In Part 4 of our expert roundup series on migration, six leading cloud experts give tips on how to address the concerns of C-level management and win their support for your cloud migration strategy.
Despite the hype around the cloud, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about cloud migration. According to the 2017 Cloud Migration Survey Report, some of the biggest challenges of cloud migration are minimizing downtime, preventing performance disruption, and staying within budget. Additional issues such as data loss and security requirements are also among the top concerns of IT professionals involved in migration projects.
Given all these challenges, we decided to ask six cloud experts to share their migration advice with us in this five-part series. They’ve already shared the best strategies for on-premise to cloud migration, their best and worst migration stories, which apps to migrate, and what you can do to prevent downtime during migration.
Now in Part 4, we’ve asked the experts why some C-level managers are still hesitant about cloud migration and how to address their concerns and gain their support.
Why are CEOs and CIOs still hesitant about cloud migration?
Kevin L. Jackson Cloud Computing Technical Fellow at Engility Corporation and Founder of Cloud Musings
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert, independent thought leader for IBM and Dell, and founder of the award-winning Cloud Musings blog. In 2015, he was recognized as a “Top 50 Cloud Computing Blogger for IT Integrators” by CRN.
Many executives still believe that cloud computing is about technology. It’s not. Cloud is a new model for consuming and delivering information technology services.
Organizations that successfully leverage cloud do so with a business model that balance a triad that consists of:
- A variable, scalable, and elastic technology service consumption model
- A variable (but customer-driven) business model
- An economic model that directly links revenue generation to product/service delivery costs
Without such a business model, there is no business justification or incentive to migrate. Their hesitation displays their inability to find a good reason for adopting cloud computing fighting against their emotional desire to go to the cloud like everybody else.
James Bond Cloud Chief Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
James Bond has 25+ years of experience in roles such as CTO, COO, and Chief Architect. He is a trusted advisor and subject matter expert providing cloud strategy, guidance, and implementation planning to C-level customers through executive briefings and conference presentations. In 2015, James published The Enterprise Cloud: Best Practices for Transforming Legacy IT.
CEOs and CIOs often hesitate to implement cloud services due to factors such as:
- Lack of understanding
- Lack of internal cloud skill set
- Risk of business interruption during migration
- Uncertain costs and return-on-investment
While these are valid concerns, not shifting to a cloud-based strategy could also be limiting the organization’s ability to control legacy IT costs or limit stability and reliability of applications. The benefits of a cloud-based service are well documented in the industry; however, the journey to execute a migration strategy is often best facilitated by hiring outside consulting service professionals who have proven experience with similar organizations.
The lack of understanding how and which applications are best suited to move to the cloud is often the reason a CIO is unable to justify the costs and efforts to the CEO or CFO. Assessing the legacy applications to develop migration (or re-development) plans is often the key to creating short- and long-term cloud transition strategies.
Matheiu Pierret Cloud Enablement Leader at Cloudreach
Mathieu Pierret is the Cloud Leader for Cloudreach based in Paris. Passionate about IT Transformation and Cloud Computing, Mathieu has more than 15 years of experience in IT project management (he is a certified ScrumMaster and AWS Solution Architect Associate) and manages strategic platforms.
In our experience, C-level management is no longer hesitant about cloud migration. Today’s leaders recognize the need to innovate and understand the role that the cloud has to play.
That said, you can’t treat the shift to public cloud platforms as an iteration of the old. This is not only wrong but could also prove to be dangerous. Using old thinking around security, process, procurement, operations, application development, and deployment means your organization will not make the most of what public cloud platforms can offer.
Adopting the cloud is a huge transformation and requires new skills, new tools, and new processes. Many organizations do not have the experience or the skills to manage migrating to the cloud on their own. This is why CEOs and CIOs often need to partner with experienced companies to take the leap.
Tom Ray Head of Cloudreach, USA at Cloudreach
Tom Ray has 18 years of experience in enterprise IT and has spent the last 6 years working specifically in cloud computing. After acting as the Global Head of Operations and Cloud Enablement at Cloudreach, Tom now leads the sales and cloud enablement teams for Cloudreach across North America.
I don’t agree that CEOs and CIOs are still hesitant about cloud migration. I think they are open to it and want to understand the business case, the migration plan, and the efforts that will be involved. This leads to prioritization and a board decision to pursue the initiative.
Jeffrey Kaplan Cloud Computing Strategy Consultant at THINKstrategies, Inc.
Jeff Kaplan has over 30 years of experience in IT/network management, SaaS, cloud computing, managed services, and telecommunications. Kaplan was named among the Top 50 Cloud Bloggers of 2015 by the Channel Company and CRN.
IT and corporate executives are primarily concerned about the security implications of moving to the cloud. They are also uncomfortable with losing control of their data and getting locked into cloud services.
Ofer Gadish CEO at CloudEndure
Ofer Gadish, the CEO and co-founder of CloudEndure, is a serial entrepreneur and prolific innovator. He has over 16 years of experience in senior management positions, both in startups and established corporations.
I think that their hesitation often comes from fear of the unknown and generally not being able to see with their own eyes that the cloud migration strategy will work. That is why it’s so important to do a test or proof of concept. The ability to very quickly see an application running in the cloud can instill confidence and help C-level managers overcome their fears.
I often suggest migrating applications without moving users, showing company leadership that it passes all of the tests and is ready for production, and prove that it can be done quickly at full scale
Want to get more cloud migration tips from this expert panel? Check out additional installments of this five-part series: