Services

Avoiding four common pitfalls when moving to the cloud

As organizations increasingly move mission-critical workloads to the cloud, it’s important to recognize some of the common pitfalls and how best to mitigate their impact.

1. Selecting the correct level of service

It is crucial that organizations select the right cloud partners to operate their systems. An organization with a long history of operating software and applications may prefer to keep that operational support in-house, whereas another organization with less expertise may be happy to offload this responsibility.

By leveraging a Managed Services team, organizations can retain as much or as little direct responsibility for operations as they wish. Without managed services, they will be responsible for the application software being deployed, with the cloud provider taking ownership only of infrastructure services. Getting this balance right for an organization is about much more than comparing cost.

2. Planning and preparation

Once the right partners have been identified, it is essential to have clear roles and responsibilities and excellent communication to avoid delays and missteps during the cloud transition.

At the outset a RACI (Responsible/Accountable/Consulted/Informed) chart must exist with clear alignment to contractual obligations. Regular communication within the team is critical: status reporting, daily stand-up calls to get early visibility of problems and higher-level steering committee meetings all contribute to the success of any IT program. This is even more important in cloud transitions, and with teams spread widely in terms of time zone and geography.

3. Logistics

In many situations, moving applications to the cloud can involve copying many TBs of data to the cloud environment. In some cases, it may be more efficient to use a physical copying approach, potentially doing a final true-up over the wire. If using an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) approach, extracting and loading locally rather than across the connection to the cloud, staged data must be copied from an extract server on premise to a load server in the cloud for optimal overall performance.

OpenText’s Carbonite Migrate tool may be a good approach if the organization is considering an as-s migration of virtualized servers to the cloud as a first step on the journey.

4. Testing, testing, testing

While there are ways to make the transition as smooth as possible, before users are put fully to work on any system it must be fit for purpose – it should make their lives easier, rather than become a burden on the day-to-day routine.

To that end, it is essential to go far beyond system testing through a total functional test and on to performance and load testing of the applications. Involving users in the testing will ensure that the use cases and methods being tested align with the way that end users think and work. Performance can be an issue if there are integrations to other systems that either remained on premise or moved to a different cloud environment and need to be verified before users are moved to the new environment.

There can also be an effect for users working remotely, depending on whether the system is accessible directly on the internet or requires the user to dial in. Users directly accessing applications may see improved performance vs. working in the office but allowing direct access must be weighed against any security or compliance concerns.

Choosing the right cloud services

If you’re looking to move to the cloud, OpenText™ Professional Services have experienced experts who can help to mitigate your concerns and guide you on this important journey, helping you to choose the right cloud services for you:

For more information, please contact us.

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Chris Dyde

Chris Dyde is the worldwide leader of the Architecture Practice for OpenText Professional Services. He has 25 years of experience in enterprise content management, including 20 years with Documentum, EMC Enterprise Content Division and OpenText.

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