Organizational support for cloud migrations is critical. In order to successfully migrate, agencies must not only have a technical infrastructure that can accommodate the new technology. They also require an organizational willingness and supporting skillsets to accommodate different management and cost structures.
Part of this organizational preparedness is cultural. Certain parties will be more reticent than others to migrate their applications to the cloud, due to predefined conceptions of the technology and its purpose. That’s where education and consistent messaging plays a key role. “The most important component is the need for people to understand cloud technology, and to align it with business perspectives or business drivers,” said Govplace Chief Technology Officer Majed Saadi.
It’s important to highlight the benefits of cloud, especially those benefits you identified in your workload migration planning. It’s equally important, however, to align those benefits to missions and team-specific goals. That alignment builds cultural support for cloud migrations, but it also helps teams fit their structures and management processes to the technology more naturally.
“Creating this strategy should really be the first step to any cloud migration,” Saadi said. “And that strategy should state the agency’s goals, what they’re trying to do and what type of impact migration will have on the organization. Then, evangelize this idea across the agency.”
There is also a more tangible need within organizations preparing for cloud: technical skills. It’s common knowledge that government is facing an IT skills gap, and that disparity is even wider regarding newer technologies like cloud. To make sure your workforce is prepared to handle cloud migration and maintenance, take the same approach to your workforce as you would to your applications.
Consider each team separately, starting where you have the skills and will to migrate to the cloud. Build a gap analysis to identify where teams are lacking. You can often map current skills to evolutionary new skills. Where the appropriate tech skills are truly lacking, consider moving staff between teams to gain best practices from more cloud-proficient colleagues.
In the event that there simply isn’t enough skilled staff to orchestrate multiple application migrations, hiring third-party assistance may be necessary to ensure workloads are effectively transitioned. That need has driven Govplace to ensure they constantly have a stable of cloud experts across all areas to provide targeted support and fill these gaps.
“We have made significant efforts to learn collectively from both the commercial and the federal sectors to not only design a plan that will work from the technical side, but help organizations understand the impact on their teams, and even evangelize their vision and get people to adopt the change caused by cloud computing,” Saadi said.
To learn more about how to ready your entire agency for a cloud migration, be sure to read our latest industry perspective, Ensuring Readiness to Move Into the Cloud.