The state of cloud migrations

With a vast majority of companies having at least one service in the cloud, migrations are nothing new to most IT pros. But what do today’s migrations look like – and who’s driving them? 

A recent study has some answers. According to CDW, the split between cloud services coming from in-house and other cloud services is just about split down the middle. While 54% of projects migrated from traditional deliveries, the remaining 46% came from other cloud services.

This is a sign of the cloud’s maturity and penetration into most organizations. And while the migrations came from a variety of places, the experiences companies had with these projects varied, too.

The most common projects were also the easiest to manage, not surprisingly. The top three were storage, email and website hosting.

Cost remains a mystery

While migration projects are more common, that hasn’t necessarily made them easier to plan for. When it comes to one significant area, projecting costs, there are still a variety of options. Not all of them are accurate, with an equal number of respondents said that cost savings were overhyped as said that they were dead on.

Respondents to CDW stated their cost projections came from:

  • vendors (30%)
  • consultants (26%)
  • company provided (25%)
  • IT analyst firms (24%)
  • built in house (23%), and
  • internal finance department projections (18%).

Of those sources, in-house projections and vendors were most accurate (at 56% and 55%, respectively). The least accurate method were analyst firms and third-party consultants at around 40%). This wasn’t exactly a slam-dunk for any method.

3 keys to success

There probably aren’t any companies that are completely done with migrations. So proceeding with a plan will be key.

Here are some steps to make sure future initiatives are successful:

  • Diversify. It may be tempting to go back to the first provider you had a good experience with for future projects. But you may have success negotiating with other providers (and spreading out your providers might be a good idea in case of outages).
  • Establish procedures. Make sure you have a single set of best practices for procurement and navigation. Include minimum security and support requirements, and establish who is in charge of heading up these projects to avoid shadow IT.
  • Set realistic budgets. Don’t budget for the best-case scenario only. Set budgets that cover a range from everything going perfect to what you can expect to spend if the project goes off the rails for whatever reason.

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