Congrats! You’ve Just Completed a Large-scale Migration. Be ready to do it again.

Pat yourself on the back. You’ve migrated all your critical data to a robust and secure cloud platform. It may have been a time-consuming and intense battle, but you have finally located, consolidated, and relocated all of your company’s data, enabling a true collaborative environment. Ready to do it again?

Wait. What? You’re probably asking yourself why you’d need to engage in such an activity again so soon. After all, your users and senior leaders are quite happy with the new features and functionality that the cloud provides. It was a long road, but you accomplished your goal and successfully migrated your company’s identity, email, applications, and even unstructured data. However, by consolidating data onto the cloud-based platform of choice, you’ve made it easier to move again and again, as needed – or as requested by the executive office.

Factors that influence a decision to migrate

Imagine a scenario where contract negotiations break down, prices change, and competitors may offer lucrative sign-on deals almost too good to pass up. With enough incentives in place, senior executives may decide that it’s more cost-effective and desirable to change cloud storage resources – calling on IT to make it happen once again.

Alternatively, consider the case of license bundling. Large technology providers could offer up low-cost cloud storage as a perk in closing a deal for a long-term contract on a productivity application bundle. For instance, Microsoft Office can get expensive for an enterprise when it’s used across many users and sites. Wouldn’t it be logical for Microsoft to throw in Azure to sweeten the deal on a long-term contract?

Please don’t shoot the messenger, but just because you’re on the cloud provider platform you evaluated and selected, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re staying there. As with everything in the IT world, things change frequently. Providers come and go, cloud vendors merge and their platforms get assimilated into other products as the industry evolves.

However, aside from the normal business decision that revolves around vendor landscape, price or functionality, there are the discussions that take place behind closed doors that can be the impetus for change. As a case study example, let’s take Wal-Mart’s plan to offer its products for Google’s voice shopping which will compete with Amazon’s voice assistant. Combined with reports that the company is developing its own cloud-based data solution, Wal-Mart no longer sees Amazon as its cloud storage solution, but rather as its competitor. As such, Wal-Mart is making the decision to move its stored content off Amazon Web Services (AWS) for obvious reasons. It’s a decision from the top down to move to a new a new cloud storage provider, requiring IT to make it happen.

The ripple effect from that type of strategic business move doesn’t end there. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart is also asking its vendor partners to steer clear of AWS. This might be a big surprise for an IT department that has done a terrific job of migrating its company’s data, only to find out that the migration needs to happen all over again because of a decision from higher up the chain. A decision on which IT has no influence, or insight into, for that matter.

A similar scenario has taken place with Target, who now competes with Amazon as a result of its acquisition of Whole Foods. This led the company to gradually transition off the AWS platform, not because of functionality or cost factors, but because of a strategic business move. And yet again, it’s up to IT to make it happen.

These real-world examples are representative of the whole and help to illustrate that even when your storage strategies are working well, a decision by a high ranking executive can seemingly come out of nowhere and lead to another migration. So, how do you keep up with the consequences of these business decisions that don’t involve IT?

What can you do?

Just like the old sales motto, “ABC” that stands for “always be closing,” the IT motto should be “always be prepared to migrate.” By following best practices for proper user management, and by assuring that all licensed accounts are being used and monitored, you can be in position, ready to migrate – as requested. It’s far better than waiting on pins and needles for the sign to come from above and crossing your fingers when it does. Instead, it’s critical to build the preparation into your best practices and procedures. This can be accomplished by standardizing on policies, documenting workflows, and generating reports that detail customizations and integrations. Most importantly, consolidate data whenever possible. This way, when the call comes to leap onto a new platform, you’ll be in the best position to make the move quickly and efficiently.

Here’s the best part. There are robust tools available that enable a seamless large-scale content migration. Tools such as analytics that provide details on data from the directory level down to the file level, and simulation capabilities that let you do a mock migration to identify potential issues before they happen. With this type of insight, you’ll “always be prepared to migrate.”

Don’t live in fear of the next migration. See how Cloud FastPath can help you maintain granular visibility of your data in case you might need to engage in the next big migration sooner than you think.

For help in developing a long-term strategy to move your company’s data files to a standardized storage platform in the cloud, sign up for a free trial of Tervela Cloud FastPath and discover the power of cloud migration!