Don’t Let These 10 Factors Derail Your Cloud Migration Efforts

As businesses continue to embrace digital & cloud transformation, cloud migration has become a priority for many organisations. Cloud migration involves moving an organisation’s data, applications and other IT resources to the cloud to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, including cost savings, scalability, and agility. However, cloud migration is not without its challenges, and organizations need to be aware of the factors that can de-rail cloud migration projects. 

At Cloud Lift Services, we work with hundreds of organisations & their cloud migration projects. Lift project managers have identified the top 10 factors (ordered by frequency of their occurrence) that can derail projects: 

  1. Not enough Cloud platform expertise – One of the most significant challenges that organisations face during cloud migration is a lack of in-house cloud platform expertise. Many organisations do not have the required expertise to make critical decisions about cloud architecture, deployment models, security, and compliance. This can result in poor decision-making and can cause delays in the cloud migration project. 
  2. Lack of coordination with upstream & downstream system owners – Cloud migration requires coordination with downstream and upstream application and technology owners. This includes partners and vendors who need to be involved to rewire existing systems for cloud presence. Lack of coordination can lead to mis-aligned prioritisation, misunderstandings, and delays in cloud migration. 
  3. Lack of coordination with business owners – Cloud migration requires downtime for the move. And business owners don’t like downtime! Especially if they are unaware of what’s in it for them. Business owners need to be informed about the downtime required, and it should be planned to minimize disruption to the business. Lack of coordination with business owners can result in last minute changes, insufficient testing, etc., that can all impact business operations.
  4. Insufficient understanding of security implications – Moving to the cloud can introduce new security risks if not managed appropriately. Organisations need to establish clear ownership upfront, have a clear understanding of the security implications of moving to the cloud and implement appropriate security measures (including identity and access management (IAM), encryption, and network security) to mitigate these risks. Lack of understanding of security implications can result in data breaches and other security incidents.
  5. Late involvement of stakeholders – Cloud migration requires early involvement of all stakeholders in the planning phase. This includes business owners, IT teams, security teams, and other stakeholders. Early involvement can help avoid expectation mismatches, ensure required commitment & prioritisation across the organisation, identify potential issues early on and proactively manage risks / issues.
  6. Not enough bandwidth for the initial move – Cloud migration involves moving data from on-premises to the cloud. Organisations need to plan for sufficient network bandwidth needed for the initial move of data to the cloud. Not planning for enough network bandwidth can result in slow data transfer, which can impact the migration project’s plan, approach & timeline.
  7. Lack of planning for application dependencies – Many applications have dependencies on other applications or services. Organisations need to identify and plan for these dependencies to ensure that applications continue to function correctly after migration to the cloud.
  8. Lack of testing and validation – Cloud migration requires testing and validation to ensure that applications and services are functioning correctly after migration. This includes thorough testing for functionality, integrations & performance. Lack of testing and validation can result in application downtime and other issues.
  9. Lack of thorough understanding of the existing IT infrastructure – Cloud migration requires a clear understanding of the organisation’s existing IT infrastructure. Organisations have systems that have been in existence for years, many of which have gone through several updates with little documentation (in many cases). Owners need to assess their existing IT infrastructure to identify potential dependencies & issues that may impact the migration project.
  10. Lack of ongoing support and management – Cloud migration is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Organisations need to have ongoing support structures, processes & people for their cloud environment in place before migrations to ensure any support needs are addressed promptly.

In conclusion, cloud migration can provide significant benefits for organisations. However, it is essential to be aware of the factors that can de-rail projects. By addressing the above commonly occurring risks, you can ensure a smoother Lift to the cloud. 

The following Lift project managers, who have managed 350+ cloud migration projects amongst them, have provided their inputs into this article: Aditya KhareDivya MurdeshwarHarish Venkiteswaran, Parag Agrawal, Praveen Ravikumar, Vinayak NarayanaswamyGaurav K Buddhadev, PMP, Prince 2 and Oracle Cloud Certified and Ashish Kashalkar.

