The need for speed – cloud migration lessons from burning rubber

For F1 drivers, success is not always about being the fastest, but about continuously and incrementally making improvements, and shaving vital seconds of their final lap time.

Cloud migrations are often the same – a continuous endeavour to accelerate innovation to deliver a competitive edge to the wider organisation. Efficiency and agility are everything in today’s ultra-competitive digital economy. The faster companies are able to launch new services and processes, the better their chances of outperforming their rivals.

>See also: Top tips for migrating to the cloud 

In a drive to increase both agility and mobility, companies are increasingly adopting cloud. In fact, Gartner predicts public cloud services market revenue will grow 18.5% in 2017 to total $260 billion, up from $220 billion in 2016.

However, companies don’t just benefit from cloud overnight, in the same vain that F1 drivers don’t become champions overnight. It’s all about proper planning, preparation and practice. Ultimately, for every minute on the track, drivers and their teams spend hours, days, weeks, and even years, behind the scenes.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Like building an F1 car, migrating workloads to the cloud can take time – often businesses are simply happy to get the application working in the new environment, paying little attention to speed or availability. They then look to improve the service by identifying weaknesses and picking holes in the application’s, or car’s, performance.

This iterative process of break and fix provides a continual cycle of refinement and improvement. Initially, companies need to assess what they want to do and why, as every business has different objectives and blindly adopting the latest technology trend in cloud computing will bear little fruit without purpose.

The questions should be – why does your company need cloud, what are the business benefits of improving mobility and agility, and will adopting cloud can help the organisation achieve this?

>See also: Outlook increasingly cloudy: the mass migration of business data

Proper planning in both the short and long term is crucial to save time and resources – whilst ensuring that deadlines, and consequently objectives, are met. IT should conduct an assessment of the software it currently uses and how these applications can be migrated to the cloud, as well as the new licensing requirements.

Companies should then prioritise their cloud migration in the order that minimises void periods and consequently wasted resources. As companies are reluctant to invest in areas with a history of wastage, it is important to get this right.

The cost of success

As critical in F1 as it is in IT, budget restraints can have a significant impact on the ability to make continuous improvements. Today’s IT teams are being tasked with doing more with less, but the funds available are often limited – even though projects often reduce costs or improve productivity in the long run. This is why early wins are so important.

All projects need an early win to demonstrate their value, motivate stakeholders and keep the project progressing, and more importantly funded. It’s important with early wins, whether in cloud migration or racing, to evaluate, deconstruct and redefine these wins. It’s important that once you get the practice working, that you then spend the rest of the time continuously tweaking and turning the dials to perfect the process and maximise returns.

Expertise through experience

To maximise wins, it’s often useful to speak with those who have a strong record of success in the area. This is why F1 teams often poach engineers from their rivals, as they know how to win.

>See also: Digitally transforming with the right cloud strategy

The same is also true with cloud migrations, it can be helpful to enlist expertise from those who know the shortcuts and the pitfalls, and can prepare for the obstacles they’ve previously encountered.

After all, the only source of knowledge is experience and companies can often avoid wasting resources and pain points by simply talking to those that have been there before.

With all the money in the world you can have the most expensive car on the grid, but if your driving skills aren’t there, no amount of horsepower will make a difference. Just like IT, the best systems and software aren’t the only pieces of the puzzle – you need experts in the driving seat to make a real impact.


Sourced by Tony Spruyt, UK SAM services manager at COMPAREX


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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