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Cloud migration – what every CIO should know

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Moving to the cloud IS a big deal for many customers. Despite it being around for a while, cloud services still remain an unknown entity for some who may have only flirted with it as a concept let alone a service delivery model. So once the CIO has completed the proof of concept analysis, the risk analysis, the ROI analysis, undertaken the governance reporting and they’re now confident that the cloud is the next necessary step to deliver IT services to the business – what next? Well it’s time to take a deep breadth and get ready to migrate.

Since it’s key to the success of any cloud project, and usually the first point that CIOs actually ‘touch’ the cloud, you’d expect migration to be process driven, efficient and well-defined, yet typically it’s an area widely ignored by many cloud service providers (CSPs). In the public cloud world many users are simply left alone to ‘get on with it’, and while those moving into the private cloud fair better with some assistance for their provider, some are also left floundering.

It’s not that CIOs and IT teams lack the ability to migrate their systems into the cloud, its simply that most haven’t done it before and as a result lack the skills and experience in house to handle the migration. Ironically, it’s the reason why many are moving to the cloud in the first place – to overcome the lack of in-house resource in the first place.

In some instances, and especially those who view the cloud as a threat to their job security, internal staff can even be obstructive to the migration process creating barriers where there are none.

To ensure that customers are completely happy with a move to the cloud, and in order to overcome performance and security concerns, a migration blueprint is an invaluable tool in both planning and setting expectations of what the process entails. It also means in-house and CSPs resources are directed to the right place to ensure a smooth and positive migration.

CIOs should also make sure that they undertake a business case validation and pilot project to test the plan. That way you know how the migration will take place. It will also enable you to establish data controls and policies so you’re clear what happens to the data once it’s outside the network.

We know that CIOs still have some serious migration concerns – everything from availability, reliability, device-based security and application performance. This is why we feel CSPs have a duty of care to ensure that the experience is positive end-to-end. Providers need to begin their relationships with clients before and during the migration process, and not just afterwards once the customer is on board.

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