Good Cloud Migration Decisions Hang in the Balance

Unbridled enthusiasm isn’t always for the best. Getting caught up in the excitement without balancing it with reality may not work out quite the way we have in mind. Although VMC Engagement Management Chuck Hobart shares in the excitement of Cloud computing’s potential, he discourages companies from putting the cart before the horse in making a move to the Cloud. We asked why.

“Before you can make a good decision about the Cloud, you should clearly understand the current costs to run your IT organization. You need that baseline to determine whether there’s potential for a meaningful return on your investment. If there’s no ROI for going into the Cloud, then don’t go there.

Because IT is not most companies’ reason for existence – they’re a meat packing company, a manufacturer, a pharmaceutical company – they’re usually focused instead on the ROI of their core business. IT costs are considered a ‘necessary evil,’ so they tend not to view those costs in an ROI framework, but just accept them as an unavoidable cost of doing business.

So, even though the Cloud can be a powerful, cost-effective and beneficial environment, it’s important not to put the cart before the horse. Only after you’ve researched your current IT costs and issues are you at the right point to ask, ‘Now that we understand what our costs are, what can we do to reduce them?’ Although one option is going into the Cloud, another option is to rearchitect and streamline without going to the Cloud.

If you try to move into the Cloud without understanding what you currently have, you’re going to fail and it will be very costly. One insurance company I know tried to do that. So far, their cost overruns are more than a million dollars. The IT organization was given a directive to go into the Cloud, and they were told to meet schedules that made it impossible to do an upfront analysis of their current state. They also underestimated the complexity of the migration process, because early hype about migrating to the Cloud made it sound far simpler than it really is. There can be a lot of benefit to doing it, but it’s still a complex process. So, if you bypass the ‘due diligence’ of accurate assessment and planning, you’ll end up with cost overruns and a non-functional system. You may even put your core business at risk.

Because of cases like this, I encourage people to slow down and even be a bit skeptical about the Cloud. They should take a close, rational look at what is hype and what is reality – and not just in general terms, but specific to their company, their business goals and their IT environment. But, despite some of the hype that’s out there, if the ‘buzz’ gets people asking whether they should move to the Cloud, it has inherent value. Whether their answer is ultimately ‘yes’ or ‘no’ isn’t the point. The question’s value is that it prompted them to evaluate and understand their current IT environment better. Before, they had no idea what IT was costing. Now, not only can they make a more intelligent decision about whether the Cloud is a viable option; they have a great knowledge base for addressing other IT questions, too.”

The success of a future Cloud migration hangs in the balance of understanding your current state. What can you do to make a well-grounded decision that won’t overburden your available resources?

Contact Chuck Hobart by email at chuckh@vmc.com or 877.393.8622.

About VMC Consulting and VMC Game Labs

VMC Consulting is a technology consulting and outsourcing company that provides flexible and scalable build, run and support solutions. VMC Game Labs is the world’s leading partner for games quality assurance and support.
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2 Responses to Good Cloud Migration Decisions Hang in the Balance

  1. markelhum says:

    Beautiful Post Chuck Hobart , managing the equilibrium of resources and ROI is the core subject that needs to be focused not only IT but all the businesses have the same condition for growth and profits..
    Overplay

  2. Chuck Hobart says:

    Thanks for the compliment. Recently (partially due to the economy) there has been a shift in the way IT does business. It used to be that IT told the business what it could provide, but in the last couple of years the focus has changed. Now the business is telling IT what information it needs to run the business. This has required a great deal more creativity to figure out how to supply the data. Solutions like Cloud, Analytic Engines and “Big Data” are all responses to the request for cost effective business intelligence. “Cost effective” is an operative word, not an option, of course. I haven’t yet come across a business that said, “Get me the data, I don’t care what it costs.”

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