Five Ways to Tell You’re Ready for Cloud Migration

Five Ways to Tell You’re Ready for Cloud Migration


This article was written by Scott Dodds, CEO of Ultima.

Despite the numerous benefits of the cloud, many organisations aren't making the most of it or realising the true advantages it can provide. Whether it's the perceived high upfront investment, technical skills required for ongoing management, or lack of understanding of which systems can and can't be migrated, over 40% of workloads aren't yet in the cloud. 
Almost half of organisations state that they lack staff with cloud experience causing one of the main stumbling blocks of cloud adoption. For other organisations, the journey over to the cloud hasn't been smooth. A particular challenge cited in the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report was spiralling cloud costs due to an inability to forecast accurately.  
The effects of the pandemic have rapidly elevated the general interest in companies that are providing cloud services, but organisations across the board are still struggling to realise the benefits of it, migrate their legacy systems and manage their clouds effectively. Amidst a chronic skills shortage and a need to simplify the complex to make the cloud manageable for organisations of all sizes, an endless list of possibilities endures.
So how can you tell if your organisation is ready for cloud migration?

Reaching a peak in IT spending

Over the last year IT budgets have had a change in focus with a huge amount being spent on security and end user computing. With the new world of hybrid working and an ‘always on’ expectation from customers, understanding how employees and third parties interact with business applications and handle data on and off premise are important. As is the infrastructure that is required to support this. Considerable time and money need to be spent on building out security frameworks and platforms that best suit these new and diverse needs.

There is an upward trend on IT spending that is set to continue with Gartner predicting that worldwide spending on IT is set to hit $4.1 trillion in 2021, an increase of 8.4% since 2020. But for many organisations post pandemic, finding the cash to keep up with IT needs will be hard. It’s important, therefore, to focus any spend on areas that are going to generate long-term growth.  
Using Microsoft Azure's open and flexible cloud computing platform, for example, combined with automated migration, you no longer need to look after and buy hardware, or pay for your own data centre requirements like power and cooling. Your IT infrastructure can be run on a pay-as-you-go basis taking away any Capex hardware costs, and you can even buy employee devices on the same pay-as-you-go basis. The short-term costs of moving to the cloud need to be weighed up carefully against the longer-term savings and increases in efficiency and productivity.

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‘Keeping the lights on’ in your business has become the sole focus of your attention and cost.

60-70% of most IT budgets is spent on keeping the lights on and renewing support contracts. When you factor in the time spent by IT staff in maintaining existing infrastructure and business operations, it’s easy to see why this can cause a stumbling block for organisations.  
Preparing operations for the future of work is one of the defining problems of our time and looking at where you are spending money and resource is central to this. Identify those activities that are ‘keeping the lights on’ versus improving business processes and efficiencies. Given the world of hybrid working we have been launched into, any business today that isn’t spending on development and innovation in business operating efficiencies will struggle. 
Outsourcing your IT to a cloud services provider who can manage it for you and who uses the latest automated services can save hundreds of man hours, freeing up your IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.

Poor visibility of cyber hygiene and preparedness

Poor visibility over what is happening in your network environment is a common issue, particularly from a security perspective. For example, what data is coming in and going out, top destinations and any malicious activity detected. Having applications and users offsite increases your business’s threat landscape. Legacy servers may be costly to maintain and secure, plus understanding how data is being handled and how users are behaving outside the confines of the office is a concern. 
In a recent survey of over 200 prospective customers, Ultima asked about the challenges they were facing due to current requirements for remote working. Nearly half (41%) cited security concerns as an issue and 17% cited application access. It’s this concern that is set to drive the largest spend in security the industry has seen in over a decade. 
We also know that around 25% of companies don’t realise they have high severity patches missing. A poor patching regime can have catastrophic consequences on systems, personally identifiable information, and intellectual property. This is often down to a skills shortage and a lack of time – as patches are often done manually by the IT department.  
Automated cloud services give customers a dashboard that centralises information to show what is happening in a simplified format across your infrastructure. Patching services can be automated and monitoring happens on a 24/7 basis. Not only will this save organisations hundreds of IT hours, businesses who are using automated cloud services have a 66% reduction in security incidents.

Disaster recovery plans may not be fit-for-purpose

80% of businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months. So, preparing for a disaster and planning how to recover if disaster does strike is important for every business. However, often other priorities mean businesses struggle for the required investment, skills and required testing capabilities to prepare should the worst happen.  
We also know 41% of businesses haven’t tested their IT disaster recovery solution in the last six months or don’t know if it has ever been tested, leaving them open to disastrous consequences. From an IT perspective, having your operations in the cloud negates some of the risk. Your cloud provider or managed service provider will have plans in place to mitigate any disaster and will regularly test the disaster recovery solution - which can be fraught with danger and complexity when doing a full test.  
The latest automated disaster recovery solutions will test your disaster recovery autonomously and include security protection and non-disruptive testing of virtual machines. As the disaster recovery solutions are built in the cloud, costs are significantly reduced compared to on-premises disaster recovery solutions as you simply pay for the services you use.

Productivity is limited by the speed of the network

The traditional way of operating an IT network was to buy and run your own hardware and software, then think about it again in five years or so, or when you had a problem - whichever came first. As the business world evolves- led by a need to measure and increase operational efficiencies, so are the threats against it, making this infrastructure model redundant. 
Time is money and every minute that your network isn’t performing to its fullest is costing your company revenue and profit. It also costs the morale of your workers when they can’t do their jobs properly. If you are dealing with an underperforming network, staff performance and collaboration, data gathering, and customer engagement will all be impacted negatively. 
By switching to a cloud-based infrastructure, you’ll gain access to the latest technologies and create a more resilient infrastructure. Automation technologies also mean these networks can be monitored and managed far more effectively, thereby creating efficiencies throughout the organisation as well as reducing costs. The focus can be switched to innovation and integration; which is the most valuable currency for any business. 
There are a multitude of benefits of moving networks over to the cloud, but if your organisation is experiencing any of the above challenges, those benefits could be even greater. The latest cloud technologies have the power to help you secure your revenue and reputation round-the-clock, provide immediate efficiency and productivity gains, and reduce costs.