. Continuous change is something that is embedded into every part of the DevOps philosophy, so it is important to gather up-to-date workload ecosystem knowledge, with risk-mitigating and migration-enabling information. During discovery, we uncover the relevant info and aggregate it in a single source of truth: in our Workload Migration Dossier (WMD).
The world of IT evolves at a rate that is difficult to keep up with – what was an outlier 6 months ago may be the predominant trend today – and we must be ready to fill the gaps in knowledge where needed. To identify and prepare effectively, we run cloud readiness and DevOps maturity assessments that provide data driven insights of areas to focus on improving as we accelerate towards preparing and executing migrations.
No migration comes without risk. We actively work to identify, assess and mitigate risks. During discovery, we leverage our expertise, our relevant technical partner status and deep subject matter knowledge to identify risks and inform planning and preparing phases to develop effective strategies and risk mitigating tactics. This way we provide increased certainty of successful migration events, as we rely on real and relevant insight from in-scope workloads and systems. This too is captured in our single source of truth, the Workload Migration Dossier (WMD).
Starting from a blank page is often the hardest; before answering where to start, we must think about what factors we even need to consider. We provide a provisional roadmap outline, based on our prioritisation modelling and dependency analysis which is informed and dependent on effective discovery. The same discovery informs our migration strategies for each workload (based on the 6 Rs), to give an idea of the effort involved in the migration (or where cost and effort can be minimised by retiring workloads). This way, we can accelerate and often shorten the duration of Plan and Prepare phases, simply by being able to make data-driven, informed recommendations that lead to effective decisions.
Written by Danish Muhammad.
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