It’s not the big that eat the small. It’s the fast that eat the slow.
In 2017, Cloud technology has evolved to become a standard approach for organisations of all shapes, sizes and industries. As part of Cloud’s continuing evolution, the preconceptions of what drives organisations to migrate to the cloud have shifted as well. To start our Migrating to the Cloud blog series, we’ll take a look at what is driving organisations to migrate to cloud in 2017, what stops (or at least, slows down) those plans and how to migrate while avoiding potential pot-holes along that journey.
Why do organisations move to the cloud?
Cost savings are usually a significant driving factor for the decision making process in any business and as one would expect it is also at play when it comes to drivers for cloud migration. Cloud removes the overheads of hardware depreciation, maintenance and ongoing management and running costs. Much of the expenditure is outsourced to cloud platform providers and cloud becomes an operational cost, rather than a capital expense incurred as contracts expire and technology evolves. While cost savings can be achieved by migrating to the cloud, it isn’t (and in many cases shouldn’t be) the main driver.
The importance of agility and speed
More empowering is the agility offered by cloud technology. Consider that an organisation previously bought, installed and rolled-out infrastructure and systems, a process which could take weeks or months. Cloud platforms such as AWS and Azure are releasing a regular stream of new products and services (composite hardware and software) which are available for you to spin up quickly (i.e. usually in seconds or minutes). Deployments can leverage templates so that additional environments can be spun up and shutdown on demand to cater for the development or testing of new applications. This ability to try new ideas at minimal cost drives innovation and enables disruptive business models regardless of your industry vertical. Cloud ultimately levels the playing field and enables small organisations to leverage cloud technology to scale costs as revenue grows, run campaigns and experiment faster. This rapid time to value or speed to market is often the most compelling justification for cloud migration.
Who is moving to the cloud?
At this stage, it’s fair to say pretty much everyone. If they aren’t already in the cloud, they’re looking to execute a migration strategy to get there. Even the more conservative verticals or sectors with specific compliance or security requirements are pursuing a staged cloud adoption strategy. Many start by moving systems of engagement first and integrating with on premise systems of record. Rightscale’s State of the Cloud 2017 report underlines this with 95 percent of respondents now using cloud. Further to that, companies are not only using one cloud, but already running applications in an average of 1.8 public clouds and experimenting with other clouds. This points to the fact that any reticence towards cloud technology has long since passed.
Overcoming the roadblocks slowing your migration
A common roadblock is the opinion that it is expensive, time-consuming or complex, but it really doesn’t have to be. Working with a trusted, credentialed cloud partner can make any initiative come to fruition faster. Not only will the transition to cloud be simpler, but ongoing support and knowledge transfer will pay future dividends. Without a trusted partner, there are two fairly common outcomes. Firstly that there will be wasted cloud spend – RightScale puts the figure of waste between 30 and 45 percent. Secondly, those organisations who do plough ahead find themselves trying to retrofit security controls on running production systems. Having the appropriate guidelines and governance in place from the beginning will not only mitigate financial inefficiencies it will also minimise security exposure.
So, how do you migrate to cloud effectively?
The ideal foundation involves leveraging the expertise of a trusted cloud partner to help produce a well-defined cloud migration strategy, with a migration plan identifying critical applications which may need further optimisation. By performing a total cost of ownership comparison and mitigating any perceived risks we can help you convince any doubters left in your organisation. We can help you to weigh up public, private and on-premises options as well as upskill your internal team. With an end to end view and a plan aligned to your wider business goals, your organisation can embark on a transformational journey to the cloud. Join me next week for a look at some of the top candidates and approaches for each cloud migration.
Part 1 of the Migrating to the Cloud series.