AWS CLOUD ADOPTION FRAMEWORK:
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE

If you are the ‘one’ who wishes to further develop the learning about Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud adoption, security and information technology space, then this article is definitely for you.

What is AWS?

AWS, an Amazon division, is constituted by various cloud computing services and products. It offers highly scalable and cost-effective servers, storage, mobile security, remote computing, etc., to businesses, nonprofit organizations and government organizations across the world.  It hosts famous websites like Netflix Inc., Instagram, Airbnb, Expedia and many more.

It won’t be an overstatement to say that it’s the most cost-effective way to provide computational resources, stored data, and other applications to businesses. Gartner reported that "AWS remains the dominant market leader, not only in IaaS, but also in integrated IaaS+PaaS, with a revenue run rate of more than $14 billion."

Advantages of AWS

AWS benefits hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide with a robust, safe, reliable, and scalable IT services platform. The key advantages of AWS are:

  • Zero CapEx: Unlike a general perception that only the rich can afford AWS, it empowers even start-ups to utilize high-end technologies and infrastructure requirements with absolutely no capital expenditure. Those start-ups that shy away from using exorbitant upfront licensing cost must explore AWS that imposes no upfront cost and charges customers on an hourly priced model.
  • Easy procurement of servers and software licenses: Procuring a new server might eat up a lot of your precious time - anywhere between several hours to even a fortnight, which also depends upon whether your infrastructure is on-premise, co-located or if you’re relying on a hosting provider. Post this, you need to procure software licenses too, that may again take up a number of days. On the other hand, AWS facilitates you to get new servers within a few minutes and also phases out the need to purchase separate licenses.
  • Highly scalable PaaS offerings: AWS offers best-in-class, scalable managed services for database, storage, backup, infrastructure and application management. This reduces the time and effort invested in building and managing the infrastructure. It considerably cuts down the go-to-market cycle for end-customers.
  • Fundamental APIs: Many basic APIs integrate directly via their API system. This allows businesses to have more control over infrastructure management rather than checking manual service issues.

WHAT IS
AWS CLOUD ADOPTION FRAMEWORK (AWS CAF)?

AWS CAF is a framework of best practices and guidelines to step up an organization's shift to cloud computing. It provides an actionable plan to organizations and helps them understand the difference cloud adoption can make to their core processes and skills, and gives a structure to identify and fix gaps in those processes and skills required.

But you may think why is cloud computing so important for organizations? Cloud computing offers businesses the following advantages over legacy IT systems:

  • Scalability: Depending on your IT requirements, you can upscale or downscale, as and when needed using cloud computing. If your business requirements grow or change, cloud computing allows you to ramp up your current resources to accommodate the increased business requirements or changes. This way without making costly changes to your current IT systems, you can easily support your business growth. With ever-changing technological changes, the legacy IT systems have almost transcended into obsolescence as these are not adept at empowering businesses to tune in with these rapid technological changes.
  • Mobility: Unlike legacy IT systems that lack mobile capabilities, cloud computing ensures that no one is left uninformed by allowing employees anywhere, anytime mobile access to business data and applications via smartphones and other mobile devices.
  • Speed: Legacy IT systems often lack speed and have multiple glitches. It may take loads of time to perform standard tasks. Speed-to-market is the biggest benefit of cloud computing. Generally, IT server provisioning consumes 6-8 weeks; however, cloud computing powers this to accelerate the process to only a few hours.
  • Cost: Maintaining a legacy IT system may become more expensive than actually replacing the hardware and software. Whereas, IT cost savings are one of the most important benefits of cloud computing that requires no in-house server storage and application requirements. There are no additional operational costs due to lack of on-premises infrastructure. You pay for only what you use. It’s is affordable by all types of businesses – big or small.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The legacy IT systems required excessive hardware use. Even enterprises with mega budgets and big data centers have now begun to consider cloud as a viable alternative to run core business applications. With legacy IT systems, the TCO comes too high due to heavy administrative expenses. Since cloud facilitates less dependence on data centers and more efficient operations, it contributes in reducing carbon footprint to a significant extent.

AWS Cloud Adoption Framework is segregated into different focus areas (also called “perspectives”) that are critical to employing cloud-based IT systems. These different focus areas empower the businesses to ensure that all their enterprise processes are gearing in the right direction of planning, implementation and putting cloud-based IT capabilities into practice. The different areas of focus include:

  • The Business Perspective: Helps stakeholders get the know-how of amping up the skill game of their staff and upgrade organizational processes to optimize business value as they migrate their operations to the cloud.
  • The People Perspective: Offers guidance to stakeholders for people development, better training, and improved communications in appropriate time windows.
  • The Governance Perspective: Provides guidance to stakeholders entrusted with the responsibility of supporting business processes with technology. Also aids stakeholders manage and measure cloud investments to assess their business results.
  • The Platform Perspective: Helps stakeholders understand how to improve the skill sets of the staff skills and revitalize the organizational processes to deliver and optimize cloud solutions and services
  • The Security Perspective: Helps stakeholders upgrade the staff skills and improve organizational processes to ensure that the cloud architecture deployed aligns to the organization’s security control and compliance requirements.
  • The Operations Perspective: Facilitates stakeholders in updating the workforce skills and revamp organizational processes to ensure system health during the transition of operations to the cloud and then to operate using agile and cloud computing best practices.