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

Blockchain – 10Qs

Image result for block chain

  1. Definitions of blockchain
    • Blockchain technology was developed as the underlying technology behind the cryptocurrency called bitcoin. The aftermath of the 2008 subprimecrisis reduced trust in the existing financial system. This is when a person or a group of people called Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a white paper containing the ‘bitcoin protocol’ which used a distributed ledger and consensus building to compute algorithms. The bitcoin protocol was written to dis-intermediate traditional financial intermediaries as a means overseeing direct P2P transactions.
    • Types of Distributed Ledgers
      1. Permissionless, public, shared systems, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two best-known examples
      2. Permissioned, public, shared systems, Examples of this are government applications where only certain people should be able to write to the network but all transactions can be publicly verified.
      3. Permissioned, private, shared systems, They may have one or many owners – often consortia are formed to manage the ownership.
  2. Which scenarios benefit the most with blockchain?
    1. Trying to remove intermediaries or brokers – YES
    2. Digital (vs physical) assets involved – YES
    3. Permanent authoritative record of the digital asset can be created – YES
    4. Rapid high performance transactions requirement – NO
    5. Large amounts of non-transaction data to be stored – NO
    6. Shared write access required – YES
    7. Trust exists between parties – NO
  3. Where exactly in the hype cycle is blockchain now?
    • Interest in blockchain technology is waning, research firm Gartner said in its latest “Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies” report. Gartner included blockchain, as one of five trends that can blur the lines between humans and machines. Blockchain technology is at the edge of the “trough of disillusionment” phase in the cycle, though it predicts that the technology may reach the “plateau of productivity” within the next decade.
    • In PwC’s 2018 survey of 600 executives from 15 territories, 84% say their organisations have at least some involvement with blockchain technology.
    • Gartner forecasts that blockchain will generate an annual business value of more than US $3 trillion by 2030. It’s possible to imagine that 10% to 20% of global economic infrastructure will be running on blockchain-based systems by that same year.
    • Innovation Curve
      • Innovators (2.5%)
      • Early Adopters (13.5%)
      • Early Majority (34%) — Blockchain in the 2nd half of 2018
      • Late Majority (34%)
      • Laggards (16%)
  4. Who is making money off blockchain?
    • In the first quarter of 2018, 412 blockchain projects raised more than $3.3 billion through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
    • You can make money via one of the following ways:
      • Offering an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) .. eg. Coinbase, Circle, 21 Inc., Ripple, R3, etc.
      • SaaS – charge for the infrastructure & APIs. eg. Blockcypher
      • Services / Consulting – IBM, etc.
      • Cryptocurrency Speculation
    • 4 Ways Everyday Internet Users Can Earn from Blockchain
  5. Which are the companies / individuals you should follow to be on top of blockchain?
  6. Which industry / country is making the most of blockchain?
    • In distributed ledger technology, we may be witnessing one of those potential explosions of creative potential that catalyse exceptional levels of innovation. The technology could prove to have the capacity to deliver a new kind of trust to a wide range of services. As we have seen open data revolutionise the citizen’s relationship with the state, so may the visibility in these technologies reform our financial markets, supply chains, consumer and business-to-business services, and publicly-held registers.
    • Good use cases must solve real problems for organizations. Great use cases solve real problems at a cost that is significantly lower than the benefits the adoption brings.
    • The largest beneficiaries of blockchain technology would be small and medium enterprises and emerging markets, particularly in Asia, including ASEAN, China and Hong Kong SAR, India and Korea. These countries account for almost 7% (or $105 billion) of the trade finance gap, the report stated.
    • Financial Services is by far the biggest user / benefactor of the technology
    • US, China, Australia, India…
    • Governments are starting to apply distributed ledger technologies to conduct their business. The Estonian government has been experimenting with distributed ledger technology for a number of years using a form of distributed ledger technology known as Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), developed by an Estonian company, Guardtime. Estonia is one of the ‘Digital 5’ or D5 group of nations, of which the other members are the UK, Israel, New Zealand and South Korea.
    • The researchers are of the opinion that around 30%, or $1.1 trillion in new trade volume, will come from DLTs removing existing market barriers.
    • Roughly 40%, or $0.9 trillion of traditional trade, will move to the blockchain for better services and reduced fees, the report said.
  7. How big is the blockchain opportunity?
    • Proponents project that blockchain could account for as much as 10% of global GDP by 2025
    • Blockchain scaling the value of blockchain is projected to exceed $176 billion by 2025, and $3.1 trillion by 2030
    • Blockchain to add $1T to world trade by 2028: WEF & Bain & Co report
    • $2.1 billion: Global spending on blockchain solutions in 2018, according to IDC.
    • 42.8 percent: The expansion of the blockchain space every year to 2022, according to a Netscribes prediction.
    • 3x: The number of blockchain-related LinkedIn job postings more than tripled over the last year.
  8. What are the blockers for blockchain at this point of time? Due to what reason it may fail?
    • The next few years of blockchain will focus on fixing the most severe technical limitations of blockchain networks’ performance and scalability, as these are limitations that currently keep them from challenging centralized incumbents. In particular, these limitations relate to blockchain’s distributed verification protocols.
    • regulatory uncertainty (48%), lack of trust among users (45%) and the ability to bring the network together (44%)
    • It has been estimated that the energy requirements to run Bitcoin are in excess of 1GW and may be comparable to the electricity usage of Ireland.
    • Regulatory uncertainity
    • Lack of trust among users
    • Ability of bring network together
    • Separate blockchains not working together
    • Inability to scale
    • IP concerns
    • Audit / compliance concerns
    • Dearth of technical talent
  9. What are some interesting implementations of Blockchain technology?
    • MedRec– An MIT project involving blockchain electronic medical records designed to manage authentication, confidentiality and data sharing.
    • Bank Hapoalim– A collaboration between the Israeli bank and Microsoft to create a blockchain system for managing bank guarantees.
    • Jiocoin– India’s biggest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, has said that it is developing a blockchain-based supply chain logistics platform along with its own cryptocurrency, Jiocoin.
    •– Distributed and encrypted cloud storage, which allows users to share unused hard drive space.
    • Dubai– Dubai has set sights on becoming the world’s first blockchain-powered state. In 2016 representatives of 30 government departments formed a committee dedicated to investigating opportunities across health records, shipping, business registration and preventing the spread of conflict diamonds.
    • OpenBazaar– OpenBazaar is an attempt to build a decentralized market where goods and services can be traded with no middle-man.
    • Loyyal– This is a blockchain-based universal loyalty framework, which aims to allow consumers to combine and trade loyalty rewards in new ways, and retailers to offer more sophisticated loyalty packages.
    • Kodak– Kodak recently sent its stock soaring after announcing that it is developing a blockchain system for tracking intellectual property rights and payments to photographers.
    • Ujomusic– Founded by singer-songwriter Imogen Heap to record and track royalties for musicians, as well as allowing them to create a record of ownership of their work.
  10. What are some quotes about blockchain?

