Many companies are delaying their move to cloud because of the perceived challenges of migration.
However, by reassessing its approach to people, processes, and technology, an organisation can overcome these challenges and move to the cloud successfully.
“Often, perceived challenges are just that: perceived,” says Stuart Mills, regional director, Australia & New Zealand, CenturyLink.
“They may look difficult but in fact they present opportunities to do things better. Businesses looking to migrate to the cloud should focus on people, processes, and technology.
“Traditional software development and IT operation roles can become blurred when cloud is involved, in a good way. With cloud, the development, test, deploy model can become transformed.”
For Mills, moving to the cloud forces organisations to rethink traditional approaches in three key areas:
Mills says people are a key factor when migrating to the cloud. If organisations work with their people to educate how the cloud transforms development and operations, they will be better able to reach a point where teams can develop, test, and get projects in front of the customer more quickly.
“This approach is a marked departure from the traditional approach to development, where developers obtain the requirements first, then spend time developing a product that may or may not accurately match what the users expect or need,” he says.
Moving to the cloud changes processes. For example, when managing hardware internally, organisations often standardise servers, operating systems, databases, and other infrastructure because it is simply too difficult to manage them otherwise.
However, with operating systems running on virtual machines with automated configuration, variation is much simpler to manage - this means that the traditional decision by an organisation to standardise infrastructure is no longer relevant or necessary.
“The cloud also forces a different perspective on end-of-life process issues,” Mills adds.
“For example, companies need to decide whether they will continue to own resources in a data centre with high overhead.
“A cloud approach means IT teams can focus on delivering innovations to the business rather than on end-of-life issues.”
Disaster recovery and security are two key areas of focus for companies considering moving to cloud.
“Disaster recovery can be easier, since it’s simple to run mirrored environments when most of the organisation’s workload is already in the cloud,” Mills explains.
However, it’s still essential to have a coherent disaster recovery plan that fits the new parameters. Many decision makers worry about security when workloads move to the cloud. Some perceive security to be the biggest barrier to moving to the cloud, but it doesn’t have to be.
“The cloud pushes organisations to re-think their assumptions about how people, processes, and technology in IT support their business,” Mills adds.
“This is a good thing, as it not only helps to deliver ways to work around the challenges of cloud migration, it also leads to a real and lasting business transformation.”