Research predicts that by 2018, at least half of IT spending will be cloud-based. Though Sid Nag, research director at Gartner agrees, he added a cautionary note when he said, "There's no question there is great appetite within organizations to use cloud services, but there are still challenges for organizations as they make the move to the cloud." Sid is right, as availability of the data, its applications and latency are some of the challenges organizations face when moving to the cloud.
Recently, three experts shared with us the factors organizations should consider when migrating to the cloud.
Gordon Davey, Head of Cloud Architecture for Willis Towers Watson
“Resourcing – ensure you have the right people, with the right skills within your organization. This will generally need to include recruiting some new dedicated cloud resources, but just as importantly, ensure that your existing staff are trained and brought along on the journey – losing them because they think they are no longer valued will make the job exponentially harder.
Data transfer – it is easy to underestimate how much data needs to be transferred as part of a cloud migration, and logistically exactly how that will happen. Data seeding options from most cloud providers help, but are not a silver bullet, as it doesn’t take long for data to drift out of sync. It is also easy to overlook the fact that the business needs to keep running, so you can’t simply consume all of the available internet bandwidth for your cloud migration. For online data migrations, implementing new connectivity will often be required, but this can be a costly exercise depending on the amount of data needing to be moved.”
“It very much depends on the type of migration. A switch from an on network MS Exchange system to Office 365 or Google Apps is a very different migration to that of a move of an on network application to a PaaS environment or an application environment switch from a network based to a true cloud devops system.
At a general level the factors are similar to any migration; focus on good planning and preparation, sandbox testing before a live switchover and allow for time contingency for the unexpected. Whilst cloud can be positioned as simply click a switch, this is an overstatement, and some level of the above is required even on the simplest options.”
“The two main factors organizations should consider are: (1) Are there any constraints on the existing application and deployment that would prevent migration (e.g., hard-coded IP addresses in application code – which I’ve seen); and (2) Do staff members have a good foundation of cloud knowledge, including design assumptions and service availability, to get the most from the application deployment resulting from the migration?”
There is still much to learn along with tremendous opportunity for organizations to make the most of the cloud: public, private and hybrid.
I welcome your thoughts on challenges, successes and even failures when it comes to the cloud. Join the conversation on Twitter @clearskydata.