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18 actions to take to avoid mistakes when moving to the Cloud

18 actions to take to avoid mistakes when moving to the Cloud

In my last blog Cloud Migration should not worry you – stop procrastinating! I spoke about the 4 reasons why people are procrastinating about moving to the cloud, which were:

    1. A lack of training in Cloud technologies

    2. Knowing where to start

    3. Bandwidth and systems performance

    4. Concerns over the Cloud not being as secure as on-premise data centres

    In this blog I look at factors that can potentially contribute to the failure of a cloud migration and which steps should therefore be taken to avoid this.

There are 6 major causes of failure, with 3 specific sub-reasons that can amplify each cause, thus 18 things to avoid! These are, not surprisingly, very similar to the reasons that "Digital Transformation" (DX) projects may fail. This is because cloud plays a significant role in DX.

The key point to retain is that this is CENTRAL to your future BUSINESS OUTCOMES - align your desired outcomes to business processes and underpin this with the power and flexibility of AWS.

The 18 key steps to prepare for a successful migrations are:

1. Make your digital transformation initiatives the core of your move to the cloud:

      1. Create a proper business case with budget for the entire process - especially of there are many applications and systems to move
      2. First focus on using data as a means to give you flexibility, agility and build new areas for business growth
      3. Focus on lowering the cost of IT This is a significant TCO justifier as a part of your business case

    2. Optimise business process and application use prior to moving to cloud:
      1. You may have poor or repetitive processes that could be refined without necessarily moving any applications first
      2. Cross-silo workloads - remove intradepartmental duplication (reports, activities and data capture) and unused applications and servers
      3. Determine what needs to be rebuilt as opposed to just "moving" - this is an opportunity for process and application improvement. If your process is inefficient or ineffective (or both) streamline it first.

      3. Understand pricing and monitor on a continuous basis:
      1. Focus on actual consumption - know what you're going to be using, its cost and monitor it
      2. Use automated elasticity - if you have peaks in workload don't build it out to match the peak, build it out to scale as needed
      3. Continually right size - don't over or under provision - monitor workloads to ensure that you're using the right sized server / Storage at the right time.

    4. Education, education, education!:
      1. Train people in the new flexibility (setting up and tearing down as opposed to setting up once and leaving), the new simplicity (no patching, no HW maintenance, offloading Support), the new security  and data protection (increased scale and manageability of Identity Access Management)
      2. Re-purpose, particularly, IT skills (maintenance and patching is no longer required, have these people learn new skills such as Data Lakes, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, new Databases for specific workloads etc.)
      3. Understand the future roles before moving (including IT administration and operations)

    5. Engagement of all staff:
      1. Cultural inertia is resistant to change - make sure you have Executive sponsorship, clear messaging and positive reinforcement from the top down
      2. Process and people change is what drives success - the technology is only the vehicle
      3. Cloud mindset - be conscious that IT is on a taxi meter - and money spent on infrastructure is money not spent on innovation. The idea is to reduce IT cost and improve its ability to add value.

    6. 100% (single) cloud is an unrealistic target on day 1:
      1. Migration is complex and some applications will not run in the cloud and must be re-platformed or replaced
      2. Cloud providers have differing competencies (usually application specific)
      3. Some things will be too small to migrate so just leave them, remove them or replace them.
If you are aware of these potential pitfalls, your are more likely to avoid problems and increase the likelihood of a successful migration. Give SOLA Consulting a call and let us help you with this journey.


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