Posted by
Amir Lubashevsky
September 11, 2019

Here at VNT, we’re in the business of visibility. Looking at a clear view of cloud migration in today’s business and IT world is a great way to get an understanding of trends and behaviors. While more than 93% of respondents told Commvault that they are moving some of their processes to the cloud, just 56% say that they are either already cloud-only, or have plans to be. This means that 44% of businesses work in a hybrid cloud reality, either by accident or design.

This is an important metric to understand, and to include as part of your data migration strategy. In order for cloud adoption to work, your team needs to be on board. If your cloud migration strategies are patchy, led by two or three over-excited forward thinkers, or siloed to one or two departments, you’re a lot less likely to succeed overall.

Opportunistic Quick Wins in Cloud Adoption

To get started, imagine how a migration project will be viewed in your organization. At its core, cloud services are there to solve problems, to make feature releases quicker and more straightforward, to scale faster and more affordably, and to utilize Business Intelligence, and Machine Learning to do more with data. These are positives that can be leveraged by any department or industry, and yet many people think that cloud technology has nothing to do with them.

Encouraging your staff to take an interest and share their current challenges to see how cloud adoption can help them is one of the first steps to getting everyone on board. Make it personal. Ask your employees what they would do if they could wave a magic wand to solve a pressing problem. The first migration of applications to the cloud is most successful when it’s ‘opportunistic’, when it has clear value that can help you get buy-in from board-level, or is so obviously beneficial to the business that employees of all levels can see the benefits.

Ensure Early Success in the Cloud Environment

Understanding applications can be complicated in and of itself, let alone moving them to the public or private cloud. It’s critical to have deep visibility of your overall network traffic and workloads so you can identify the problems you encounter on premises or in a hybrid cloud ecosystem before making a move.

You also need to be certain that your initial “lift and shift”, or cloud migration is low risk. If you migrate applications to the cloud, and end up surprised by application dependencies that you were unaware of, you’re going to find that employees associate cloud adoption with frustration and delay, especially the less technical stakeholders who you really need to be “all in”.

However, if you use cloud migration tools to confirm that the applications you choose do not have unique dependencies, are uncoupled from other services, and are not particularly sensitive to uptime or latency requirements, you’re much more likely to experience an early win for your cloud migration strategies. Once business stakeholders see the benefits, they will be much more willing to accept more complexity with the next cloud migration.

A Clear View of Your Entire Network

Communication is key in everything, and moving to the cloud is no exception. That’s one of the reasons why so many cloud migration projects fail if they don’t have visibility at the start. Culture is very important to a company, and cloud computing introduces a whole new culture, which people have to get used to. In fact, it often goes hand in hand with DevOps practices such as Agility, Failing Fast, and a continuous cycle of planning, testing, releasing, and change, ideas that are often very new and even revolutionary to an enterprise.

If it’s a big shift in company culture, then one forward-thinking department is not going to be able to change everything on its own. They’re likely to encounter push back and stumbling blocks at every stage without the right cloud migration tools. Using an interactive map of your on-prem and cloud-based ecosystem can make all the difference, especially when speaking to less technical stakeholders. First, you can share a physical representation of the low-risk nature of the changes you’re proposing to help get initial buy-in. After you’ve moved to the cloud, you can easily share the changes you’ve made and the positive effects on speed, scale, or cost with the entire organization. 

Many businesses struggle to prove the benefits of cloud migration, making it impossible to secure the budget to cover cloud costs in upcoming stages. As leveraging the cloud environment is an ongoing journey, it can feel like falling on the second hurdle, after a whole lot of initial leg work just to get into the race. But you can eliminate the problem using maps that show both before and after metrics and comparisons of post cloud migration data with baseline information collected before moving to the cloud.

The technology exists to make a real difference to your business, waving a magic wand at the problems that you struggle with every day. At the core, it’s going to be people that hold you back in the cloud environment – not technology. Education and buy-in start with visibility, and there is no real-time discovery solution with better visibility for cloud migration planning than VNT.

Interested in seeing how it works in practice? Get in touch.