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Are Your Customers Ready for Their Journey to the Cloud?

A cloud assessment is a journey of discovering what your customer has and what can be moved to the cloud.

When you plan a ski trip, it’s a good idea to make a check list.

  • Maps
  • Airline/hotel reservations
  • Car rental
  • Lift tickets

To ensure that the trip runs smoothly, you need to have all your ducks in a row before setting off. Why? Because it’s important to know where you want to go, how you are going to get there, when you want to start and what you want to take with you.

This same principle applies to transitioning your customers’ application environments to the cloud. You’ve got to help them decide where they want to go with their cloud business and then guide them through how they are going to reach their goals, when they will start, and what parts of their business they can take with them and what parts can go.

The best way to do this is to take them through a cloud readiness assessment. It’s just like working with a travel agent--except, this time, it’s for their journey to the cloud.

What Are Cloud Assessments?

A cloud assessment is a journey of discovering what your customer has and what can be moved to the cloud. The assessment analyzes existing systems and workloads to help develop a road map to move all, some or none of the associated applications to a private, hybrid or public cloud.

Assessments as a Service generally include the required framework, services and tools that solution providers can leverage to deliver all or portions of a cloud assessment to a mid- or enterprise-size customer. It ultimately provides baseline documentation that can show the active applications and provide a roadmap to guide the customer in the cloud journey.

Why Are Cloud Assessments Important?

It is a well-known fact that solution providers are great at educating their customers on the technologies and benefits of moving to the cloud; however, it can sometimes be challenging to explain how to get there and what should be there. That’s why it is important to pave the way for your customer by determining their readiness and suitability for a cloud environment by conducting an assessment. This is because you both need to know upfront if they are willing to change to a completely new way of conducting business.

Cloud readiness runs on the principle that any application can run quite comfortably in the cloud. Unfortunately, though, there may be some bumps in the road that can cause issues and difficulties. By using a simple formula of Discover, Assess, Compare and Migrate, your customers will have all the details to make their decision on whether they should or should not move ahead with a cloud solution.

Cloud Assessment Formula

1. Discover

The first step is to collect the following Infrastructure and technical requirements about your customer’s network:

  • Physical and virtual hosts
  • Network and server configurations
  • Utilization rates
  • Application dependency maps

2. Assess

There are two ways to assess the project:

  • Application validation ‒ Validate the size, complexity of the specific applications, which results in a scope of work and price for migration, in-depth assessment or application re-design.
  • In-depth assessment ‒ Take a deep dive into the x-ray report, code reviews and client conversations to establish high-level target architecture.

3. Compare Cloud Options

Next, analyze the customer’s target architecture and perform a comparison, such as public vs. private or public vs. public. Then present the results of the comparison to the customer for their decision.

4. Migrate

Once the customer has decided on the path they want to take, you will then coordinate the complete migration of their applications to a production cloud or test/development environment.

Benefits of Customer Cloud Assessments

Cloud assessments benefit not only your customer, but you, as well.

Customer benefits:

  • Implement cloud initiatives
  • Validate past decisions
  • Get control
  • Decide which apps? Which cloud? How much?
  • Plan for the future
  • Reduce risks

Solution provider benefits:

  • Grow customer loyalty
  • Drive hybrid cloud
  • Be a trusted advisor
  • Build a practice
  • Grow services
  • Plan for the future

Deciding Where They Want to Go

Meeting with your customer early in their purchase decision is crucial, whether you are speaking with a new customer or re-engaging an existing one. During these initial meetings, it is important to relieve the customer’s natural fears and uncertainty, and to remind them that migrating to the cloud is not as technically complex as they may think. All of this requires a lot of expert guidance by you--the solution provider--beforehand. Because, just like that ski trip we mentioned earlier, it takes planning, coordination and a good cloud readiness assessment to make their journey to the cloud seamless and smooth.

Contact Us

To learn more about Assessments as a Service and how to leverage them to start your cloud conversation, contact ecscloudservices@arrow.com or 1.877.558.6677.

Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.

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