Cloud migration failure: every cloud has a different lining

This year organizations will spend over $3.5bn on cloud migration but around 50% of cloud migration projects will stall or fail[1]. Something is obviously broken. This is the first in a series of blogs that explore the reasons why cloud migrations fail and provides some strategies for mitigating the risks.

The cloud is one of the greatest growth markets that the tech world has ever seen. Its rapid evolution means that organizations can accelerate innovation, enhance cybersecurity, scale dynamically and redeploy big chunks of IT budget from low-value work to higher value customer facing initiatives.

Yet, despite heavy investment many organizations aren’t seeing the returns they were expecting. What’s more, of the 80% of contact centers who have migrated or are planning to migrate, half will fail[2]. 

That’s a staggering stat.

The question is, why?

Well, there are a number of reasons: no defined business case, the wrong team in place to see the initiative through and underlying system performance issues to name just a few.

Axim has spent much time examining the reasons why cloud migrations fail and one of the big culprits is not having a defined cloud strategy before the migration starts.

There are many options available to a contact center when determining the strategy and providers don’t make it easy to understand what makes them different and whether their solution answers the contact center’s needs.

Without a clear understanding of the options available contact centers can find themselves under or oversubscribed to a service that isn’t right for them.

Deconstructing cloud

The first step is to understand the difference between each cloud service and the deployment modes available. Below is a short guide to set you off:

Cloud services

Information as a service: this provides the basic infrastructure that you would find on premise. Any operating systems or applications must be created and managed by the organization.

Platform as a service: this provides the basic infrastructure offered by IaaS but with more of the application stack.

Software as a service: cloud providers run the entire application stack on their own infrastructure with users logging in to access the application.

Deployment modes

Private cloud: a dedicated instance that only the organization can access. It can be offered as a managed service or the organization can manage it themselves. It can also include an option for on-premise deployment.

Public cloud: sits outside of the organization and can be used by several of the cloud provider’s customers. Data for each organization is kept separate but stored in a shared environment.

Hybrid cloud: cloud services are distributed across public and private clouds. Sensitive data can be kept inside the organization’s network using a private cloud and less sensitive data can sit outside the network on a public cloud.

So, public, private or hybrid?

Choosing between public, private and hybrid cloud is very much dependent on the contact center’s needs and preferences. To help shed some light we’ve delved a little deeper into the pros and cons of each:

Public cloud: pros

Public cloud is easy to purchase and deploy and it can be very beneficial to fast growing contact centers. The elasticity of public cloud means that unpredictable workloads can be catered for and pay-as-you-go-models can make it a more palatable financial option.

Public cloud: cons

On the flipside it’s possible to rack up big bills with public cloud if usage isn’t monitored properly or resources used effectively. For some the loss of control can be a difficult adjustment and the inability to customize solutions can make it quite rigid.

Private cloud: pros

For organizations where storage and workloads are more predictable private cloud could be a more suitable option. The ability to build additional security, governance and recovery options beyond baseline capabilities and customize the environment can also be an attractive feature.

Private cloud: cons

However, private cloud has some drawbacks, namely, cost. If deployed on-premise the complexity of the cloud stack needs to be managed by the organization which can be time consuming and expensive. There is also the fact that private cloud (externally hosted or on-premise) doesn’t run on a pay-as-go model: you pay for it no matter what you use.

Hybrid cloud: pros

The biggest benefit of a hybrid cloud deployment can be summed up in one word: flexibility. Why? You pay for only what you use within the public cloud environment and being vendor agnostic means having the freedom to pick and choose the best solutions for the organization’s needs. What’s more, continuity and disaster recovery is generally better using a hybrid cloud as the organization isn’t reliant on one vendor’s IT infrastructure.

Hybrid cloud: cons

Much of the downsides of a hybrid cloud deployment comes down to the fact that it is a mix of different deployments and vendors. From lack of visibility and potential integration challenges to increased complexity and differing levels of security the hybrid cloud can be a tricky beast to manage. However, if tamed it can be the most effective and sensible solution for many contact centers and their organizations.

As mentioned above, choosing between the three deployments ultimately comes down to understanding what the real needs of the contact center and organization are. Really consider the reasons why you are migrating, how you’d like your future state contact center to look and how it will affect your people, processes and customers.

To learn more about the reasons why cloud migrations fail and learn about other coping strategies read 4 ways to avoid a cloud migration failure.

[1] MarketWatch, Infopulse

[2] IDC & Genesys, Ibid 1

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Axim specializes in Enterprise Communications Transformation, from cloud to legacy technology to customer experience.

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