Cloud adoption has been growing over the last decade, and organizations are increasingly turning to more complex hybrid cloud strategies. The number of organizations using hybrid cloud solutions tripled from 19 percent in 2016 to 57 percent in 2017. This growth will only continue in 2018, forcing many enterprise leaders to evaluate and evolve their IT infrastructure.
But overhauling an IT strategy is not to be taken lightly, and organizations must do some soul searching to make sure it’s the right move for them. There are countless step-by-step guides out there that aim to direct organizations through a cloud migration. But before launching an adoption strategy, companies should take time to address the “why.”
Step-by-step adoption strategy is important when the time comes, but right now you must consider whether your organization has the resources on hand to reap the benefits of cloud migration. Here are three questions to start internal conversations around whether cloud migration is the right step for your organization.
- What direction is your industry following?
Depending on the nature of your organization, operating from the cloud could be imperative to stay competitive, or it might be more of a slowly and cautiously adopted trend. Regulated industries like government, healthcare and financial services, for example, should pursue cloud adoption, but have to take a more methodical approach in order to stay compliant. Industries like technology and retail, however, serve customers with high expectations and are bound by fewer legal regulations, making a cloud upgrade a less intense project.
All of the chatter about cloud migration undoubtedly makes business leaders feel the pressure to move to the cloud. But a cloud “strategy” is nothing if it’s not mindfully implemented. It’s only valuable if it drives your business forward within your specific industry.
- What are the best-in-class organizations doing?
Businesses are always looking to differentiate from their peers. But there’s a reason industry leaders are at the front of the pack – they took risks and made forward-looking decisions. Emulate their strategies in forming your own. The early adopters are the ones setting the scene for the future. When they take the steps they do, it’s for good reason.
A comparison we like to point to when justifying our technology decisions involves two trains running side-by-side down parallel tracks. One trains stops, and passengers start getting out of one train and onto the other. Why would they do that if the trains seem to be heading to the same destination? Because the first train is running out of track. Those switching passengers recognized that, took the risk to switch over and benefitted from the decision.
- Do you have the right people to carry out a cloud migration?
Look back to your organization’s technology leaders. Do you have the right people who are capable of building out your cloud goals? They’re the ones who will dictate the strategy and choose the vendors and partners that will help you along your cloud migration journey.
Some businesses throw themselves into a cloud migration only to realize they have the wrong people leading it. Maybe the CEO, who doesn’t have a tech background, mandated the move because some of their peers were doing so, not knowing the resources the business would need to carry it out. But the organization’s old-school IT director who receives the order has no cloud background and isn’t bought into this huge change they’re told to implement. This is when a cloud migration can go wrong.
That said, moving forward with cloud migration might involve making some additions to your IT team, such as the increasingly common role of digital transformation manager. It can be difficult to re-school people who are accustomed to working with a legacy infrastructure. Strategic outside hires can help get these employees up to speed.
Ultimately, moving to the cloud has to be a decision based on your organization’s needs and resources, not based on pressures coming from outside forces. While cloud computing is the standard of the future, migrating at the right time and under the right circumstances is crucial for setting your organization up for a strong IT infrastructure foundation. Do your due diligence before making the jump.
Christian Lund is co-founder and Chief Product Officer at software company Templafy