5 steps to successful cloud migration

August 1, 2019

A key part of Digital Transformation is Cloud Migration, as it is one of the first steps to gaining competitive agility and speed.

Digital Transformation is a direct response to the threat and the opportunity presented by Digital Disruption - where small nimble start up organisations are heavily substituting traditional products and services with new offerings, built on the speed and agility of a digital platform.

This will affect you wherever you work. Digital disruption can come in many forms - Shadow IT is a form of Digital Transformation by stealth, as the business takes matters into their own hands.

Therefore most organisations should be looking to modernise their Customer Experience, Operating model, Products/Service Capability, Strategic Capability and Employee Experience - in an overall Digital Transformation Program.

Cloud is the new black

A key part of Digital Transformation is Cloud Migration, as it is one of the first steps to gaining competitive agility and speed.

However research is emerging that 90% of Cloud Migration Programmes stall for extended periods, at the 20% completion mark. More disturbing is that 20% of these do not recover, and go on to fail. (Source AWS).

So what are the pitfalls of planning a cloud migration and how do you avoid the stall.

1. Cloud first procurement policy

Capital and Software License Lock-in are two of the biggest challenges organisations face. Many projects run into financial constraints, where Capital Depreciation and Multi-year Software Licensing Agreements from Legacy on-premise investments, remove organisations ability to change direction quickly.

Employing a Cloud First Procurement Policy is your first step in ensuring you break the shackles of this form of “Technical Debt” for future investments.

2. Cloud migration strategy

There is a tendency to start anywhere and begin a "lift and shift" or Re-Host of workload. This is great for a Proof of Concept in the short term, however is not appropriate for all application workloads.

In fact, there are multiple options open to organisations other than “lift and shift”, including Remove, Refactoring, Replacing, Re Platforming or even Retaining.  

Evidence is emerging that a straight lift and shift of all workloads may be a key contributing factor to migration stalls. When making a decision on the general approach to Cloud Migration the business perspective, support capability and financial implications are often overlooked - which derail the viability of the project in the medium to long term.

Therefore before you commit large amounts of project time and resources to implementation, we recommend you take some time out, do an assessment and build a Cloud Migration Strategy.

3. Run a “Business Change” project, not a Technology Project

If the primary focus of your Cloud Migration Project becomes to implement technology it is likely to fail.

Many customers I have spoken to, wish they had engaged the business earlier in their Cloud Migration Projects, what emerged was they were not entirely sure how applications were being used or whether they were even valued.

Also remember, the role of applications is to automate business process, so any changes in applications will have impact on stakeholders. The business will also be less inclined to support changes if they are unaware of the benefits to them.

So early engagement of business stakeholders is critical to help with the planning, communications and implementation.

4. Agile Implementation

There's a lot of noise and misconception about Agile and Waterfall practices. When your future state is not crystal clear, an Agile approach is appropriate, so using small iterative changes will enable you to course correct as you learn more about the environment baseline.

In many cases, legacy infrastructure has grown organically over the years and the un-picking starts with discovery and continues well into the implementation.

A clear understanding of your baseline, a sensible migration strategy and line of sight to business priority is key to moving forward with confidence.

5. Establish your new Operating Model

One item often overlooked in Cloud Migration projects is ensuring that the necessary Support and Management capability is in place, post migration.

Cloud technology lends itself to DevOps practices and competencies so you can build these along the way or use specialist providers. This can be teased out during your Cloud Migration assessment and is critical to ensure you can provide end to end support to the business.

Whatever your Transformation journey, these 5 steps should help you avoid Cloud Migration Stall.

*This case study is sourced from acquired company Fronde.


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