Career / Management

4 Reasons Why Cloud Projects Fail

by Team Nuggets
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Published on December 7, 2017

Cloud projects are much more commonplace than a decade or even a few years ago. In their 2018 State of IT report, Spiceworks reports that 21% of IT budgets will be parked in cloud solutions, a number that's increasing each year.

Hosted solutions appeal to management and IT professionals alike, and there are many reasons for this redundancy, increased uptime, and reduced staff requirements. With so many apparent benefits, moving to the cloud seems like a no-brainer.

But it's important to remember that migrating to the cloud involves as many pitfalls as benefits. We will examine common problems that organizations face and how to avoid them.

When Everyone Somehow Forgets About Business Requirements

Almost everyone gets excited when migrating to the cloud is discussed in meetings, probably because it sounds so simple and appealing. However, if you're going to make the right choices for your cloud implementation, everyone needs to be on the same page.

First, your company's decision-makers need to step back and articulate what they hope to achieve with such a move.

Understanding the technical requirements of migration is typically a straightforward affair for an IT manager, but the business element can often be fuzzy, which is a potential point of failure. Similarly, you should train the decision-makers on the possibilities of using the cloud. We're not saying your C-suite should complete Cloud Essentials training, but it certainly couldn't hurt.

Conversely, you might want to learn how to speak business. If your IT strategy isn't aligned with the company's business requirements, you risk creating a catastrophic operating environment that will kill future productivity and revenue generation.

It is vital to ensure that management is on board with the entire process from start to finish and that they provide you with feedback while asking you for feedback on your progress. Only then can your efforts be synergistically aligned, allowing for a successful collaboration between the business requirements and the organization's IT objectives.

Don't get caught up in the excitement (or fear) of moving to the cloud. You must ensure that the benefits of such a move outweigh any potential adverse outcomes while preparing for worst-case scenarios. Remember, there must be cost and performance benefits if your cloud migration is to be a worthwhile undertaking for your company, so you need to ensure that both of these positive outcomes are likely at the end of your project.

How Will the Migration Change Your System?

Cloud projects that are rushed without proper consultation from all stakeholders will almost always fail. Your company's proprietary applications must be tested and reworked until you have tested every conceivable operating condition.

How do your business-critical applications operate on sub-LAN speeds with increased latency? Have your developers fully tested how their application works on a hosted cloud-based server? How is your information security handled? Is your data secure? Where is it being stored and backed up?

Information management and security standards must be established and adhered to, especially concerning sensitive and confidential data. Your disaster recovery plan is another critical area that has a massive impact on your core application operations.

Suppose you cannot reasonably assure your management team that your new online environment meets your industry's specified requirements. In that case, you will have difficulty with regulators and auditors. For this reason, you must ensure that your cloud services meet all of your security needs, compliance standards, regulations, and SLA (Service Level Agreement) requirements.

Don't Forget About Local Resources

While migrating your services to the cloud might seem good from the server room, what about your remote locations?

If you have multiple sites, do all of your offices and remote sites have the right connectivity solutions to connect effectively to your new hosted platform? Does your existing client hardware still work with the new cloud-based application? How does this affect performance and compatibility with your infrastructure? You'll need to select the right cloud solution for your particular situation.

Failure to check, double-check, test, and then triple-check your local resource capacity can cause severe problems after you move over to the new platform, so you must ensure you have all your ducks in a row before flipping the switch.

That means testing in lab environments and perhaps getting certified in the technology before the migration.

This will mean that much groundwork must be laid out and covered beforehand. Site audits and service contracts will need to be reviewed across all of your sites, and appropriate corrective steps will need to be followed wherever any deficiencies are identified. This means you must allocate resources to your planning stage before migrating to the cloud.

Start with a Plan and Stick to it

When setting out your initial plan in the early stages of your project, it is important to remember that cost will almost always be the primary driver of your company's desire to decentralize and move to the cloud. Cloud technologies are ever-evolving, so look to the future and the present.

Suppose you have not planned your organization's current and future requirements against a budget. In that case, you risk overdelivering on unnecessary services or underdelivering on essential requirements, leaving your project either over budget or underdeveloped.

A proper project management strategy will guarantee a much higher likelihood of success as you progress toward your goal. Setting big and small milestones will be the only way for you and your management team to track your progress as you accomplish important goals. When milestones are missed, all parties must communicate effectively and strategize to overcome a missed deadline or target.

Getting Started

When moving to a cloud solution, you outsource reliability and scalability to a provider. However, you'll still need to manage those services, so it's important to get trained on your particular cloud solution. Even if you don't plan to sit for a certification exam, training will help you and your team navigate migration with aplomb.

Here's a list of the most popular cloud training at CBT Nuggets:

These are ideal starting points for technical and non-technical staff who wish to understand how to guide their organization toward a successful cloud migration. They should be on your list of certifications to get ASAP.


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