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Ask the Expert: What’s the key to cloud migration success?

15 March 2021 by Laura Valentine

Chrisf

UKFast Director of Enterprise Technologies, Chris Folkerd

By now, we’re all familiar with the transformative potential of the cloud. There’s no denying that there are huge cost savings, performance boosts and other efficiencies to be reaped from cloud adoption. Moving your workloads into the cloud can be the key to future-proofing your business – making you more agile, freeing up CapEx and allowing for easy scalability as you grow.  

But it’s also true that this is not the experience of all cloud adopters. According to Accenture, nearly two-thirds of enterprises report that they’ve failed to achieve the full potential they set out to in their cloud initiatives.  

Why is it so difficult to leverage the full potential of the cloud? And – more importantly – what is the key to successful cloud migration? 

We posed these pressing questions to UKFast’s Director of Enterprise Technolgies, Chris Folkerd, for an expert’s take on guaranteeing cloud success.  

Q: What should a business owner or IT decision maker consider when they first set out on cloud adoption? 

Cloud adoption can be a complex process, with lots of vendors and hundreds of technologies to choose from. Choosing a managed services provider (MSP) helps simplify those choices and provides guidance on picking the right technologies for you. 

Managed hosting also gives you access to expert engineers with skills that you may not have inhouse – such as large-scale security, performance engineering and architectural design teams. 

IT support is often one of the biggest costs of maintaining your onprem infrastructure. By picking managed cloud you get access to a much larger range of support personnel with a lot more in-depth and varied expertise for a fraction of the cost. Not only that, but it’s world class security, stability and scalability from experts who work on thousands of solutions – this is something it would be near impossible to replicate in-house.  

Ideally you want to look for 24/7 support coverage, so you know you always have someone to turn to when there’s an issue and that your solution is being monitored around-the-clock.  

For larger customers, routine quarterly platform reviews are essential to ensure your solution is still working for you, accounting for managed growth and planning for large events. 

So it sounds like support is hugely important. What are the risks associated with not having the correct support for your cloud strategy?

Cloud can be very complex both technologically and from a commercial perspective. Not having the correct guidance and support can have a profound impact on your business. This can range from a delayed migration all the way to total failure.  

The most common outcomes of not having access to the right expertise are: 

  • Higher than intended adoption/running costs 
  • Poor architectural choices, leading to instability or increased billing 
  • Security concerns and non-compliance 
  • Increased staffing costs from supporting newer technologies 
  • Failed migrations 
  • Incomplete migration assessments leading to delayed migrations, data loss or GDPR breaches 

Is this level of support still important post-migration? What needs to be considered for ongoing solution maintenance or advancing to new technologies?

A good MSP should be able to support their customers through all stages of their cloud adoption. It’s important to find a team that feels like an extension of your own, and to continue working closely together in order to ensure that the solution remains optimal far beyond the initial migration.  

From the start, the solutions architects should be scoping and designing the ideal cloud solution with a mind for future technologies that the customer may want to adopt. It’s then a massive help if the very same team remain responsible for ongoing support, looking after the day-to-day maintenance, sharing and building knowledge of the solution and its performance.  

Regular reviews with the account management and support teams will keep your business on top of the platform and ensure proposals are made for improvements and technological changes as needed  

Can customers choose which IT functions they wish to manage in-house? 

This is very much down to the individual cloud provider. At UKFast, management is a partnership with our customers where we work to define the boundaries and responsibilities of each party at the start of the relationship to ensure a smooth transition and cooperation between both support teams.  

How is cloud adoption and migration changing with the support of managed cloud providers? 

For me, the future of cloud adoption is around hybrid cloud. Mixing the use of on-prem/private cloud and public cloud services efficiently means that almost any business can benefit from cloud technologies – no matter their security considerations or whether they feel restricted by legacy applications.  

For managed cloud providers this means being that ‘one stop shop’ for customers. With expertise across our own product set as well as public cloud providers AWS and Azure, we can provide advice, support and reassurance on any platform and ensure that our customers are getting the best value for money and using the right technology mix for their businesses.  

Find out how managed cloud from UKFast can support you through cloud migration and beyond.

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