Everywhere you go these days, you’ll hear people singing the praises of the cloud. But… there’s a dirty little secret that everybody is trying to ignore. A cloud transformation, executed badly, can be catastrophic for your business. Unforeseen costs can spiral, and you may find it impossible to extricate yourself from the process once you’ve started. With so many moving parts to consider, it’s easy to get your transformation wrong. If you don’t know the answer to these five basic questions, we suggest that you call off your plans – or call in the experts
Is your move to the cloud driving or supporting your business?
Doing this ‘for the hell of it’ or because ‘everyone else is doing it’ puts you at huge risk. There must be a strong underlying reason for moving to the cloud; for example, getting ready to support business growth. If you can’t articulate a solid benefit, stop, review and reconsider. For a deeper overview of all the factors you need to consider, check out Don’t Let a Good Transformation Go To Waste.
Are you being sold a lift and shift migration having been told that moving to the cloud is “easy”?
If this is the case, then you’re going be disappointed. The cost benefit will be negligible at best and at worst negative. Maximising the benefit of a move to the cloud, be it public, private or hybrid, rests on your ability to rethink the way you provision and use technology. A ‘lift and shift’ means you’ll almost certainly be left with a pool of existing infrastructure to run in parallel to cater for those technologies that can’t be lifted and shifted, on top of which will be the associated costs of running more technology, potentially with more people. Always define what gets decommissioned at the end of the process.
Have you been told that you’ll need to change your operating model?
If not, alarm bells should be ringing. Moving to the cloud means that you MUST consider how you change your IT organisation. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of rethinking the way you provision and use technology to realise the real power and benefit of the cloud. And, we’re not just talking about the infrastructure support teams or appdev teams. You’ll also need to closely examine to what extent a move will affect the business side of the company. Consider every aspect of your business and technology teams. Organisation-Wide Change is at the Heart of Cloud Transformation explores this in more detail.
Has your programme told you that they can simply “get rid of a load of people”?
Beware! While it may be true that you can reduce headcount in certain areas, it may be more a case of a replace or re-skill than reduce. Yes, you may be able to remove some roles but you’ll need experienced people to manage the service in areas such as operational reporting. In particular you’ll need senior talent to manage the contracts and relationships with the cloud providers.
Do you have a clear cost benefit analysis of the transformation and ongoing run costs?
The cost of transformation could be high depending on the plan, the scale of the organisation and many other factors. It’s imperative to have a clear sense of the costs and benefits (financial and non-financial) so that you can make an informed decision. And think about indirect financial traps too. The cost of delays or inefficiencies within development teams can all add up to a very significant amount of wasted money. As can a move to the cloud without sufficient thought given to managing the service-based cost model or re-factoring existing legacy applications to be cloud-ready or cloud-native. Check out The Hidden Cost of Failure which delves into this in more detail.
- Posted by Expert Thinker
- On 07/09/2017