Exit strategy is like a boogeyman a lot of companies try to avoid.
A then, when a problem arises, they remember the time when they decided not to plan the strategy and now they pay with big bucks.
But is it really such a big problem? It is true it is just a theoretical plan you have to devote your time and energy to but it is still better then losing all of your IT in a black hole because an issue occurred.
And don’t be caught with your pants down – exit strategy is always the responsibility of a customer, not the service provider. It is your safety net in case you need to change the infrastructure.
Exit Strategy and Solution Provider
Exit strategy is your plan B to run away from your current infrastructure provider. Reasons can vary – the provider discontinues a service, there has been a huge problem or your company has fouund a better solution and needs to migrate everything.
A foundational step is to figure out if the current provider has a provision in your contract regarding the exit strategy. It could happen that you put everything nicely together and then you hit the wall – the provider for example exports the data in a completely different format so all the work was done in vain.
But before we dive into the individual areas that should appear in your exit strategy, we will write out a warning. Exit strategy is not relevant only for companies utilizing single vendor infrastructure. If your company runs on a multicloud, each activity running on different provider has to have its own conditions for leaving. Each provider, each with its own options.
Content of Your Exit Strategy
And now let’s look at the individual areas that should have its place in your exit plan. We are sourcing the information from KPMG.
current state analysis
This part is obviously very shocking. To be able to move forward, you have to know where you are. Any exit strategy should include the description of the current architecture, infrastructure and the relevant processes.
This usually is the stumbling block because this point also suggests that you need to keep it updated. The more detailed the description, the more work you will have with any change and updates – but that is also equal to better preparedness and more information at the point when you need to leave.
Besides, such an analysis should exist since the moment when you were looking for the appropriate infrastructure. That is the most basic foundation of an efficient selection. If you have done your homework well when selecting the provider, then this part of the strategy is already done. Until you change something, of course.
key aspect identification
Put in other words – can you sacrifice something? It is for a reason that activities are dividided into critical and non-critical. When a trully threatening situation happens, you can specify a priority in your plan for the individual activities in a way to manage with the time plan at least saving of critical processes.
We know this sounds horrible but if you want to save everything, it could happen the options will be significantly limited – and you just cannot inflate time allocation. The thing that is important in this situation, is that the most basic things survive and the company can go on.
risk analysis and appropriate reactions
What does threaten you? Some factors will be the same for all companies, other will be highly specific. Make a list of your risks, their severity and the likeliness they will occur. That will give you a good overview of what to expect and how to react.
The previous strategy section will give you the time allocation necessary for each activity to be saved. Then you can simply match the risks to the activities that could be saved in case of emergency.
This section is closely linked to the previous thoughts. Each activitiy will provide you with its requirements and each risk will give you its limits. But there is still one area that could be easily forgotten.
A specific situation will require a specific timeline so you have to take into account the reaction will have to include putting the activities in the right order. If you have appropriately addresses the list of activities and risks, then this plan will not be so hard to put together.
But you cannot forget that in most cases, when you apply an exit strategy, you will need to find another solution. And that just doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. Specific requirements have to be evaluated within the context of the current market offerings. Don’t forget to allocate sufficient time for this because a decision like this made in a hurry can turn out to be quite a catastrophy.
evaluating a situation to potentially commence transition
This part is not really included in the strategy but it is more likely a situation that appears in your risk analysis. If you have put it together, then you also need to assign to someone to watch out for the situation when you move to apply the exit strategy. Otherwise, it is just a piece of useless paper.
Where Do You Start?
In IT the traditional answer is with a consultation. That is the only way how you can indulge your infrastructure in maximal care and your consciousness in a piece of mind.