A viewpoint by Philippe Abdoulaye, senior consultant and cloud offer advisor.
Cloud migration strategies can be challenging, as the process requires setting up virtual hosting environments, restructuring applications and deploying them onto the cloud, while using agile and cloud operation practices. It is therefore important to follow 7 golden rules to ensure successful migration.
Manage cloud migrations with rigour
Overall, it can be said that cloud migrations aren’t tackled with the same thoughtfulness as IT transformation projects. Indeed, cloud migrations are managed through the narrow prism of IT infrastructure implementation practices.
IT transformation practices differ from a significant number of today’s cloud implementation approaches as they often leave no room for improvisation. In these projects, everything is carefully planned and coordinated: from the development of the vision, the roadmap, risk anticipation, and architecture design to implementation, testing, reporting and organizational changes deployment.
To handle your cloud migrations as well as IT transformation projects, there are 7 golden rules you should follow.
Rule 1: Be organized and plan ahead
Lacking a clear cloud migration strategy is the biggest cloud-related mistake an organization can make.
Managers tend to ignore or underestimate the disruptive impact that cloud adoption can bring to an organization – and fail to plan accordingly. The introduction of automated cloud operations processes requires new roles, responsibilities, tools, and skills. It also necessitates the restructuring of the IT department and infrastructure to cope with the increasing deployment of agile operational models.
Not having a well-structured migration plan or a set of objectives can lead to last-minute decision making. This can create a chaotic environment: setting the stage for failure.
Rule 2: Define a clear strategy and objectives
It is important to make sure cloud initiatives are motivated by clear business and IT objectives rather than trends.
The absence of clearly defined cloud strategies leads to technical platforms and operational models that are disconnected from an IT department’s expectations. Also, the lack of business objectives can impact the added value of your migration.
This gap has the potential to damage a company’s IT infrastructure and activities, and can ultimately lead to either the cloud migration project’s cancellation or postponement
Rule 3: The consultants shortage
The shortage of qualified technology experts is another critical factor. This is not a challenge specific to the cloud and the technologies that surround it. In fact, it is a common point of issue for all technological revolutions, from the development of the internet and IP networks to e-commerce, mobile telephony, and Voice over IP (VoIP).
The shortage of cloud experts is a concern. This stems from the accelerating waves of innovation we’ve experienced these past 30 years, and the labor market’s inability to provide the expected volume of relevant experts in time. For many organizations, this expertise gap has resulted in the late launch of IT transformation initiatives, or the implementation of substandard cloud platforms (resulting in their cancellation or postponement).
Rule 4: Perfect your cloud architecture and operational model design
Inferior cloud architecture design practices are the most common cloud migration mistake. This tends to occur when there has been both a lack of planning and a shortage of expertise.
Ultimately, it leads to a dysfunctional bimodal IT department and the disruption of on-premises activities. Your technical platforms and inferior operational models could be unable to deliver the expected benefits.
Rule 5: Make sure your organization is prepared
The unforeseen challenges that can arise from cloud adoption can lead to conflict within companies. Failure to anticipate organizational disruptions can result in migration issues, resulting in the inability to achieve business and IT objectives or causing the migration project deadline to be missed.
Rule 6: Follow your cloud migration roadmap
Roadmap deviations occur when cloud migration complexity is underestimated, and the migration process is not effectively organized into manageable and clear phases.
It is important to have a clear vision of the plan and the steps to be followed in order to control the inherent intricacies of the cloud migration and ensure stability in the project’s management.
Rule 7: Monitor your cloud transformation
Leaving technical experts exclusive control over cloud migration can be hazardous. It is important that the project is supervised at the executive level. Executives can validate the cloud migration plan, ensure a clear set of priorities and objectives have been outlined, and ensure a fast decision-making process.
Keep in mind that to maintain control over the process, organizations must rely on cloud experts that truly understand their way of working. Involving consultants that will work closely with your people can reduce the overall risk of failure and allow for a frictionless migration process.
Given the insight imparted by the rules above, you are now better prepared to launch your cloud migration. Although it may be challenging, it is still an essential aspect of the modern IT environment. Indeed, the advantages largely outweigh the disadvantages.
To ensure successful migration, it is crucial to develop a clear strategy that is aligned with your company’s objectives. By carefully reviewing your organization’s infrastructure and tailoring the process to your people and technologies, cloud requirements and challenges that may arise during the process can be identified and successfully tackled.