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The success of migrations is mixed at best; a majority fall short of goals and exceed cost expectations. A recent CloudHealth Technologies report from Forrester found that less than 40% of firms met or achieved cost goals, and only 41% of firms met or exceeded business satisfaction goals. With public and private cloud options becoming more robust and flexible – offering key advantages over onsite storage – where’s the disconnect between identifying an opportunity and realizing it fully? What’s going wrong with moving to the cloud, and what can we do to make it better?
Migrating to the cloud often means a shift in key workloads throughout an organization. When the culture of an office and the people in it aren’t fully on board with a migration, it creates significant problems with efficiency and often necessitates a lot of pre- (and post-) migration training. Friction occurs when lower-level employees feel they’re being dragged into a future they aren’t prepared for, especially when the direct benefits are unclear. When the decision to migrate is made on a high level, or within an isolated team, the shift can often blindside workers in other departments that were excluded from the process. Businesses should empower employees with knowledge, communicating the business motives for moving to the cloud and providing clear documentation to foster understanding.
One of the biggest obstacles to migration is a scarcity of necessary skills. Successful migration to a new infrastructure hosting environment necessitates in-depth acumen and extensive expertise to minimize downtime and disruption to users. Many companies have their migrations slowed down and hampered by a lack of cybersecurity knowhow, and yet proceed to migrate anyway. Going into such a complicated process unprepared is a recipe for trouble, and even large companies suffer from a deficit of technical knowledge that would make a migration smoother. Understanding the scope of a migration and the skills it takes to do it right is essential.
A migration is organization-wide in its effects; thus, it's critical to examine workloads and applications and gauge their potential impact on the business. Profiling applications and capturing their dependencies, as they exist today, is the best way to move to the future and take advantage of the technologies for tomorrow. Firms should consider employing established migrations experts to develop a detailed migration plan, taking into account multiple risk criteria to ensure a seamless deployment.
Once application migration is complete, don’t let your business’s data security become questionable. Proper migrations specialists offer a full suite of decommissioning services, protecting your data and your company by disposing of all hardware, sensitive information and unused IT assets. All phases of application and workload migration should be completed in accordance with any technical and business requirements. The migration process itself involves a series of steps to get from one state to another, but the work doesn’t end once you’ve “arrived.”
There’s no question that the cloud is a buzzy topic, and plenty of companies see the latest in technology as a salve for their problems. While it’s important to embrace new technology when it’s objectively advantageous, it’s more important to be realistic. The cloud may save quite a bit of money, and the benefits it offers are great, but the theoretical benefits and the actual results are two different things. Realistically and holistically approaching goals and constraints can improve actual results and lead to a more positive sentiment throughout an organization on the overall process.
The advantages of moving to the cloud are multiplying every day. There’s a wealth of ever-expanding opportunity, and the number of organizations implementing a “cloud-first” strategy makes it the new normal. Cloud services are being used by over 90% of organizations around the world; McAfee reports companies expect 80% of their IT budget to be dedicated to the cloud. As the cloud becomes more ubiquitous, due diligence is more important than ever; the room for error is great, and the security risk can be precariously high. It’s easy to justify a migration, but doing it right – particularly for companies without skilled migration subject matter experts and cybersecurity personnel – requires working with a trusted partner. The advantages of going it alone aren’t worth putting your company on the back foot or your sensitive business data at risk.