Even though we are very much inclined towards the cloud and see great advantages for many companies, as a holistic consultant I clearly say: Every cloud strategy also includes the exit component!
A cloud exit strategy refers to an organization’s plan for moving away from or reducing its reliance on cloud computing. The goal of a cloud exit strategy is to ensure that the transition is smooth, efficient, and doesn’t negatively impact the organization’s operations, data, or infrastructure. The cloud era has brought numerous benefits for organizations, including flexibility, cost savings, and standardization. However, sometimes organizations find that the cloud no longer meets their needs or that certain data or applications must be kept on-premises or in a different cloud environment. In these cases, a cloud exit strategy can help organizations make informed decisions about their IT environment and align it with their business objectives.
Typically, a cloud exit strategy consists of several key components: assessment, planning, migration, support, monitoring, and review. During the assessment phase, organizations review the current state of their cloud infrastructure and identify the key drivers for the exit. The planning phase involves mapping out a plan for transitioning applications, data, and other assets from the cloud to a new environment. The migration phase involves moving the assets, while the support phase ensures that systems continue to function properly after the exit and that ongoing support is in place. The monitoring and review phase involves monitoring the exit’s progress and reviewing the strategy’s success to identify areas for improvement.
Ultimately, a cloud exit strategy is an extension of the cloud era, rather than a contradiction, as it allows organizations to make informed decisions about their IT environment and align it with their business objectives. With a well-defined strategy for exiting the cloud, companies gain more strategic insight and thus control over their own IT matters. Such a plan should be ready as part of risk management and kept functional through regular reviews. Ideally, a theoretical business game can also be a tool for sustainable validation.
Components of your cloud exit strategy:
- Assessment: This involves reviewing the current state of the organization’s cloud infrastructure and identifying the key drivers for the exit, such as cost savings, data sovereignty, or security concerns.
- Planning: This involves mapping out a plan for transitioning applications, data, and other assets from the cloud back to an on-premises environment or to a different cloud provider.
- Migration: This involves actually moving the data, applications, and other assets from the cloud to a new environment. The migration process must be planned and executed carefully to minimize downtime and ensure the continuity of business operations.
- Support: This involves ensuring that systems continue to function properly after the exit and that ongoing support is in place. This may include updating processes, policies, and documentation to reflect the change in environment.
- Monitoring and Review: This involves monitoring the progress of the exit and reviewing the success of the strategy to identify areas for improvement.