Difficult cloud migration experiences create demand for MSPs

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A survey of 1000 IT decision makers suggests there is a much greater appreciation of just how challenging it is to manage a successful cloud migration of application workloads.

Published by Next Pathway, a provider of a platform for automating cloud migrations, the survey finds 40 percent of respondents admit their organizations lack the internal skills required to plan or execute workload or data migration, or even select the right cloud platform. Nearly half (48 percent) also lack tools to expedite translation and migration of code from an on-premises IT environment to the cloud, while just under a third (30 percent) lack the extract, transform and load (ETL) tools required.

More than a third said they fear they won’t be able to manage end-user expectations (38 percent), with 29 percent acknowledging testing within the context of cloud migration is not a core skill.

Among organizations that have completed a cloud migration project, 40 percent said they wish they had spent more time planning, while an equal percentage said they wished they had relied more on automation to migrate workloads faster.

A total of 42 percent of respondents said they want their cloud service providers to have robust partner ecosystems that could be used to supplement their internal expertise (42 percent).

Despite these concerns, 84.3 percent of respondents report they have seen increased demand to move workloads to the cloud since the start of the pandemic, with a quarter (25 percent) having started cloud migration projects. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) said cloud migration was a top priority this year, with more than a third (37 percent) planning to migrate 20-49 legacy warehouses within the next 12 months. Almost all respondents (98 percent) said they prefer a hybrid cloud strategy and said there should be more collaborative support between different cloud providers.

However, more than half of respondents (54 percent) conceded they don’t know which workloads should be moved to the cloud versus simply retired.

Cloud migration services are in demand

Nevertheless, the top services being sought from cloud platform providers are multi-cloud strategies and consulting services (47 percent); migration services to move applications to the cloud (47 percent); increased storage capacity (43 percent); and industry specific solution(s) that includes data services (41 percent).

Conversely, the top services being sought from IT services providers are modernization of applications prior to migration to the cloud (55 percent); services to crawl applications prior to migration to identify lineage and interdependencies across applications (50 percent); application migration services (49 percent); and testing of migrated applications (47 percent).

Naturally, the reasons for migrating to the cloud vary widely. More than a third of respondents (36 percent) said the main reason to move to the cloud is to prevent customers from leaving for more personalized solutions offered by competitors that are using the cloud to provide a better digital experience. Only just over a quarter (27 percent) cited performance as the most important criteria when choosing a cloud provider.

Most savvy managed service providers (MSPs) realize that the primary reason many organizations don’t tend to do so well when migrating applications to cloud is they don’t perceive it to be a core expertise they should be investing in. After all, each IT team is only going to migrate a handful of applications per year. MSPs, on the other hand, help customers migrate thousands of workloads to the cloud using a set of well-defined best practices that are deeply ingrained in their culture.

It would, of course, be best for all concerned if most internal IT teams would concede that someone else who does something every day might be better equipped to perform that task than they are. The challenge MSPs really face is finding a way to convince customer of that fact before they make a real mess of it.

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