By Stacey Farrar, Product Marketing Manager at BitTitan
Cloud adoption has skyrocketed in recent years—and data shows no signs of slowing down. For example, according to Gartner, Inc., “spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.4% in 2022 to total $494.7 billion, up from $410.9 billion in 2021,” and in 2023, Gartner, Inc. predicts that end-user spending will reach nearly $600 billion.
Despite the many advantages of the cloud (such as hardware cost savings, eliminating software maintenance, and increasing the scalability and performance of applications), migration can be daunting for companies of any size. After all, migrating thousands of enterprise users is a highly visible project that brings significant complexity and time constraints.
There are several aspects MSPs and IT professionals must consider when managing migrations. For example, the number of users. The number of users increases the amount of data that will need to move. And depending on how old the IT environment is, legacy enterprise systems might be outdated and hard to sift through. Another challenge is the complexity of the system. The larger the enterprise, the more services and hardware it will need to support its IT environment. Every system has its own “gotcha” (unforeseen project snag), which larger enterprises encounter almost 100% of the time. These “gotchas” make it challenging to stay on budget and timeline, which are essential for a successful migration.
If a project goes sideways and unforeseen snags occur, how is the migration team or MSP supposed to overcome the unknown variables while scrambling on a tight deadline? How can MSPs mitigate a situation where they face not delivering what they promised after securing a hard-fought project bid?
When rubber meets the road, having a dedicated resource to help troubleshoot and resolve unforeseen problems is crucial, especially when timelines are tight, and reputations are on the line.
The Vital Role of a Customer Success Team
Customer success teams are experts in planning and executing migrations for enterprises and small- to mid-sized businesses. Customer success teams are engaged from the beginning and provide specialized knowledge to ensure a successful migration. They do this in three important ways: (1) assessing the data and determining what needs to migrate to the cloud, (2) planning and strategizing, and (3) providing a snapshot of what the migration will look like once it’s underway. Customer success teams can ensure migrations are well-planned, efficient, and achieve desired outcomes. They can also proactively identify potential roadblocks before they occur. Using cloud migration software can help, but alone, will not safeguard against unforeseen roadblocks. It’s vital to have the support of a customer success team to avoid hidden project costs, stay on budget, and prioritize the migration of essential apps and data.
Without a support team, companies risk the migration’s success. There are several ways a cloud migration can go off the rails. Gartner names six.
- Wrong Team: A company might have knowledgeable IT staff, including security, computer networks, and technical support experts. However, they are often untrained in cloud migrations and unfamiliar with everyday intricacies that can disrupt a migration.
- Rushed App Assessment: A migration is like painting a house—the hard work is prepping the project. Though time-consuming and sometimes tedious, preparation is essential to seamless execution and achieving the desired result. It’s the same with a migration. The migration team must understand the apps the organization uses, the type and size of data they store, and what they need to migrate. If migration teams rush this process, they can encounter significant hurdles down the road.
- Wrong Emphasis: Part of the preparation process is understanding what data needs to migrate to the new cloud-based system and where it will need to live. If a migration team doesn’t clearly understand what information is most important and where it needs to go before the migration begins, they will likely waste time and money.
- Poor Landing Zone: Failing to properly architect and implement the underlying cloud “landing zone” environments into the appropriate migrated workloads can increase security and compliance costs. Consider ahead of time how to map data securely and correctly to users so it’s easy to manage.
- Mistimed Work Effort: If a migration team doesn’t properly plan and scope, it won’t have a realistic timeline and budget for the project. This will often lead the migration to cost more money and take longer than intended. Usually, the additional expertise from a customer success team is the difference between project success and project chaos.
- Hidden Costs: Many organizations feel they’re saving money by migrating independently—but the opposite is typically true. For example, an IT director at an enterprise company once proposed that the organization migrate to a new system. The IT director told upper management that the internal IT team was well-equipped to handle the migration independently. However, the migration was nowhere near complete one year later (and $2 million over budget). Thankfully, the IT team asked for professional help from migration experts and were able to get the project back on track and minimize additional costs.
MSPs and IT professionals who partner with a customer success team can safeguard against challenges or hiccups that threaten to derail the migration. Providing hands-on leadership from the very beginning, a customer success team can help enterprises effectively and efficiently migrate to the cloud and modernize operations. Unknown variables will still happen, but customer success professionals can help mitigate and overcome them.
Stacey Farrar is a Product Marketing Manager at BitTitan, where he oversees go-to-market strategy and product messaging for MigrationWiz. His areas of expertise include cloud automation, SaaS, product marketing and management, digital marketing, customer engagement, and business development.