Slow and Steady Wins the Race to the Cloud

Does slow and steady win the race to the cloud? Companies that were further along in their digital transformation seemed to adapt easily to the new normal without much disruption, having already made their move to the cloud before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. However, companies that haven’t yet started their digital transformation must consider whether to take the route of either the hare or the tortoise.

Enterprises that feel like they are tortoises in the race to the cloud may have experienced challenges when the pandemic struck, but there are still benefits for organizations that are just now starting their digital transformation — and reasons not to take the hare’s approach and rush to the finish line.

Digital transformation refers to any initiative that involves modernizing a system or process to be digital. At the heart of many of these initiatives is the cloud. An efficient and well-managed cloud can help organizations innovate and remain agile, providing them with a competitive edge. Despite how integral cloud has become in business operations, many organizations have yet to adopt the cloud. Before they do, however, there are critical factors that must be considered when developing a cloud migration plan, including cost, training and security.

Assessing Your Cloud Migration Costs

Costs associated with migrating to the cloud go beyond the monthly cloud bill. In addition to this bill, you must factor in the cost of moving data to the cloud, additional training to familiarize employees with the cloud and potential consulting fees. Organizations need to take these costs into account as they are budgeting and getting ready to migrate to the cloud.

Consider the following steps to help you plan your costs for migrating to the cloud: audit the cost of your current IT infrastructure, use the calculator from your cloud provider to get a sense of what your monthly spend would be and scope out any additional costs such as training or hiring a consultant.

Preparing Your Team to Transition to Cloud

Another challenge is ensuring that teams have the right skills to handle managing the cloud. Gartner reports that through 2022, half of enterprise IT organizations’ shift to the cloud will be delayed by two years or more due to insufficient cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) skills. You may also find that some on your team are reluctant to migrate to the cloud as it will take extra time and energy. It’s worth investing the time to make individual appeals, targeting early adopters to show the benefits of cloud to others in the organization. This is the approach Pinterest took when migrating to the cloud, according to Increment.

Organizations can also avoid delays by partnering with companies specializing in cloud management and having a successful track record with migrations in their industry. If you are thinking about introducing a cloud management product to help with cloud operations, here are factors to consider: what cloud providers does the company pair with—for example, could it support your multi-cloud environment; what management capabilities does the company offer—security, budget or automation; how long will the onboarding take to implement the product; and what kind of visibility is offered by the product.

Securing Your Cloud

Rushing through migration will leave an organization more vulnerable to future security breaches too. The increase in cloud usage due to the pandemic has security professionals concerned: 94% believe that the pandemic increases the level of cyber-threat and most think this state is the new norm, according to an April 2020 survey by Deloitte. Organizations should carefully proceed with migration plans to ensure their newly adopted cloud infrastructure is secure and compliant.

Research has shown that the cause of many cloud breaches is human error – Gartner estimates that 95% are caused by configuration mistakes. This statistic underscores the importance of training for your team. You can help bolster security and mitigate these risks by investing in a cloud management product that can help you implement rules to ensure your cloud remains secure and compliant.

The best approach to cloud migration cannot be rushed, and this is how the tortoises of digital transformation will thrive. Organizations that think ahead and plan their migration avoid increased costs and lessen their vulnerability to security risks, which means getting the full benefit of the cloud and maintaining a competitive edge. Taking the time to find a partner that provides services or products that can assist your organization with cloud management sets you up for long-term success.

It may seem like it’s crucial to adopt the cloud as quickly as possible, but that can sometimes do more harm than good. The cloud sector is consistently advancing, especially during the pandemic, so organizations that have waited can still reap the rewards of this innovation. When it comes to cloud migration, slow and steady wins the race. 

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