"There’s an incredible opportunity for businesses if they move to the cloud, but with a lack of skilled resources they are not able to realise those benefits as quickly" - Craig McQueen, Director of Microsoft Practice at Softchoice.
Seventy-six percent of businesses are either planning to use, experimenting with, or running applications in Microsoft Azure. It’s clear, then, that many mid-market companies and enterprises are beginning to understand that the hyperscale cloud is the best environment for their IT workloads.
But how do you know that your IT team is the best fit for hyperscale cloud migration?
Migrating to an ‘enterprise-ready’ hyperscale cloud platform like Microsoft Azure is providing a competitive edge for thousands of businesses. However, there is precious little Azure expertise in mid-market and enterprise IT departments. In fact, demand for Microsoft Azure expertise rose by 62 percent in 2017, according to a UK analysis of the IT skills gap.
To get the most from your cloud migration, you need to ensure it’s going to work and causes as little disruption as possible to your business.
We’ve listed five reasons why your current IT team might not be the right choice for your move to Azure.
1. They lack the right knowledge
Without the right expertise, your Azure cloud migration will never take off. But there could be more than one area where your IT team is ill-equipped.
The three biggest knowledge blockers to a successful migration are:
Some of the things that run on conventional infrastructures are not compatible with the Azure environment. Designing solutions on Azure requires a different approach to designs for hardware-based infrastructures.
Without a fundamental knowledge of how to design solutions so that they run effectively on Azure, the chances of success are significantly reduced.
Even if adequate solution designs are readily available, your IT team still needs to know which infrastructure elements and platform services to use. This includes understanding how to provision, configure and integrate them. If your employees don’t have specific Azure expertise, you’ll need to get some – if you can find any.
Conventional infrastructure engineers are not best equipped to provision and build solutions on Azure. Why?
Put simply, the hyperscale cloud requires a completely different approach to conventional infrastructures. It’s not the same approach as ‘tin in your datacentre’; the hyperscale cloud is about infrastructure as code.
As a result, hyperscale cloud engineers need to be comfortable infrastructure as code practitioners as well. Otherwise, what they’ll be able to do will be very limited and error-prone.
Ultimately, building solutions successfully in the hyperscale cloud requires a capable infrastructure as code practitioner.
2. They don’t have the right tooling
To properly design, provision, build, measure and report in the cloud you need sophisticated and integrated software tools. Unfortunately, these sorts of tools do not yet exist for the hyperscale cloud.
As a result, many separate tools must be manually integrated and managed by skilled, subject matter experts. These tools usually have disparate functionalities and can burden an inexperienced IT team, as well as adding considerable operational expense.
Without the right tooling, however, it’s incredibly difficult for your business to deploy, manage and support effective solutions on Azure.
3. They lack the right skills
It’s clear, then, that many businesses and their IT teams are simply unprepared for the technical requirements needed before, during and after a cloud migration. With such a stark skills gap, can you really trust your IT department to manage your move to Azure seamlessly? And how will you manage your new-found estate afterwards?
In order to garner the most from Azure’s capabilities, it’s vital you ensure your IT team has the right knowledge to deliver on its potential.
4. Limited budget and timescales
Fewer than 40 percent of companies were able to meet cloud cost targets. To plan and orchestrate a migration to the Azure hyperscale cloud, your business will need to set realistic budgets and timescales.
Without the right project strategy, you could end up running out of money or time before your environment is fully functional. Failure to get the most from your cloud migration leaves you at a disadvantage to competitors who are already making the most of hyperscale capabilities.
5. Resistance to change
The tide of change is advancing rapidly. For some IT departments, this can be uncomfortable and worrying.
As with any technological advancements, those who aren’t qualified to design, build, or manage new hyperscale environments or handle advanced projects will ultimately feel that their positions are threatened. As a result, your IT team may fight against change initiatives or undersell the benefits of a migration to the hyperscale cloud.
They might even go as far as undermining proofs of concept or bad-mouthing proposals, making it difficult to realise the value of game-changing technologies such as IoT, machine learning and AI. In situations like this, it can help to gather the advice of a trusted Azure expert rather than relying on the people who feel their jobs are under threat.
Ace your Azure cloud migration: put your trust in the pros
There’s no doubt that a move to the hyperscale cloud can offer your company a wide range of game-changing benefits. For example, businesses cite the following as the top advantages of adoption:
- 61 percent of businesses see greater scalability
- 51 percent benefit from faster time-to-market
- 40 percent increase their geographic reach
- 34 percent improve IT staff efficiency
- 67 percent of businesses cite ‘faster access to infrastructure’ as a benefit of using cloud computing.
However, without the right expertise to lead your Azure migration, your business is unlikely to get the most out of the hyperscale cloud.
To ensure your journey to the Azure cloud is as seamless as possible, it’s important to invest in skilled, helpful and innovative cloud expertise. In the right hands, your migration to the hyperscale cloud can take you beyond competing and turn your IT into a money-making machine.