“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
With apologies to Mr. Edison, in today’s world of rapid change and the high cost of technology enhancements, time is of the essence and the cost of repeat trial and error too great to leave to chance.
In the rush to modernize and migrate to the cloud, many companies do not look inward to figure out what they really need in a cloud solution. They also fail to ask critical questions of their cloud provider about concepts such as scalability, capacity, and the complexities and risks involved in moving large data sets. As a result, they end up overpaying for a solution that doesn’t work for their business.
Statistics indicate that one out of every three cloud projects fail! There are, however, a number of concrete ways to increase your cloud readiness and rate of success. Most of these steps should be taken BEFORE you decide on a cloud vendor. In fact, working through these decisions will help you make a better decision about which cloud vendor and solution is best for your company.
#1 Determine Your Goals
First, it’s important to decide what goal you are trying to accomplish. This will help you determine your migration approach.
Is your main objective to save money? Or are you more interested in a more secure environment? Or, do you hope that cloud migration will afford greater accessibility or scalability? Do you think the cloud may offer a more robust environment and faster system performance?
Clarify and prioritize your objectives, so you can make decisions about the right cloud solution to achieve them.
#2 Evaluate Your Organization’s Data, Capacity & Dependencies
Overprovisioning is one of the biggest mistakes companies make when migrating to the cloud. Some organizations believe that it will be easier to simply move all their existing server data and applications to the new cloud platform.
However, their system may include significant unused disk space or content (redundant, obsolete, or trivial) that should be discarded instead of moved. Also, keeping out-of-date software may lead to security problems and/or availability issues down the road.
Make sure to compile an accurate inventory of applications and hardware, so you know exactly what you have, and double check the list for completeness. You should also map out how your hardware and software are linked together. This diagram will highlight any dependencies that may exist and indicate limits that may require accommodation.
Properly counting, mapping, and analyzing your technical architecture and data can help you optimize your storage, right-size the cloud environment, and increase security — leading to significant cost savings and greater feasibility.
#3 Understand the Pros & Cons of Different Cloud Solutions
Each cloud model (public, private, and hybrid) comes with its own pros and cons, and your specific infrastructure and configuration will work differently with each one.
Public clouds offer easy scalability but are usual less secure than private ones. On the other hand, while private clouds offer greater control and security, the burden for maintenance falls on the organization. Hybrid cloud services offer benefits and drawbacks from both sides.
#4 Choose a Cloud Vendor That Understands Your Industry & Business
You should also know your current application consumption as that is how many cloud vendors base their costs.
Organizations should consider choosing a cloud provider that is familiar with their specific business and industry needs, as the vendor may be better equipped to support their performance requirements and help them remain in compliance with regulations.
Having a list of questions on hand before making your decision will help you avoid surprises down the road. For example:
- Can the vendor support the configuration templates you want to use?
- Will you need single or multiple cloud solutions?
- What are the vendor’s backup/disaster recovery constraints?
- What are their legal location requirements?
Basing a cloud decision only on the initial cost of the service is short sighted. It’s important to evaluate all aspects of the different pricing structures, as some could potentially lead to hidden costs over time.
#5 Use an Outside Vendor to Identify the Right Cloud Service for Your Business
Most organizations don’t have the internal tools to get a full picture of their server workload utilization statistics or to analyze their hardware and software configuration data. They also don’t have an automated way to map their ideal configuration to various cloud platforms.
Establishing a partnership with an unbiased third party can help you choose wisely and get the cloud resources you need. The right outside vendor can allow your company to effectively get the information needed to choose the most suitable service.
Trial and error may have been a critical factor leading to the invention of the lightbulb, but when tools and services exist to take the guesswork out of cloud migration, go ahead and take advantage of them.
If you’d like to secure your company’s chance of cloud migration success, contact me to schedule a free, 10-minute demo of our ISI Snapshot product.