In my previous post, “Is ‘Why?’ the Most Important Cloud Question?”, I discussed the importance of knowing Why you’re moving to the cloud as a critical success factor for your cloud project.

One of the questions I received in response to the post was, “Once you can answer the question why you’re moving to the cloud, what’s next?”

Exactly. What is next.

At ServerCentral, the second step in a successful cloud project, after answering Why, is What. We formally call this phase Identification, but it is answering the question, “What are you moving to the cloud?”

Identification (or What) is the process of developing a complete understanding of each of the applications within your organization and whether or not they are in play for cloud consideration. This may sound trivial but it is time very well spent. Not having this complete list of applications that will potentially be moving to the cloud will quickly undermine a successful cloud project as inter-app dependencies (and internal negotiations on prioritization) will inevitably delay your timeframe. These delays are extremely expensive as other projects await completion of the cloud projects before they can proceed.

To ensure your cloud project gets off to a smooth start, stay ahead of this situation by quickly assembling the master list of applications that are in play. Note which applications are already virtualized and their dependencies.

When it comes time to actually execute the cloud migration, you’ll know Why you’re doing it and What you’re doing. Hard to argue with that.