Migrating services and applications to the cloud is a tantalizing proposition for organizations seeking to reduce costs, simplify IT management and provide employees with greater flexibility. According to a whitepaper from Integra, 67 percent of IT professionals are currently utilizing cloud-based services and applications.
Although the cloud can provide a number of business benefits, organizations large and small continue to make the same mistakes as they race to the cloud without enough planning. Some issues can be addressed and corrected, but others can completely derail cloud migrations. All of these mistakes waste time, money and resources.
The most common pitfall involves cost. Organizations become enamored with upfront savings but fail to adequately measure total cost of ownership. This is a critical part of defining the true business value of the cloud. Some organizations fail to properly assess existing infrastructure to determine “cloud-readiness.” Not enough thought is given to managing the migration to the cloud and adapting business processes in order to fully leverage the cloud. This can reduce or delay ROI from your cloud strategy.
In many cases, too many, too few or the wrong applications and services are moved to the cloud. Lack of testing often leads to unnecessary bumps in the road, while a lack of detail in service level agreements often leads to tension with the service provider. Both can cause serious security and compliance issues.
A cloud migration strategy must take into account both internal and external factors. The internal component involves determining exactly what services and applications to move to the cloud. What will be achieved by migrating each service and application to the cloud? How will they be managed? What is the estimated ROI? How will ROI be measured? Does your organization have enough bandwidth? Are the services being considered for migration compatible with a cloud-based delivery platform? How can existing IT investments be leveraged?
The external component involves choosing the right cloud provider. How will the provider keep corporate data and applications secure while adhering to regulatory compliance standards? How quickly can services be added or subtracted, and how will this affect cost? Are data backup and disaster recovery processes clearly defined and documented? How will business continuity be maintained? How will support be handled? Are the parameters of the service level agreement clearly spelled out, and will the performance levels meet your organization’s business requirements?
What applications are organizations moving to the cloud? Many start by moving applications with the lowest value, risk and bandwidth requirements to the cloud. Productivity applications and email are often moved the cloud, along with collaborative applications such as videoconferencing. On the other hand, applications that produce high volumes of data traffic and mission-critical applications that contain sensitive data are often kept in-house. Also, some legacy applications may be tied to a specific environment and therefore cannot be moved to the cloud.
IPC Technologies provides enterprise-class cloud services backed by a team of expert engineers and 24×7 support. By assessing your existing infrastructure and understanding your business goals, we can help you determine what applications can be seamlessly moved to the cloud and develop an effective cloud migration strategy.