Evaluate your business goals and your existing IT environment at the beginning of your cloud journey.

You’ve considered the merits of cloud computing. You’ve made digital transformation part of your business strategy. And now you’re thinking about moving your on-premises servers and applications to the cloud. What’s next? It’s time for a comprehensive cloud readiness assessment to examine your business priorities and your technical infrastructure.

What is a cloud readiness assessment?

A cloud readiness assessment is an intensive evaluation of an organisation’s existing IT system that is designed to identify cloud-suitable and cloud-unsuitable resources. The assessment is usually conducted by cloud professionals in partnership with senior members of the organisation’s managerial and technical teams.

Executives are asked to share strategic insights about business priorities, objectives, and deliverables, while IT stakeholders are relied upon to provide holistic information about the system architecture and associated assets. Current and future business scenarios are discussed, with cloud consultants generally focusing on three key areas…

#1 | Primary business concerns

Businesses typically look to the cloud to reduce costs, increase operational efficiency, or improve security – but there’s often a specific trigger behind the actual decision to migrate.

Pressing capacity needs, compliance concerns, and expiring data-centre contracts are some of the common catalysts. At present, the looming end-of-support dates for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, as well as SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, are prompting many companies to embrace cloud technology.

Cloud consultants aim to uncover the business’s main priorities so they can determine which cloud solutions are the most appropriate. Their goal is to facilitate a seamless migration process, but that’s only possible when they have a complete picture of what the business is hoping to achieve by moving to the cloud.

#2 | Current applications and technologies, plus usage trends

Depending on its size, the business may run hundreds or thousands of applications across a variety of servers. How are these applications structured? Can they be modified for the cloud? What technologies are being used? How are they organised?

Consultants need to create a thorough catalogue of the business’s on-premises applications and servers, with explicit particulars about architecture, communication, and dependencies. This inventory is especially important for determining whether applications should be rehosted, refactored, rebuilt, or replaced in the cloud.

It’s also vital for cloud specialists to understand how the business’s resources are currently being used. What’s the status quo, in terms of app volume and usage? What are the system requirements during normal operating conditions? And during peak periods?

Cloud consultants must have a clear idea of the resources that exist in the business’s present environment, what they’re being used for, and where they belong in the system, so that migration teams can create appropriate guidelines for moving servers and application stacks.

#3 | Data management

How does the business handle data? Where is data processed and stored? What data-specific industry rules and compliance regulations apply to the business? Consultants have to explore these questions with relevant stakeholders during the cloud readiness assessment.

Data privacy and data security are core concerns for all South African businesses that manage sensitive in-house material and confidential customer information. Foreign decrees like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation have the potential to affect local entities. And SA laws, including the Protection of Personal Information Act, dictate the relationship between businesses and consumers. Legal obligations and compliance considerations must be reviewed during the readiness assessment.

One step at a time

A successful cloud migration requires extensive preparation and careful planning. The readiness assessment is the first (and most important) step. In our next article, we’ll take a closer look at Step 2: The Road Map to get to grips with the blueprints for cloud migration. In the meanwhile, learn more about app migration to Microsoft Azure by watching these videos…

BUI is an official Microsoft Partner in South Africa, and an award-winning leader in identity and security solutions.

Moving To The Cloud? A Readiness Assessment Is Essential

Our commitment to ensuring business continuity – even in the face of disruption – has been recognised by the British Standards Institution.

We’re proud to announce that we have earned ISO 22301 certification after a rigorous independent evaluation by the British Standards Institution last month. The ISO 22301 badge is recognised internationally and sets the standard for Business Continuity Management Systems.

“This certification highlights the strength of our company’s business continuity strategy,” says Gayle Roseveare, our Chief Operating Officer (COO) here at BUI. “It proves to our staff, partners and customers that we’re prepared for any eventuality – and that we’re able to serve and support the people who rely on us, no matter what. Our ISO 22301 badge represents our commitment to effective risk management, organisational resilience, and reliability – even in the face of disruption,” notes Roseveare.

