Migrating IT functionality to the cloud offers a variety of benefits, but a cloud deployment is not without its share of potential pitfalls. Inadequate planning, a poorly defined objective, and a lack of understanding about cloud technology are the primary reasons a deployment might hit a stumbling block.
But these aren’t the only obstacles that could derail a cloud deployment. The following are four potential challenges that could threaten the success of a cloud implementation, and how to avoid them.
Project Management Shortcomings
It is critical to understand the cloud deployment project as a whole and adequately manage the process from beginning to end. This includes putting the proper teams and personnel in place to manage tasks along the way. People make the project! Timelines and delivery schedules are obviously important to keep the project moving and to ensure tasks are completed in the order they are needed. To ensure a successful deployment, good project management is key.
The cloud delivers many benefits, but it is not as easy as pressing a button and making every IT issue disappear. While some systems and functions are easier to migrate, other more complex systems will require more attention during the cloud deployment. To avoid challenges during the transformation process, take an inventory of all IT & operational processes and decide which will migrate to the cloud and which will remain in-house.
In addition, understanding how control and access to those processes and tools will change once the transition is made will help keep expectations in line with reality. It is critical to to prepare all users and stakeholders for the cloud environment. Setting realistic expectations in advance is pivotal to ensuring satisfaction. You need a cloud migration team that has real enterprise expertise to deliver results. Just knowing a few cloud technologies is not enough.
Not Asking Questions
When handing over an important and sometimes sizable portion of a company’s IT operation to a cloud provider, it’s crucial to ask that provider the right questions. In addition to being able to explain how data migration will occur and who will have access to data, service providers also should be able to demonstrate how they comply with regulations and standards.
In addition, service providers must be prepared to handle worst-case scenarios. It’s critical for a company to ask its service provider about things like disaster recovery and security policies. Monitoring all phases of a cloud migration, not just code migration and UAT, is needed. Transparency is paramount and no question is off limits.
Service level agreements (SLAs) are almost non-existent with many cloud providers. You have to ask yourself if minimum standards will be met. You should ask some questions, including:
- Is disaster recovery included?
- Is 24-hour uptime guaranteed?
- How quickly are errors and outages investigated and resolved?
- How frequently are backups performed?
If you are using a public cloud provider, are you OK not having any of these things? If it’s Hybrid or Private, how are these things being handed? Don’t take these things for granted.
The cloud offers many benefits, but issues surrounding planning, expectations, and management can derail a migration process. To avoid these pitfalls, you should understand the company’s eeds and view the implementation process from beginning to end to ensure it is managed properly.
With expectations properly set, key personnel and deadlines efficiently managed, and communication with service providers kept open and productive, the cloud transition is more likely to go smoothly. Contact us to talk more about this topic!