Tech Trends: How to Overcome 4 Common Challenges When Transitioning Your IT Structure

Dec 10, 2019

At DLL, we have built strategic partnerships that enable us to understand the potential risks associated with a company’s planned cloud migration. We partner with both hardware vendors and managed/professional service partners, which allows us to understand the breadth of customer needs as they navigate through their cloud transformation.

From this unique perspective, we have identified several common challenges faced by organizations considering a migration:

1. Inadequate planning
Many organizations face a lack of knowledge when it comes to cloud-based solutions, which can often lead to inadequate migration planning. Finding the right provider and developing a budget plan must be considered, but perhaps one of the most important elements in planning a migration is determining which workflow(s) to move.

When an organization is considering a migration from legacy infrastructure to the cloud, it is important to identify business workflows and the applications supporting those workflows in order to decide the appropriate approach. When evaluating the workflows and applications, one of six potential actions can be taken:

  • Retain – keep the application in its current form on its current supporting infrastructure (at least for now).
  • Retire – get rid of the application completely.
  • Rehost – move the application to the cloud and continue to run it in more or less the same form.
  • Replatform – move the application to the cloud and perform a few changes for cloud optimization.
  • Refactor – rewrite the application, taking advantage of cloud-native architectures.
  • Repurchase – replace the application with an alternative, cloud-native application and migrate the data.

2. Thinking only in black and white
When evaluating workflows, a black or white solution does not need to be identified. That is, a “cloud only” solution and identifying a single cloud provider may not be the right option for an organization.

Depending on the workflows, the right solution could be a blend of migrating some applications to a single cloud provider, while leaving some on legacy infrastructure (at least for the near term). Or, a hybrid solution could be the best option, where both public and private cloud options are used.

Adopting a “cloud priority” mindset – where any and all fitting applications are moved to the primary cloud when possible, but on-premise or hybrid solutions are deployed as needed for others – could end up being the best approach.

3. Limitations from legacy infrastructure
With the universal preference shifting more toward the cloud, it can be challenging for IT leaders to keep traditional systems operational and able to support the business. As legacy systems age, they require additional maintenance, added storage and operate with more disruptions. Though, many organizations find that existing applications are not optimized for the cloud, meaning they must be rewritten, replaced or remain. Because some old infrastructure must stay, it compounds and creates “tech debt.” As these legacy systems age, IT teams are spending more time supporting and maintaining the systems and often have a difficult time finding the time to make the necessary changes and integrate new systems.

Though it can be a tricky task juggling the two, setting realistic timelines can help make the process smoother. Giving the transition a long runway not only eases the burden associated with making necessary changes, but also ensures proper financial support of on-site data center technology throughout the transition and keeps cloud costs in check.

4. Insufficient data governance policies
With increasing regulations on data privacy through GDPR, the California Privacy Act and NYDFS, it has forced organizations to ensure they have proper retention and destruction requirements for their organization, including archived data that was left to ‘die on the vine’ within the existing data center. However, many companies fail to ensure these policies are enabled on-premises through the required technology and processes, which could be especially problematic if the U.S. more widely adopts tighter privacy legislation.

Another key security concern lies in understanding the types of data that is being moved to cloud workflows, as well as a complete understanding of all parties – from employees to vendors – that may inherently have access to that data. A successful organization must have processes in place to secure personally identifiable information and ensure the data is handled according to best security practices, including encryption of data at rest and in transit.

In summary
Ineffective cloud migrations can hamper a company’s IT budget, diverting funds away from supporting new functionality and features that drive customer satisfaction. When approached properly, a cloud migration should support and enable a successful digital transformation. Through our strategic partnerships, DLL is well positioned to address the constraints put on IT teams when planning a migration, assess the risks and provide creative financing solutions that alleviate capital expenditure concerns.

Thinking about planning an IT transformation? Click here to contact us and learn how financing can help aid a smooth data migration.