The benefits of cloud migration are well-known, and cloud-adoption is widespread. But simply moving applications to cloud environments is not the end goal - it is the start of post-migration strategy.
To truly capitalise on the benefits on offer with cloud migration, organisations must be conscious of, and evaluate, the business outcomes throughout the migration process. Transformation goals will not be fully realised without a holistic cloud strategy across people, processes, and technology.
Computing's latest research in this area, conducted in partnership with Intel, reveals how IT leaders are handling post-migration strategies, and why a significant proportion are not reaching their full potential.
When asked if their organisation has a clear post-migration cloud vision, only 19 per cent of respondents answered ‘yes', with 49 per cent admitting ‘somewhat'. This is despite 68 per cent recognising that cloud success is dependent on post-migration strategy. If executed correctly, cloud migration should come hand-in-hand with digital innovation, service scalability, faster time-to-market, and greater agility. Evidently, organisations recognise this - then why are they failing to develop a robust post-migration process?
The appropriate cloud approach will depend on specific organisational needs. Workload locations depend on a combination of cost, flexibility, performance, security, agility, and skill requirements. The most common uses of cloud services are web-facing applications, databases, and collaboration tools. Typically, organisations are migrating non-core operations first as they are less complicated and risky to shift.
In terms of challenges, cost, application migration, and security are all major issues across most industries. Predicting cloud costs can be difficult as pay-as-you-go subscription plans combined with fluctuating workloads have an impact, and cloud costs can creep up over time. However, moving to cloud reduces the need to invest in hardware in the long-term, therefore an awareness of post-migration cloud strategy and the costs it may incur is key. It's important to identify not only which providers have a low cost of entry but which have the greatest cost transparency as you scale.
Complementing the culture
People are just as important as technology for business innovation. Building cloud skills and awareness across all levels of your organisation will ensure the benefits of cloud are widely recognised and encourage agile development. Cloud transformation can only be successful in so far as the technology underpins process innovation and greater efficiencies. Buy-in from the entire workforce is crucial.
Organisations must consider their post-migration strategy at all stages. With this framing, utilisation is optimised, and disruption is minimised for employees and customers alike. An all-encompassing cloud strategy should account for the integration of multiple workloads, management, IT resourcing, costs, and culture.
Ongoing post-migration evaluation is vital in establishing whether organisations are optimising cloud use and achieving ROI. Keeping on top of cloud operations as well as anticipating future requirements will keep costs in check and encourage productivity and agility. Failing to recognise the importance of a post-migration strategy means organisations cannot completely capitalise on or benefit from the cloud.
A good cloud strategy will maximise business value and should include post-migration next steps. This includes modernising application stacks, focusing on business and application needs instead of infrastructure, and determining optimal workload placement. Clearly defining the outcomes your organisation wants to achieve and how you are going to get there is crucial. Specific needs, costs, and cultural fit must all be considered.
99 per cent expect their use of cloud computing to increase or stay the same in the next three years. Migration is simply the first step in that journey. Now is the time to look ahead in the cloud to avoid being left behind.
To learn more about Computing's latest research into leading your organisation to competitive advantage in the cloud, read the full report
This post is sponsored by Intel