3 Costliest Mistakes to Avoid When Moving Project Management Into the Cloud

In the current business climate, there is a significant focus on how businesses can and should use cloud-based services to conduct their project management.

Cloud-based solutions offer many of the same capabilities as on-premises solutions. But they also provide a number of advantages over on-premises solutions such as:

  • faster innovation
  • speed of deployment
  • no hardware or software to set up or maintain and upgrade over time
  • reduced reliance on IT
  • reduced upfront costs and lower ongoing costs of ownership
  • better security.

Research reveals 89 percent of corporate executives lack confidence in their project delivery capability, and using the right technology is seen as a way to address this. However, migration mistakes can cost the enterprise time and money, and they can reduce or eliminate any anticipated increases in agility as well as cost and speed savings. Those stumbles and losses could cause business executives to back off from a more significant cloud migration.

Here are the three costliest mistakes to avoid when moving project management into the cloud.

Lack of app analysis before the migration process

One of the most devastating mistakes you can make is failing to examine your company’s applications before considering a cloud move. Sit down with members of your team to understand what they need from a particular app. Get information on what they liked and disliked about the old system, and then figure out how the new one will compare to what they were previously accustomed to.

IT managers need to start the migration with only a small set of applications. They will need to run a portfolio analysis — either with a consultant or on their own — to determine what apps work best for the initial migration.

Additionally, your business needs to split your applications into two groups — apps that will be migrated and apps that will be replaced. For example, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to migrate an on-premises email application when you could simply start using a cloud-based app.

Your IT managers must also check how compliant-sensitive each application is. No matter how safe the cloud is for compliance-sensitive workloads, migration should not, ideally, start with your most sensitive data or applications.

Apps that have workloads that drop and spike are excellent candidates for the clouds, as they can simply be scaled up and down depending on the amount of use needed.

Finally, don’t forget to test how it will work to get the data back for an actual restoration. Remember the purpose of a backup system isn’t to merely back up, but to restore. In other words, test the whole process the way it will be used.

Neglecting to do a business analysis before cloud migration

Another major mistake businesses make is not running a full-fledged business analysis before launching a cloud migration. By conducting a thorough examination, you know exactly what the benefits will be from this new technology, and your business can set reasonable expectations.

When conducting a business analysis, ask fundamental questions like the ones below.

  • Do you want your apps to run faster or cheaper in the cloud? How can you optimize them to do this?
  • Which migration tools will be most fitting for your move? Remember that selecting the correct migration tools takes time.

IT managers must also profile a potential app’s behavior to ascertain what resources it needs compared to what is already being used. By being 100 percent clear on what each app will require, you can prevent yourself from going to the cloud and requiring too much memory.

Underestimating costs

For all companies, one of the biggest draws to migrating to the cloud is the cost savings that will follow. This is because by having apps running in the cloud, your business doesn’t have to pay IT workers to do things like deal with costly data centers, manage email, buy as much hardware, and keep applications operational.

However, too many companies fail to understand that there are also upfront costs to cloud migration. Don’t overlook the cost of moving storage or the data. In addition to the monetary costs, you want to estimate in your migration project how long it will take actually to transfer your data.

There is also a people cost that needs to be considered. There can be significant costs in forgetting to reallocate people and resources. You need to spin away the ongoing costs and the workforce costs related to any operation that you used to run on-premises, and figure out how you will employ the people who used to run it for you.

When considering moving project management to the cloud, remember that the cloud is not a strategy but a tool towards implementing your business strategy and achieving business objectives like innovation and agility. Focus on the business drivers that are getting you to the cloud. It isn’t just about getting there.

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