Cloud adoption has been a top infrastructure trend in 2016 and will continue to be throughout the coming 2017 year, as companies are realizing the added value and efficiency that a cloud environment delivers. The top reasons, according to a recent report by Gartner, is that companies are investing in and implementing cloud solutions to take advantage of IT modernization, cost savings, innovation, and agility, among other benefits. But, as companies begin to make the move to the cloud, they are realizing that it is rarely as easy as lifting and shifting their servers, data and workloads to Azure, especially if they’re using legacy operating systems and SQL. The process of moving to the cloud tends to bubble up several pain points and concerns before it even begins. This could include questions about support, forecasting costs, connectivity options and speeds, and the speed of provisioning, which is invariably too slow in their current environment. These questions and perceived barriers can be frustrating for companies looking to move to the cloud. As such, we’re seeing a trend of organizations “dipping their toes” into the cloud and looking for Microsoft partners like us at New Signature to help that transition; they are phasing into the cloud environment rather than implementing proper readiness and transforming their IT-structure all at once. And many times, New Signature’s first step in this process is to back-track. It’s important for customers to understand a move to the cloud as a journey, not a simple lift-and-shift action. A new public datacenter investment represents an opportunity for IT to set the groundwork for an investment that will provide greater system longevity and maintain relevance for the next few decades. Lift-and-shift is not a repeatable and predictable way to execute a cloud migration. It often results in a long tail of issues that need to be remediated one-by-one, without a clear understanding for the length of time required, or a predictable cost. We also discover that some applications cannot run as defined in Azure. This is usually after time, effort and money has been invested in the move or migration. Even the servers that are successfully re-platformed can have the same limitations as before: little documentation, or no known re-installation process. Finally, this approach misses a key opportunity to consolidate common services leveraged by multiple applications into the same PaaS or IaaS deployments. That consolidation represents real operational costs savings. We believe that a move to the cloud requires thorough readiness procedures, foundation planning, and strategy to optimize the cloud migration (or re-platform) for longevity. By building on repeated successes, we’re able to provide clients with a solid foundation for their long-term business strategy. One size does not fit all, and that is where our exclusive end-to-end methodology—New Signature AppFactory—comes into play. The New Signature App Factory is our proven process that helps companies draft and then adopt a cloud transformation roadmap that will strengthen their cloud environment. Our experts will work with you to review your current state, gather business and technical requirements, look at the conceptual future state and then determine how best to make the move by developing a strategy. We can then help support and manage what’s been moved to help you identify and address issues proactively, and keep them running through our managed services offerings. With IDC predicting that by 2018 only 40 per cent of apps and platforms will reside in on-premises systems, we know that cloud migrations will continue to be a top IT investment for our customers and future customers. We are also confident that our cloud readiness offers will be a business trend for New Signature in the coming year.