What is ISO 22301?

Developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO 22301 lays out a framework to help companies like ours create, implement, and maintain a comprehensive business continuity management system (BCMS). The main aim is to ensure that companies are protected against unforeseen business challenges and equipped to respond and recover when such events do occur.

“BUI is a global company with offices in East Africa, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States,” says Roseveare. “On any given day, our teams are provisioning cloud infrastructure, monitoring and securing digital environments, and delivering a wide range of IT services to customers. We operate around the world and around the clock – and we have to be able to do so continuously. Whether there are power outages in South Africa or internet connectivity issues in Europe, we need to ensure we can deliver uninterrupted services to our customers. Our ISO 22301 certificate validates our planning for disruptive incidents and disasters.”

Why is ISO 22301 certification important?

“In an unpredictable business climate, it pays to be prepared,” explains Dhiren Boodhia, our Group Governance and Compliance Manager. “And that goes double for service providers like us. To earn our ISO 22301 certificate, we had to demonstrate that we have a thorough BCMS in place; that the staff in our various offices understand the BCMS and the processes required to sustain it; and that we are focused on maintaining business continuity and sustainability regardless of market uncertainties and challenges. I think the ISO 22301 badge is an important differentiator – especially when customers are looking for a steadfast technology ally that is as dedicated to legal and regulatory compliance as it is to protecting the business resources of the organisations it works with,” he says.

For customers who choose to partner with BUI, there are five key benefits, adds Boodhia.

  1. Consistency. ISO 22301 emphasises the importance of consistency when it comes to best practices and business processes. “We’ve been assessed on our capabilities around risk assessment and impact analysis as well as our strategies for mitigating disruptions. Our teams excelled in every area – and that means our customers can expect the highest standards of service and care from everyone at BUI,” says Boodhia.
  2. Data protection. With the cyber threat landscape evolving so quickly, data privacy and data security are critical considerations for customers. “ISO 22301 includes extensive conditions for data protection and data recovery,” notes Boodhia. “Our ISO 22301 badge, together with the ISO 27001 certification we achieved for our commitment to information security management, should give our customers even greater confidence: we handle all data respectfully and safely.
  3. Faster recovery. “ISO 22301 requires us to have a holistic strategy in place to deal with disruptions and disasters. It also mandates a detailed recovery plan to ensure that downtime is minimised – for our company and for the business organisations we serve,” says Boodhia. “BUI customers can be assured that, in the event of an issue, our teams will follow a step-by-step framework to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”
  4. Greater compliance. By achieving ISO 22301 certification, BUI has met the global benchmark for business continuity management, adds Boodhia. “Many of our customers operate in highly regulated industries, like financial services and healthcare, and they must adhere to their own standards in terms of the services they provide to their clients. BUI is committed to maintaining essential functions during adverse circumstances – and that’s a big plus for customers who have strict compliance obligations.”
  5. Peace of mind. ISO 22301 calls for certified organisations to update and improve their business continuity processes to ensure that their strategies remain current, relevant, and effective. “We’re obligated to adapt and enhance our BCMS plan as our company grows,” explains Boodhia. “It’s good news for our customers because it means we’re always prepared. Whatever happens, the BUI services and solutions that so many businesses utilise every day will be available.”

Our commitment to your success

ISO 22301 may be our newest certification, but it’s also a testament to our unwavering focus on our customers, notes our COO. “To be a dependable, reliable technology partner, you need to anticipate the challenges you’re going to face and then take the necessary steps to ensure that you can address those challenges as soon as they arise. We’re being proactive today so that we’re ready for tomorrow – and always on hand to help our customers be productive, secure, and resilient,” Roseveare concludes.

Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place?

Our experts can help you craft a comprehensive backup strategy aligned with your business structure, your IT resources, your budget, and your goals.

Contact our team to arrange a discussion today.

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