Cloud Migration Failures: Prevent And Deter

Dr. Christopher Richard, MD & Chief Cloud Architect, G7 CR Technologies India Dr. Christopher Richard, currently working with G7 CR Technologies and Founder of Karnataka Small and Medium Business Owners Association, is one of the most renowned technology experts in the country. Passionate and committed to the growth of his clients and of the SME sector in India, Chris has created many innovative solutions that will boost the bottom line of any business

With the benefits of Cloud rev¬olutionizing data storage, by way of giving competitive ‘teeth’ to SMBs, improving produc¬tivity and streamlining workflows, migrating to the Cloud is only a mat¬ter of time, as a universally endorsed imperative to do business.

Migration to the Cloud is akin to moving from an independent house to either a community villa/ apartment (IAAS), partial service apartment(PAAS)or full-service hotel(SAAS). All the same right choices and planning are at the core of such transitions.

Among the primary reasons for migration failure is Non-Cloud value sale, related to relationship, pressure or heat sales. When a Cloud migration deal is signed, purely on the basis of the good relations between the client and the Cloud OEM partner or pressure situations created by the sales team, it is often seen that the customer exhibits hesitation in actually making the transition a reality.

Experience reveals that even a million dollar Cloud deal can go down the drain although momentary transactions may have taken place there is no one to accept that it was never a sale in the first place.

The heat pitch is more frightening where the customer is sold, the value add that the seller brings to the table and not the value of the Cloud itself. In most such cases, this results in failed migration or a bad debt if heat pitch expectations are not met. If one is a Cloud selling company into heat pitching, it has to put in extra effort to not only deliver the Cloud but also all other value-adds promised.

It is important to highlight that a heat pitch situation arises when a company does not have the requisite processes and goals to enable migration to the Cloud, but promises a client otherwise and plants lofty expectations.
Further a failed migration can also be the result of a tardy unplanned and untried process often because of inexperience of the executing team that is sure to be met with technical snags. While, making the choice to migrate to the Cloud is the right thing to do the first step to make it real is to ensure sound counsel and execution led & executed by right experts and advisors. It’s important that the partner Cloud OEM has a receptive ear to understand the needs of the client and thus design the architecture accordingly.

Returning to our example of how Cloud migration is like relocating one’s residence dependencies need to be considered in former cases too. If one is moving from India to the West, one would need power point adaptors for appliances purchased in India. Thus, even before he begins his West ward journey he will have to assess how many such gadgets he has does he need one multi country adaptor or more, and others. Likewise Cloud migration must be preceded with accessing the needs, capabilities and dependencies needed to function. And for all this a company would need utilisation and allocation of time.

IT’s important that the partner Cloud OEM has a receptive ear to understand the needs of the client, and thus, design the architecture accordingly

It’s advisable to avoid a race to migrate to the Cloud. An organization must allocate adequate time and resources to understand what to host how various applications should communicate and what the dependencies would be or are required.

A pilot is a nonnegotiable step for a Cloud transition, irrespective of the size of a company.

An HR company wanted to mi¬grate to the Cloud. Its legacy application had grown over a period of time with many teams working on its different parts. There was no one within the organization who understood all the components and communication dependencies of the application. Added to this was the crude architecture of the application; it has no supporting documentation.

To top it all much to the Cloud OEM partner’s discomfort there was lack of will and intent within the team entrusted with the task of migration. It was inaccessible during the planning stage and wanted the migration to be done in the least possible time. The partner wasn’t even given the time to figure out the ‘unknown’ before going forward. When the migration experts pointed this out, the client team literally hijacked the project.

A go-ahead was given for the Cloud migration to go live, riding on a testing phase haphazardly done, without proper records maintained, and totally ignoring the snags therein. This resulted in huge performance issues in the application. Matters came to a head and salaries had to be processed manually for a month invoices couldn’t be raised because time sheets from the application weren’t available. After the chaos, a month of stress lost money, the company had to cancel the migration. That wasn’t all. Reversing to the traditional method was a struggle for three months before normalcy could be restored.

It is clear then that Cloud migration is so much like nuclear energy. You can either harness N-energy as a solution or blast mankind to oblivion. Likewise you can benefit from the robustness of the Cloud with due diligence planning and processes or drag your company to a disaster with the lack of them.