Companies recognize the operational efficiencies and the transformational business benefits enabled by the cloud
However, embedded in the imperative to migrate to the cloud are concerns about the process and the outcome.
For good reason: the single greatest barrier to effective cloud adoption is inefficient data and application migration.
Which is why many companies are hesitant about starting their cloud migration process. For many companies, apprehension about migration begins almost immediately, with the planning process; our third-party survey confirms that more than 40% report that they don’t have the internal skills to plan or execute workload or data migration or to select the right cloud platform, while a majority (54%) fear that when moving workloads to the cloud, they won’t know which ones are necessary and which ones can be retired. Companies are also concerned that they don’t have the right automated tooling to expedite translation and migration of code from on-prem to cloud (48%) or to expedite translation and migration of ETLs to the cloud (30%).
Organizations are looking to cloud and service providers to help alleviate many of the challenges inherent in the migration process.
Let’s look at the three main benefits from the cloud and the challenges that may arise during migration that may offset those benefits.
Companies continually look to drive new cost savings initiatives, which is one of the top reasons many are interested in a cloud-first business model. The cloud presents many opportunities to fundamentally change IT cost models. With metering capability as well as the availability of SaaS offerings to outsource internal functions, companies have more options to pay as they go to manage their infrastructure costs.
While this flexibility is much desired, there are pitfalls. To ensure cost savings, companies must be disciplined as to how they manage and govern cloud usage to avoid sprawl. Most companies have some sort of legacy migration to consider. The unfortunate reality is that cloud compute costs may double over time because legacy data and workloads have never been fully decommissioned.
Data and application migration and modernization
The cloud provides the capability and roadmap to migrate and modernize data across organizations, enabling end user access and reporting in a standard and integral form. While this represents significant business and economic advantages, many businesses struggle to leverage data—which hasn’t been properly culled during migration—to realize value through AI and analytics.
Scale, speed and agility
The cloud offers massive and scalable computing capacity, along with its high degree of automation. Companies don’t want to worry about the underlying technology infrastructure; they want to focus on more valuable functions such as design and delivery to their customers and users. The combination of compute power, algorithms, programming tools and cloud architecture all contribute to speed and agility,
But to take advantage of this promise, companies need visibility into the ETL pipelines, data lineage and dependencies that are spread across their multiple databases and data warehouses. They need to know what to migrate to the cloud, and what can be left behind.
The Mandate for Cloud and Service Providers
Companies are depending on their cloud and service providers to mitigate the risks and challenges associated with cloud migration. They recognize that moving multiple, complex applications require skilled planning and technical solutions and want help with the planning process and how to cost, size and start their migration journey. They want to know the timeframe required to migrate.
The migration planning process is the tip of the iceberg. Companies are looking to cloud and service providers to understand their entire data ecosystem, including the interdependencies across siloed applications and identifying redundant data sets. They want to work with a partner that provides the tools, processes, expertise and skill sets necessary to help them avoid sprawl, and to define which workloads to upload and which ones to retire. They want help defining which workloads to prioritize for migration, and how to move those workloads without impacting business users and service-level agreements.
They want to ensure their provider has automated tooling to facilitate cost optimization with a streamlined and migration process.
Once businesses have secured their data and workloads in the cloud, the business opportunities are limitless. Automatically, companies have access to SaaS offerings such Salesforce.com and Service Now and can transform their business models based on the incredible functional and workflow capabilities these services can provide. The business can tap into flexibility of operations, business resilience and innovation capabilities, with tremendous acceleration and speed to market.
About the Author
Chetan Mathur is CEO at Next Pathway. Next Pathway. The Automated Cloud Migration Company. Recently named by The Globe and Mail as Canada’s hottest cloud start-up company, Next Pathway automates the end-to-end challenges our customers experience when migrating applications to the cloud.
Featured image: ©Alex from the Rock