Organisations continue to hit cost pitfalls with cloud migration, says Rackspace

The cloud journey is costing a bit more than organisations realise, according to new research from Rackspace.

The findings appear in a new report, titled ‘Maintaining Momentum: Cloud Migration Learnings’. The study, conducted by Forrester and polling more than 300 organisations in the UK, France, Germany and the US, argued that while half of business and IT decision makers polled saw cost reduction as a key driver for cloud adoption, two in five (40%) said their migration costs were still higher than expected.

Part of the issue is the same old story around ‘hidden costs’ and stipulations barely mentioned in the small print. The majority (60%) of those polled said costs were higher than expected around upgrading, culling, or replacing legacy business apps and systems.

Yet other firms simply made miscalculations; issues with data capture and governance in the planning phase saw many companies come a cropper, as well as ensuring the right vision and strategy for their cloud transformation. Firms also hit snags after projects were completed. Many did not see issues with regard to employee resistance – or at least the ‘hidden’ costs which accompanied them – and change management programs.

It’s important companies get this right – 71% of those polled said they were now more than two years into their cloud journey, with migrating existing workloads into a public or private cloud environment remaining either ‘critical’ or ‘high’ priority in the coming year for more than four in five (81%).

As regular readers of this publication will testify, gaps will usually appear when organisations commence their cloud journeys. A study from Skytap earlier this month cited resistance to change as an issue holding businesses back, citing the vagueness of terms such as ‘modernisation’ and ‘digital transformation’.

Writing for CloudTech this month, Thomas La Rock, head geek at IT management software provider SolarWinds, cited the importance of consistency throughout each step of the process. “The skillset needed across IT is becoming increasingly blended, requiring versatile tech professionals that can adapt and flex in accordance with a changing landscape,” La Rock wrote. “Once you’ve got the right team in place, it’s crucial to give the migration project the attention it deserves and, by planning meticulously in advance, you’re setting yourself up for success.”

“As a business generation, we are getting faster at new technology adoption, but we still seem to stumble when it comes to understanding the requirements (and limitations) of the business consuming it,” said Adam Evans, Rackspace director of professional services in a statement. “Introducing new cloud-based operating practices across an entire organisation is rarely straightforward, as with anything involving people, processes and their relationship with technology.

“Managing the gap between expectation and reality plays a huge role in programme success, so it’s imperative that organisations start with an accurate perspective on their maturity, capability and mindset,” added Evans. “Only then can we start to forecast cost and complexity reliably.”