Cloud migration checklist: The 3 key areas to focus on

80 percent of your risk comes from these areas. Address them before you migrate to get the results you want in sane, cost-effective way

2019 is the year that enterprises are hitting the accelerator on their cloud migrations. Last year, the typical company wanted 100 or so workloads in the cloud at the end of 2018. This year, the goal is to move well over a 1,000 by the end of 2019.

If this sounds like an unreasonable amount of work within a short time frame, you’re right. However, it’s doable if you follow this checklist. If you focus on just these three areas, you’ll remove about 80 percent of your risk from your cloud migration projects.

1. Get your workload priorities straight

It’s a well-known best practice to choose workloads and data sets for migration based on their fit with an available cloud platform analog. That limits the need for refactoring, agility value ranking, security, and other attributes.

However, migration prioritization is often an afterthought. This means you fail to take into consideration taking the risk of the migration failing. Some applications won’t find homes on like platforms in the cloud, or they will fail in other ways due to their workload requirements. Workload migration priorities don’t look like you would expect; they are weighted for technology requirements that aren’t always obvious.

2. Get enough migration money

I find that doing anything in IT requires lubrication with cash—a lot of it. While this may seems like a no-brainer, underfunded migration projects that crash and burn are becoming an epidemic.

  • You need to pay for cloud talent and technology, of course, but it’s the less-understood costs that get companies in trouble. Cost surprises come from:
  • Needing legacy migration expertise from older and less-understood systems.
  • The need for much more refactoring than was anticipated as you discover applications that need unanticipated cloud-native features.
  • Strange licensing fees for running traditional enterprise software in the cloud that, in some cases, can cost more than running them on your own hardware.

It can all quickly add up.

3. Organizational transformation plan prior to migration

Notice I did not say “culture,” but the culture does indeed need to change with the organization.

Although you can find a lot of advice around this topic, the core purpose is to plan for the organizational changes around the use of cloud computing. Define who, what, and when for each existing or new role.

The biggest value of an organizational transformation plan is to communicate to everyone in IT what changes will occur, why they will occur, and when they will occur.

Organizational changes are always a sensitive topic, but it’s pretty much a requirement that you do the planning before the cloud migrations begin. Otherwise, it will be much more chaotic and a morale killer.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.