Reaching Higher Standards of Computing with AWS

Jeff Bezos compared AWS to the utility companies of the early 1900s. Almost a century ago, when a company used to need electricity, it would focus on erecting its own power plant. However on the arrival of public utility companies, that company no longer needed the private electric plant and rather purchases it from the public utility company. AWS is mimicking the same model by making the company shift from physical computing to the cloud.

With AWS, your business can easily estimate the amount of resources needed for computing, storage, and networking. Such resources are readily available to your team within a few minutes. AWS makes it easy for the environment to be reconfigured, updated and scaled up or down quickly. It optimizes the spending and usage patterns too. AWS services steadily emerge as an operational expense, and not capital expense.

To transcend the cloud adoption journey, organizations need to discuss some fundamental changes and also the support of all stakeholders is required for the changes to be implemented successfully across the organization.

The AWS CAF provides a plan to address skill gaps, revamp current processes and introduce new ones in every function within your organization to leverage the full potential of cloud computing. A large number of organizations worldwide have successfully migrated to the cloud with AWS offering them with the required tools and resources at every step of the transition.

WHY AWS CAF?

According to article “Almost Half of IT Migrations Doomed to Fail” published in Nextgov, 44% of companies experienced a migration failure, and 66% experienced a migration delay.

There could be multiple reasons for cloud migration failures.

  • Even the poor choice of a cloud vendor or legacy software can crumble the whole system.
  • Lack of project scope details w.r.t security, compliance, etc.
  • Insufficient tools for discovery phase
  • Incorrect on-premises cost

Often these challenges result in augmented costs, longer time to value and no action.

Mapping the Journey to the Cloud

Cloud adoption journey varies from company to company. For you to be able to implement it successfully within your organization, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of your business, goals and the shift you need to make to attain your business objectives.

Armed with the knowledge of the current state of your business, you can set up goals and work streams that your team will operate on the cloud. You would need to keep your stakeholders in loop of the relevant AWS CAF perspective to ensure seamless cloud adoption.  In the discovery phase, you will be able to identify skill gaps, define the required work streams, and establish interdependencies between the different work streams to optimize collaboration on AWS. This cross-team collaboration will help you automate the software delivery process and infrastructure alterations to make your organization more agile and optimize business outcomes in the cloud environment. The AWS CAF can also help you ensure that the strategies and plans across your organization are foolproof and in sync with your business goals.

CSS Corp’s AWS Cloud Migration Assessment (CloudMAP)

We, at CSS Corp, launched the automated cloud migration assessment and planning solution – CloudMAP – that removes manual intervention and human errors by automating the complete assessment process and identifying the complexities in your business, operational and technical landscape.

CloudMAP assesses your current infrastructure and the scope for scalability to find out the “candidates” that are apt for migration. Its capabilities to build a clean blueprint help to identify the challenges, complexities and the amount of effort needed for migration. CloudMAP, if used correctly, can reduce up to 30% time to market and 40% in TCO.


CSS Corp’s AWS Cloud Migration Planning (CloudPATH)

CloudPATH is a simplified, industrialized and predictable way of migrating enterprise workload through refactoring, re-platforming and live workload migration. It’s a playbook for accelerated transformation and hosting in the cloud – blueprint-based migration design and automate deployment.

This solution aids in application and data migration; application remediation services; public cloud set up; private cloud architecture and setup; security architecture for the cloud; application platform-as-a-service; design and development of integration services; public and private cloud integration; cloud interoperability with enterprise assets; etc.

CSS Corp’s Cloud Optimization (CloudDRIVE)

CloudDRIVE is a CSS Corp’s next-generation performance monitoring, diagnostics and optimization platform. This solution ensures continuous optimization and maximized benefits from day one of cloud migration. CloudDRIVE facilitates consolidation of different monitoring activities into a single, dynamic dashboard. The deployment tracking capability of the tool measures the impact in performance before and after the deployment.

CloudDRIVE yields substantial benefits which include 30-40% improvement in operational efficiency, 20-25% reduction in cloud management, besides increased availability and reduced complexity. This tool assists businesses in hybrid cloud management; platform-centric operations; nextgen cloud operations center; service performance monitoring, diagnostics and optimization; security audit and monitoring; SLA-driven service assurance and support.

CSS Corp Cloud transformation solutions

CSS Corp's Cloud Transformation services enables enterprises to simplify migration planning, remove complexities to boost productivity, and move beyond infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Platform as a Service (PaaS), to optimize cost and boost operational efficiency.

One of the top three consumer brand companies of the world with a portfolio of hundreds of trusted brands with 700 country-specific brand and company websites was not finding it easy to manage in the connected world. Each brand website is the storefront for smart shoppers with smart devices who expect offers, personalization, information and accessibility at their homes and on the go. But for our client, these websites were created, hosted and managed by local providers. The result? No standardization in creation and hosting of websites, which meant higher cost, more complexity, and prolonged time-to-market. Click here to read how we helped this company standardize and automate the process of rolling out each website by creating a workflow engine.

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