3 Things Your IT Could Tell You About Cloud Migration – But Isn’t

Cloud migration is no longer seen as an adventurous idea, it’s seen as a business imperative, and many companies wanting to reduce costs while increasing productivity are leaping into the cloud right now. However, savvy execs know that making a change in your business software requires planning, and it’s worth it to examine all your options before you make a decision. Our tip? Start your cloud strategy investigation by talking to your IT. After all, there are a few things your IT could tell you about the cloud – but isn’t.


1. They aren’t sure how to migrate to the cloud

Pat yourself on the back, because it’s not just the C-suite that’s in the dark about how to make the switch to cloud computing. Many IT professionals aren’t sure where to start either.

IT skills are highly specific, so the team who can manage your in-house servers with ease may not be able to tackle the strategy behind a cloud migration project, or they may not have the certifications to lead that project yet. According to a recent survey from McKinsey & Company, nearly a third of IT departments lack important skills in cloud and distributed computing, which could explain why they seem hesitant about making a change.

However, with the right guidance, IT professionals can take the leap into cloud technologies and embrace the future.


2. The cloud savings you’re hearing about might be overblown

In one recent survey, 51% of respondents reported saving on equipment, facilities and staffing costs after switching to the cloud. However, in another recent survey, 57% of respondents lost money both during and after their cloud migrations.

In essence, these two highly regarded studies show that your company has a 50/50 chance of either saving or losing money when switching to the cloud. (Ouch.) Why is this the case? Because cloud providers tend to base their cost-saving claims on small data loads, simple migrations and low levels of data-storage complexity or compliance. What the surveys are really showing is that approximately half of the companies out there have complex technology needs – yours might too.

To determine if your migration and storage needs are simple or complex, check with your IT. Even if you don’t know or care what a petabyte is, your IT department does – and this will help them understand the numbers behind the advertised benchmarks that cloud providers offer. IT can also make an educated guess on your scalability needs, so you know how long you can keep the storage costs down. While you’re chatting, ask IT when your servers experience the highest loads, how many users/licenses the company typically uses and if your servers process a lot of simultaneous data streams. These can all drive up cloud costs.


3. Inflexible, one-size-fits-all contracts may compromise the security posture of your organization

While questions of cloud security are largely outdated, there are some instances in which companies may want to carefully consider how their data is managed. One of these is multitenancy, an especially enticing cost-saver that features shared access, shared servers, and shared security updates.

While multitenancy cloud platforms are extremely secure and the most cost effective, their one-size-fits-all Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are often restrictive, especially for companies with precise regulatory requirements. When you’re in negotiations with cloud providers, check how specific the contract terms and SLAs are, and see if you have any wiggle room to set up the terms you require. In some industries, you’re considered noncompliant if you don’t maintain control of your data at all times.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to involve IT. Not only can your IT department help you navigate cloud providers’ contracts and SLAs, they can also act as a go-between, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. More than 25% of decision makers “rarely” or never involve IT in applications purchases, and you don’t want to make that potentially expensive mistake.


Final Thoughts

Take your time with your cloud migration decision. Unless your current software or storage methods are nearing end of life, you probably aren’t racing the clock. While the cloud is an extremely popular choice right now, it’s not guaranteed to meet every company’s needs quite yet. Take your time to think, plan and strategize the best way to meet your future business goals before you commit to your next long-term software package.

Looking for help staying on track with your planning and exploring process? Silent IT’s team of cloud migration experts can help you align your company goals with your cost-savings and infrastructure needs. We can also help you ensure a seamless transition if you decide that the cloud is the perfect choice for you.