As I look out over the past five years I see a lot of US Government agencies and companies that have started, and now are struggling with cloud migrations. Many of them started an on-line email or email/collaboration migration and based on that success leapt into moving workloads from the on-promise world to cloud solutions.
The migrations failed.
Why? Well the why is complex. It is not from lack of trying. It is not failure in the traditional sense of the world, full stop, don’t pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. More it is a failure of attrition. Ambition launches projects. Reality modifies scope and wanders into your project on little cat’s feet that bring with them the dreaded SCOPE CREEP. The whittling of resolve into a new image, failure.
That new stick, much smaller than the old stick forces organizations to take a hard look at the what and how of their migration. Why, was it so easy to migrate to email and collaborative services in this cloud but moving applications has bogged down?
The easy answer is the problem of ambition. Biting off more than the organization can chew resulting in the failure of ambition. I’ve seen it so many times. Of course, the cloud service providers hop in and say well look at blank company. They are 100% cloud. Or they moved everything in two weeks. Or they started out in the cloud and never looked back.
Yes, there are great success stories. There are great triumphs of migrations that rising above the chasm of despair, became (wait for it) Leg (continue waiting for it) endary. They, the organizations that successfully rose out of their pupa stage to blossom as butterflies in the cloud are great stories.
So, the organization, sitting the dark rooms where planning happens. Decides they too can reach the lofty stage. They too can be the company that others say I wish I was like them. So, they create migration rates. The create massive plans.
The migration fails.
Not completely no, the days of failed migrations that are thrown away are over. It is not the failure of the migration it is the rate of that migration. Now given that things were different you could effectively create manageable migration to the cloud. You could do so in a straight forward manner.
Failure is the little death that eats at your project. It is not complete dead stop and go no further rather it is the gradual failure to attain the goals of the project that kill you. The stress of not meeting the daily, weekly and monthly goals.
I have seen could transformation frameworks. I have heard the pitches from the three big cloud vendors. I have talked to virtually every single migration company that does cloud workload migrations. They all have the silver bottle. Yet some ten years into this cloud process, we still find more companies not wholly in the cloud, than in the cloud. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book the tipping point he describes that moment when something has reached the maximum amount of performance to finish strong. The moment when the glass, tipped past vertical, starts spilling water.
We have reached that point for business value of cloud. But there are still many companies and government agencies that have not committed a full migration yet. The point of failure remains that ambition. We are going to move 1000 applications to the cloud.
Really. We are. You can write that in stone, just be prepared to break the stone. Oh, yeah and the thousand apps we are moving have to be done by Tuesday.
Glad I am not at the bottom of this hill.