    • Gini Rometty: “What the internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions.”
    • Rick Falkvnge: “Bitcoin will do to banks what email did to the postal industry.”
    • Warren Buffet: “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically. In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending.”
    • Nassim Taleb: ”[Bitcoin] is a remarkable cryptographic achievement… The ability to create something which is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value…Lot’s of people will build businesses on top of that.”
    • James Altucher: “At least one country’s currency is likely to fail soon — likely Argentina or Venezuela. This will lead to mass adoption of bitcoin among that populace. That will in turn lead to bitcoin rising by more than $50,000 when it happens.”
    • William Mougayar: “The more foundational a technology is, the more impact it can have. Blockchain technology is not a process improvement technology. At its fullest deployment potential, it is rather a disruptive technology; therefore it must be given that potential when being implemented.”
    • PWC Report: “Distributed ledger technologies offer institutions a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the industry to their benefit, or not.”
    • Marc Andreessen:“We’ll all look back in 20 years and conclude that Bitcoin was as influential a platform for innovation as the Internet itself was.”
    • Olawale Daniel: “Blockchain technology is coming to replace the old, rotten system of governance around the world. Embrace it!”

Blockchain & more ..

Thanks to a series of events over the last few days, I’ve had a chance to read up on blockchain technology. Sharing some interesting & useful content on the topic.

[Technology] What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners
A comprehensive introduction to the technology, the players & services in this area.

[Platform] Introducing R3 Corda™: A Distributed Ledger Designed for Financial Services
One of the prominent names in the area, attracting investors, talent & attention. Continue reading “Blockchain & more ..”

You Didn’t Work. You Just Talked.

I prefer working at the workplace rather than at home. A few days ago though, I had to do a work from home (WFH) since my 3rd grade son woke up with a cold & fever. The day was packed with back-to-back calls – conferences & one-on-ones. The day seemed even more hectic than it was, thanks to some infrastructural frustrations as well (power cuts & clogged bandwidth). Lunch time came & breakfast leftovers was re-hashed as lunch. Not paying much attention to my son’s disapproving looks, I rushed into yet another call. Little time was spent with the sick son who shuffled across reading, TV, games & attempts to get me to spend time with him.

It was 5:30 in the evening when I finally caught up with my lunch. Guilt ridden, I chatted up with the son & mentioned about the hectic work day I was going through. He was taken aback. Smiling incredulously & shaking his head, he says “You didn’t work. You were just talking to people all day long.”
Note To Self: It’s just enough that I talk to the kids about their days at school. Spend more time over the dining table talking about my workday as well.