By Amnon Drori, CEO of Octopai
Modern businesses are moving the bulk of their operations to the cloud as the advantages and financial benefits are increasing.
According to the 2020 KPMG Enterprise reboot report, 56% of business and technology executives surveyed agree that cloud migration has become an absolute necessity.
Moving data to the cloud offers businesses financial savings as they no longer need to upgrade and maintain expensive hardware systems. Employees can connect seamlessly with company data whether they are working from the office, on the road or at home. The cloud also provides additional layers of cybersecurity to preserve sensitive data.
Despite the general acceptance of cloud as the “place” technologies converge, the 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey revealed many organizations have reached a “cloud adoption plateau,” where migration and modernization efforts stall after only about a fifth of suitable workloads are transitioned. This is a major inhibitor of cloud-based business transformation.
What causes these plateaus and how can they be surmounted?
Despite the savings garnered by moving operations to the cloud, there are costs involved that some executives find prohibitive. These include: rewriting application architecture, investing in people and tools needed to migrate successfully, training users on the new systems and bandwidth costs. There are also performance issues including latency, interoperability, dependencies on non-cloud apps, and downtime.
One solution to cost containment is using an automated data lineage system to determine which parts of the legacy system are worth migrating. During the course of doing business, companies collect masses of data, much of which has become irrelevant . Manually analyzing the data flows is time consuming and inefficient. Combining careful planning with an automated data lineage system can quickly determine what parts of the legacy system are critical to the business. After analyzing the data lineage, the system will cut off the outdated data flows and only move relevant information to the cloud.
The cloud is essentially a storage unit, and businesses pay for the space. No savvy business owner would rent space to store obsolete hardware. Similarly, before orchestrating a migration, smart businesses determine which information is valuable to store and which is not. There are also different levels and prices for cloud storage depending upon the type of data. Again, automatic data lineage can help businesses determine the most economical cloud storage configuration.
The automated data lineage process also provides businesses with an opportunity to optimize their business processes, eliminate duplication and develop new tools to support the new cloud-based system. This entire process can maximize savings for the company and offset the other costs.
People tend to resist change. And a cloud migration brings a lot of change and disruption—often with significantly new systems, processes, and even leadership. Obtaining leadership buy-in is the key to success. Company leaders should understand the business needs and objectives for the migration. By communicating the business case to the rest of the organization, they can create a positive culture around the migration and encourage higher rates of adoption.
Cloud solutions that are intuitive and user-friendly will also help employees make the adjustment. Applications that integrate with a company’s current tech stack are more attractive to users because they can seamlessly connect the new tools to their other work.
An automated metadata management platform can mitigate resistance of the team, since it will allow them easy access and navigation through the new and old environments.
Despite the many benefits of cloud computing, the complexity of migrating stops many organizations in their tracks. Finding people who have the skills to manage an effective migration is a major obstacle. One report by McAfee found the skills gap in cybersecurity is responsible for slowing cloud migration for 40% of IT professionals.
Companies are wise to cultivate cloud skills internally. This strategy has several advantages since a company’s current IT employees are already familiar with the legacy technology. Once they are trained in new skills, they will be ready to make meaningful contributions more quickly. Working with existing talent can save money and translate into a better financial investment.
Cloud solutions vendors and a data lineage platform that provide dedicated resources to support a successful migration. can be a valuable asset for an IT team and an important tool in an overall training program.
Cloud migration is a complex initiative for any company but it offers a bonus in terms of financial savings, cybersecurity and operational functionality. Moving off the plateau and onto the cloud will prove an invaluable effort for any company.