Keeping Cloud Migrations Affordable

redmoney
A silent trend in cloud computing for small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) is the rising cost of migrations and data integration.  While many cloud computing costs have dropped, the cost to get data into the cloud continues to rise at a steady trend.

The reason for the increase is complexity. 

SMEs are moving more workloads and more data into cloud solutions. These systems and data must co-exist and work together as well as they do on-premise. Where 12 to 18 months ago, SMEs were moving email, calendaring, and contacts into the cloud, today SMEs are also moving complex file systems and, in some cases, key line of business applications. It makes sense that moving a user’s full environment is more costly than moving just email.

Is Value Increasing?

Even though costs may continue to rise, the value of moving should rise even faster.  Moving multiple workloads and data sets to cloud should support key business objectives and should lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over time. The value proposition is unique to each SME and should be considered when looking at broad cloud adoption.

Mitigating the Cost of Migration

Structuring your cloud migration to maximize near-term and long-term value delivers an ROI on the change that should cover your migration costs.  Even so, there are steps and you can take to mitigate migration costs.

  • Bundle migration efforts into a single project, even it requires multiple phases
    • You will benefit from an economy of scale.
  • Work with a service provider than can handle or manage all aspects of your project
    • Ask the service provider about the range of migration tools it will use for the various aspects of the project.
    • A good partner will prevent you from having to learn multiple migration tools, particularly for a “one time use”.
    • You will benefit from a more efficient project with more predictable results.
  • Look for migration costs on a per user or per system basis, not on a per GB basis
    • For most migrations, the cost to move the data is not the major factor.
    • Tool licensing and expertise are the cost-critical factors.
    • A migration structured on the value of expertise and tools will be more cost-effective

With some up-front analysis, a focus on value, and a properly structured engagement, you can get the most value while holding the line on cloud migration costs.


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