The good news is that a hybrid cloud environment has many benefits. It positions a company’s digital strategy to be successful but it also enables a CIO to retire some legacy applications by utilizing SaaS cloud solutions. The goal is to focus your resources on digital transformation rather than commodity IT functions.
The bad news is that a hybrid cloud migration is hard! This post will cover the three top challenges every company will face when migrating to a hybrid cloud.
A clear understanding of your existing environment and the interdependencies between your application platforms are critical to make the right migration decisions. Unfortunately, a single view of data that is trusted is usually not available. A company may have a great data source containing servers and routers but the applications running on the servers or the interdependencies between applications are not available or contained in various spreadsheets or systems.
The first mistake usually made is to boil the ocean and kick off a large data analysis effort. These efforts are expensive, very time consuming, and they are not easily completed. The best approach is to limit the data collected and the applications analyzed.
First, understand your digital strategy and only focus on the applications that are important. This will limit the data collection requirements. Second, based on your priorities, collect only the information required to make informed decisions. Don’t fall into the trap of collecting everything to build the perfect CMDB. Collect what’s required to make migration decisions.
Low hanging fruit or quick wins are easy to identify because the applications are stand alone with a small number of dependencies. The complexity come from your core applications that are tightly integrated. It is not easy to determine how and when to migrate this complexity. Some of the applications will be moved to the cloud and replaced by a SaaS solution while other applications are strategic that will require a rewrite or a straight migration to the hybrid cloud.
Before a migration plan can be completed for your complex systems, it is important that you solve challenge number one. A trusted view of your complex integration is required before potential plans can be created. But even with trusted data, how does a company wrap their head around the complexity.
There is a need to have some data visualization solutions to solve this problem. Looking at raw complex data in spreadsheets makes this process difficult and it leads to making wrong assumptions early in your planning. Visualization of your complex environment from your single trusted source along with your subject matter experts makes the planning process easier.
The final challenge are your key resources. Your subject matter experts. These resources are critical for your migration success but they are also required for other priority projects or day to day operations. Subject matter experts are always the bottleneck of an organizations ability to deliver projects and they cannot allows be purchased with variable staffing.
To be successful, a project has to efficiently use subject matter experts and keep them in the loop to make sure that decisions are being made properly. The solution is to plan the migration to utilize the experts efficiently and provide your experts clear visibility into the migration efforts and decisions made.
Hybrid cloud migrations are hard. Not having a single view of your environment, dissecting your most complex systems, and using your subject matter experts efficiently are the three largest challenges of your hybrid cloud migrations. Make sure that you keep these three challenges in mind when you start your journey to implement your digital strategy. If you address these three areas, you will be able to plan and migrate to the hybrid cloud faster and more efficiently.