Expectation, Meet Reality: What Migrating to the Cloud Really Looks Like

Many enterprises are trying to reach the promised land of cloud and all of the cost-saving, efficiency-driving benefits that come with it. Rob Duffy suggests that this excitement needs to be tempered with a robust strategy anchored in reality

There are many reasons to get excited about moving to the cloud – it has the potential to bring about two massive wins across your business:

  • It’s a world of new opportunities.

Spinning up new capabilities; generating new revenue streams; a platform for your business to grow and scale; and greater security and resilience.

  • You’re leaving behind a whole lot of headaches (and costs.)

Being tethered to manual processes; applications falling down; heavy downtime costs; a constant development vacuum; a bigger threat of being breached – the list goes on.

When it comes to adopting cloud, there’s a lot to look forward to. But – get a little too wrapped up in the excitement, and it’s easy to gloss over the most important things. The kinds of things that’ll ensure you don’t end up in a worse place than when you started (and paying a lot more for it.)

That’s why the journey to the promised land needs a strategy anchored in reality. A plan that insists on specificity means you can combine exactly the right people, processes and tools to make sure your migration goes smoothly and effectively, while giving you the agility boost you need to make pivotal in-flight decisions.


Grounding expectations in reality

For 70% of organizations, the most significant factor driving their cloud adoption is the reduction or optimization of IT cost.  The cloud’s ability to reduce overhead across the business by increasing efficiency, reducing manual inputs and honing agility – all are appealing (and rightly so). 

Trouble is, a lot of businesses put off acting on these goals until after they’ve migrated. When in fact, pre-migration is the time to get granular about your goals and capability to make them happen. 

Conversations about cloud migrations, particularly those around cost optimization, need to be tempered with an honest assessment of your internal expertise and resources – and ideally, including your chosen cloud partner(s), so you are able to identify any gaps in your strategy and prepare tailored solutions.

Of course, part of the excitement comes from thinking of the cloud as a silver bullet – a way to immediately save money and simultaneously secure your environment. Sadly, this isn’t always the case

For example, many cloud partners offer software and services to monitors your spending. Over time, that will help you build a picture of inefficiencies and resource drain. However – that isn’t the same as addressing those drains. And it means, come renewal time, both parties walk away unfulfilled...

This is why having pre-agreed goals, realistic measures and a cloud partner that is switched on and proactive is so critical. And not just when you’re about to migrate to the cloud for the first time – but throughout your journey, as you’ll ideally be tweaking and optimizing your cost strategy continually.

 

Measure, measure, measure

Once you’ve got specific about your goals, it’s important to measure progress against your objectives. And make sure to bake these metrics into your original agreement and hold your partner accountable.

You need an experienced partner that operates on an outcomes-based approach across your journey.

It’s when all your activities are connected to measurements agreed upfront, and tie back to your desired outcomes. With this approach, you have far more meaningful conversations with your cloud provider (and your own teams) and will be able to rationalise every decision using the holistic data you’ve gathered over time.

It is an index-driven relationship.

In a nutshell, it’ll give you the chance to review your indexes on a regular basis, and challenge whether or not they are within your expectations. Your service partner will be able to guide you on ways to improve, and ideally implement improvements on your behalf while you track the improvements back to your index.

And something to look out for...

The opposite of index-driven is instance-driven. It’s when your partner looks for isolated problems and fixes them, or advises you on how to fix them. 

In the long-term, this kind of approach isn’t really sustainable. You’ll end up with an exponential number of things to focus on, lack of an ‘overall’ picture of the state of your infrastructure, and in all likelihood, costs that are spiralling out of control...

Getting to the promised land

As we said at the beginning of this post, there are definitely many reasons to be excited about the cloud – it’s why we exist, for one thing. However, it’s easy for businesses to get wrapped up in the idea that once they do migrate, everything will work itself out. And sadly that’s just not the case. 

Hopefully, this post has shown you two concrete ways to make sure the reality of your cloud migration matches up to your expectations. It really all comes down to being careful, realistic, and precise about your next moves. 

The best way to ensure you’re on the right track? Find a partner that’s value-driven and happy to be held accountable to specific goals. Get the right people on board from the start (we can help you with that, too). And finally, get crystal clear about what your world should look like once you’re cloud-powered. Cover all those bases, and it’s only uphill from there.

Without a crystal clear plan on how you will operate when you migrate to the cloud, it is very easy to lose control and find yourself in the messy, costly state of cloud sprawl.  Find out how to mitigate the five key symptoms of cloud sprawl by reading our eBook.

  • cloud-migration
  • Cloud Management
  • Cloud Sprawl