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Three things that could destroy your cloud migration project

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

What, things go wrong? You bet they do! Considering that cloud migration is such a young science, there are surely many mistakes that people can learn from.

June 14, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

1. Lack of talent

Perhaps the biggest issue with cloud migration is the lack of talent you need to get things done the right way…on schedule and on time. The truth of the matter is that existing IT staffers often don’t yet understand much about cloud. Sure, they may understand storage and compute, but the public consumption models that cloud supports require very different thinking about how the models are allocated, implemented, provisioned, and operated.

Most enterprises assume that the existing skill sets will get them to the cloud. In reality, you need to understand the gap between the skills you have, and the skills you need. A skills gap analysis can help get to the bottom of what skills are on hand, and the skills you need to be successful in the cloud.

You can do this internally or through an outside assessment. As you figure out your as-is state versus where you need to be to be, the devil is in the details. Include a plan to move from the as-is state to the to-be state, in the time needed to begin the migration to the cloud, and start cloud operations as well. Of course, budgets, training plans, and hiring plans are all a part of this process, and they are actively linked with the cloud technology you intend to use.

2. Lack of objectiveness

So, why are you picking this cloud? Why are you picking this security technology? Why do we pick any technology?

You need to understand your requirements, and thus the business problems you’re looking to solve so you can back the right solutions into the problems. While this seems easy on paper, most companies approach technology selection with bias.

Although the cloud platform may not be optimal for the business issues you’re looking to solve, the provider might already have personal relationships within the company that drive some favoritism. This is one example of many cases I’ve seen where wrong technology is picked for the wrong reasons. While the technology will work, it may not be not the optimal solution for the problems. Thus, the company could spend millions over the years in lost productivity.

The key here is to be objective. I typically ask those in the company that have preexisting relationships with technology providers to not provide input into the technology selection process. It should be purely objective and focused on the task at hand. This helps identify the best solution for the business, period.

3. Lack of resources

Finally, and easiest to understand, is not giving the migration projects enough time and money. The first few projects will likely include some pretty big mistakes, and that’s to be expected.

Most cloud projects underestimate the amount of time and money needed. A few key mistakes, such as picking the wrong technology, or unexpected performance problems, can lead to delays. Make sure you budget for that time and even consider bolstering your chances of success with extra time and extra money.

So, will avoiding the above problems lead to an effective cloud migration project? There is no guarantee, but the idea is to increase your chances of success. Avoiding the problems listed above is a good first step.

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