Why Cloud Migrations Fail
It is a common misconception that cloud migration is an IT problem. At Towers Associates, we believe it to be more than this, it is also business issue.
When talking to the decision makers within most businesses, we have found that two questions are almost, always asked…How to go about migration effectively? How can you guarantee a successful outcome?
Although many business leaders express a strong desire to futureproof their businesses by migrating, a minority are troubled with concerns that in by doing so, it could leave them and their customers in a worse state than before they started as they are stepping into what is unknown territory for them. Their concerns are completely legitimate, without concern, there is no passion, no care for your business or your customers.
There has recently been a report issued from the CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) which has revealed that 90% of CIOs have first-hand been affected by the impact and the stresses caused by a failed or disrupted migration. The majority around the complex issues surrounding a move from premises to the cloud, physical to virtual (P2V).
In many cases of un-successful migrations, the move takes far longer than planned which in turn, this means crucial deadlines are missed, hidden extra costs mount up, and those eagerly anticipated returns simply never materialise.
This is where engaging in a dedicated team of migration and transformation practitioners such as at Towers Associates step in. We get it, it’s annoying when things go wrong. Our team will get you back on track with our fully tried and tested methodology.
Let’s go over some of the most common pitfalls in any migration project and how can you avoid them?
With the right plan in place, you won’t go wrong:
As with any major project, a lack of planning is guaranteed to lead to an expensive and disruptive mistake.
If you do not have a full understanding around the complexities of a move to a cloud service provider, it will not only disrupt workflow and the daily running of your business, it will also drain resources and ignite security gaps. All of which will hugely have adverse effects on performance and productivity within your business.
Furthermore, another common planning error that has been present on more occasions than should be, is that customers vision is very narrow and are only looking for the solution of today, not of tomorrow. What I mean by this is that the life expectancy of the business model has not been considered and the solution of “today” does not future proof your business and will therefore require another solution in the coming months/years as your business changes and grows.
A guaranteed solution would be to book a free consultation with one of our teams, engage our professionals to plan and through experience will be able to predict your company’s future needs mitigating any further need to fix any problems you may have not planned for.
Getting the right person on the job.
If you have an in-house team that is fully versed in every aspect of the requirements for your digital move, your business is unique. Often, we find that there are very few of those involved that fully understand the task at hand, the truth of the matter is that this will almost surely mean that the migration will fail. This can be mitigated with some good old-fashioned communication, so before starting a tricky project like this, it is vital to ensure the strategy has been clearly shared across the organisation to all levels that the migration will impact.
Our best practice that has been refined to avoid any unnecessary friction is for the decision makers to address the senior leaders, who then need to pass on the goals, costs, benefits and potential disruptions to the department heads, the key information is then passed down to every level as required. This ensures the entire company, all the way from the top level to the end users, now has a clear picture of what the plan is and the key person for the migration plan have been informed of their roles and responsibilities for the migration.
The biggest is not always the best, research is key.
For those of you who have read any of my other articles, you will know that I am the biggest advocate of proper research. Without the knowledge, you are almost guaranteed to fail, and experience has shown us that even the smallest miscalculation can very rapidly become a project risk. Risks as we all know can put your entire project in jeopardy.
You have a pool of CSP’s (Cloud Service Providers) out there to choose from. There is a subconscious lure to go immediately for the biggest provider, the one that’s making the most noise in the market, you can be drawn in like a moth to the flame. As with everything else in business, it is not that simple.
You have the goal to switch your over to a CSP and future proof you companies IT infrastructure, but you have not considered the subtle differences between each provider. It is these subtle differences that could make the world of difference to how your data behaves, how your applications interact.
Every migration is as unique as a fingerprint, yes there will be many aspects that are similar, sometimes even the same. However, each migration plan needs to be perfectly tailored to your business. Every eventuality needs to be accounted for, with the correct plan coupled up with the research you have provided and the knowledge of our practitioners, we will be able to forecast any potential outcome with accuracy and confidence we are eliminating any nasty surprises that could have altered the outcome of the project. Our team will be here to help you isolate the best CSP as they have experience across the bord, helping de-risk your decision even further if required.
Accuracy is crucial
If your current estate understanding is not perfectly up to date, do not panic, you’re not going to be alone, this is far more common that you would imagine. To help with this the team at Towers Associates will carry out an efficient discovery & interview process with your application owners to validate the data once it is collected and analysed. With the combination of clever tools and years of experience in finding gaps, we will soon have your records as accurate and up to date as they can be.
With the data sources now up to date, the validation process will be massively sped up which in turn will help make the migration process run even smoother. All data collected by Towers Associates will never leave your estate and no agents are required to gather and link the data sources
Every business is different
It is Key that your business has an accurate source of truth that you can cross reference and isolate peak usage demands, failure to not having this information and identifying your trends could lead you to making a costly mistake. Cloud configuration can be set to flow perfectly with you peak times, in the same instance, failure to configure correctly could carry serious consequences. Some as serious as grinding critical business systems to a standstill. The sure-fire way to avoid this is through extensive and thorough discovery and analysis of your data. Towers Associates have developed the methodology that will ensure the data points have been collected accurately, helping reduce risk in your migration / transformation project.
Networking, Storage and Bandwidth
Planning your network requirements is going to be crucial. We have the tooling and experience you will need to ensure a clear and accurate workflow of all your network needs are mapped out. Without paying the attention needed and on the day of “go live”, your business and that of your customers could all experience a what we call a ‘half complete” scenario. This is where some, not all aspects are met and the effects are present across your entire network, causing costly rollbacks or fix-forwards.
When planning your move to a cloud-based environment, it is a common and easy mistake to overlook some of the key factors like your storage IPOS and bandwidth needs. If careful consideration has not paid to this, your performance will fall victim and will likely crash. When moving to a CSP, the technology will all be up to date and likely surpass your legacy estate, when it comes to selecting your new provider, make sure you are selecting one that will meet the individual and unique needs of your business.
Forecast Budget and Masterplan
It is no secret that costs can easily and quickly over run your company’s budget. The initial reaction is to halt to project to stops costs mounting up, the truth is that this can result in even more cost to the company in finances and reputation in their customer base. Our team can work with you from day one, helping to incorporate and focus on best practices around cost management which will ensure you have a clear understanding of the finances needed. The clearer the understanding, the easier it will be to avoid any unplanned or indirect costs that would otherwise be waiting around any aspect of the project.
Earlier in this article I aimed to tackle some of the common misconceptions and pitfalls that can be found and missed in your company’s cloud migration. All the pitfalls are avoidable, and the shortfalls can be addressed, you just need to know how. Our practitioners and support team will be there through every step, they will develop a clear, structured plan that will consider and align your business goals whilst always baring your customers’ needs in mind.
A good plan not only helps to mitigate and avoid any of the above-mentioned pitfalls and help forecast your spending, it will also give you a timeline for each application, enabling the app owners and the stakeholders to see how quickly each one can be moved as well as the impact this may have on the daily running of the business. The right plan will allow you to plot the course that has minimal to no impact on the daily services offered and run within your company. Those that may have a level of impact that will be noticeably present, the plan will have a communications strategy that will help prepare for any downtime that could be needed whilst working with your customers to minimalise any impact that could be passed on because of the task being undertaken.