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Posted March 8, 2019 in Cloud

Cloud Migration: Short Term vs. Long Term Considerations

When an organization makes the decision to adopt cloud technology, there are still many subsequent decisions to be made. You can start by completing a cloud readiness assessment, giving you a great frame of reference as you move forward, but you’ll also need to consider your initial priorities as you decide on a cloud migration strategy. To do this, you’ll be factoring in timing and future goals, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of single or multi-vendor infrastructures.

Depending on whether your organization is looking to migrate immediately or if you need multiple service features, your organization will need to weigh its options.

Prioritizing Short Term

Goal: Get up and running as quickly as possible and with as few changes to daily operations as possible.

Popular approach: Choose a single vendor and go all in, maybe even with a lift and shift.

Advantages: Because you’re dealing with a single vendor, you might be able to get a good discount for keeping all of your business with them. Not to be negative, but a single vendor also lets you know who is responsible should something go wrong and it may be easier to identify the problem (although not necessarily any quicker to fix).

Common reasons to choose this route

Migrating to the cloud, although definitely more widely used than it has been, is still confusing to many people. There’s a lot of theory you can read about on the technology, but not a lot of specific, real-life case studies for organizations to use as examples to inform their decisions. Organizations may feel like they need to utilize cloud technology to stay competitive in their industries, but the ideas can appear too abstract to properly evaluate. Simplicity and swiftness tend to win out in these situations and organizations opt for something like a lift and shift.

Choosing the simplest or fastest solution doesn’t mean that it will turn out badly, however, especially if the organization has also used the help of a digital transformation specialist. A single vendor could be the right choice and the quickest choice. Having an expert hand guiding the process is definitely recommended if prioritizing the short term to avoid decisions that may restrict future innovation. If an organization is leaning towards short term solutions (and there are many reasons why this could be the case), they should bring on someone who will also be keeping an eye on long term consequences so that they can see the whole picture before moving forward.

Prioritizing Long Term

Goal: Migrate to the cloud, but also build an infrastructure to support future innovation.

Popular approach: Use a mixture of vendors offering the services the infrastructure needs now and may need in the future.

Advantages: Organizations avoid lock-in scenarios and use the best services of each provider. You stay in charge of how your infrastructure functions.

Common reasons to choose this route

With cloud technology becoming standard practice, there are more options than ever for migrating to the cloud. Organizations that are constantly developing new applications may need the help of more than one service provider to satisfy their IT needs, so a multi-vendor approach could be the best one.

There are some drawbacks, however, depending on how an organization uses these different vendors. For example, if a single application is built using multiple vendors and any one of these vendors is having performance issues, it will affect the application. This can be avoided by choosing single vendors for single apps, but there are definitely some times when having the features of multiple vendors could be attractive for a single use.

Again, this is where having a digital transformation specialist to assist with the planning and migration makes all the difference. This specialist should be able to ask the right questions and analyze an organization’s needs in order to anticipate which multi-vendor route is the best choice. They will also be able to map out a migration strategy that cuts down on disruption and makes sure that all of the “t”s are crossed and all of the “i”s are dotted.

It always seems easier to say, “Here’s the best option,” but with cloud technology migration, every organization’s needs are different. Disruption, security, and cost are all completely reasonable concerns when considering migrating to the cloud, so organizations should always take the extra time to plan well. Our recommendation is to hire a digital transformation specialist so you can get a true lay of the land before you jump into cloud migration.

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