Gartner Research

Designing a Public Cloud Exit Strategy

Published: 25 April 2018

ID: G00355037

Analyst(s): Nik Simpson


Technical professionals responsible for cloud computing must prioritize risk mitigation as part of their cloud implementation. A carefully designed and regularly updated exit strategy for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS applications must be part of any cloud strategy.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Create Triage Team for Cloud Events
    • Create Exit Plan Repository
    • Assess Exit Viability Based on Cloud Tier
    • Determine Viable Alternative Hosting Options
    • Set Rules to Determine If an Exit Plan Is Required
    • Define Unacceptable Conditions
  • Phase 1: Define High-Level Exit Strategy
    • Assess Application Dependencies
    • Identify Co-dependent Applications
    • Define Unacceptable Application-Level Events
    • Determine Appropriate Action for Each Event
    • Event Requires Exit From the Provider?
    • Evaluate and Select Alternative Providers
    • Prepare for Business Continuity
  • Phase 2: Build Application-Specific Exit Plans
    • Exit Plan Components
    • Estimate Time and Costs
    • Share the Exit Plan
  • Phase 3: Triage Events and Determine Whether to Leave Provider
    • Determine Event Acceptability
    • Determine Exit Viability
    • Document Exit Decision
  • Phase 4: Implement the Exit Plan
    • Select Exit Plan Option
    • Communicate With Stakeholders
    • Update Business Continuance and Disaster Recovery Plans
    • Implement the Exit Plan
    • Eradicate Cloud Remnants
    • Sever Provider Relationships
    • Create New Exit Plan and Document Lessons Learned
  • Follow-Up

Risks and Pitfalls

Gartner Recommended Reading

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