Failed Cloud Migrations

17 May 2018 Posted in IT

Article from our Senior IT Consultant - Christopher Kourie

At what point is a fail considered to be a fail?

In my journey to uncover why Cloud migrations fail and land up in the red project file, I have come to some realisations that there are some common denominations.

In 2018, you would expect cloud migrations to be a fruitful process, demonstrating the great value of moving to the cloud and providing the great efficiencies it offers.

Some of the ever-valuable reasons why companies move to the cloud are to reduce their CAPEX to OPEX, this reduction in hardware frees up a lot of time in setting up during growth spirts and allows also for scaling down. This flexibility will ensure that you don’t over invest for your current needs and have hardware which is just sitting and collecting dust.

As we move into more legislative and security controlled environments, it is important to ensure your licenses are always up to date and software updated. These are time consuming and for some non-tech savvy owners, can be a problematic area or completely neglected.

I have worked in a company that never thought backups were important, or I guess didn’t realise the risks of not backing up the important documents. I still remember asking the CEO, if our shared drive crashes or we are hit with some infiltration, how would I recover the documents? To his explanation, we have the important documents printed and filed in the cabinet over there. One fire is all that was needed for this 25-full time employee, 18-year-old company to lose every record it had.

Over the years the normal work-life environment, wake up, go to work, go home, sleep and repeat has evolved. Whereby work-life balance is more complex and not as rigid as it used to be. More people are working from home, traveling to various locations, branches and require to have access. Also with the increasing problems in transport, satellite branches and working from home are becoming more common.

There are several other reasons why companies move to the cloud but now to move to why in this day and age are cloud migrations failing.

The main reason identified is poor planning, this can be the lack of expertise in understanding the cloud, the understanding of your technology, the impacts of moving certain systems to the cloud, the reason why you moving to the cloud and what value or return are you wanting to achieve by moving to the cloud...

According to Zabeen Hussain, Client Director – Cloud Services of DATACOM, “if one plans properly from the start, the Discovery stage and digs technically deep into their systems and understands what they wanting to move to the cloud and why, then this would drastically reduce the risk of any migration failing. If proper Discovery/Design took place with proper Implementation plan, then changes during the implementation plan would not occur and lead to application milestone delays which in turn increases costs and could result in the incorrect ROI expected from moving to the Cloud.”

 Another top reason identified were skills, having the right people in your company with the right technical competence and experience. For those companies who then do lack this and don’t have the budget to hire someone on a permanent basis, there are options.

One can look at bringing on-board a contractor who can assist with the initial investigations, performing advisory tasks, analysis, recommendations of hybrid, private or public cloud, full managed services or partly and assist you with this seemingly easy process. Make contact with companies like Alpha Personnel Recruitment and speak to their IT Consultants to help acquire the skills.

Another option is to acquire the expertise of a managed services company from the start. One can handover everything to them, sit back and trust the delivery is what you wanted. As nice and easy as this sounds, there are risks to note. Make sure you investigate the company you are handing your services over to. There are a lot of smaller companies who claim to have a fantastic track record and share client feedback on their website about how great and unhinged their service was (do you really think they would advertise the negative experiences?) So, dig deep, investigate further and the cheaper option is not always the cheaper option. Make sure you read the fine print and understand the service completely, ask the right questions and don’t get caught up in the sales pitch. Alternate is to look at the larger companies such as as DATACOM, IBM, Spark, they have less risk associated with them, but usually comes with a heavier price tag.

According to the (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is forecast to reach $160 billion in 2018, an increase of 23.2% over 2017. Let us work together to ensure the ROI is realised and fruitful.

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