Measuring a Successful Cloud Migration

Here’s how you can demonstrate value to your business leaders

Cloud Migration Sucxcess

Let’s say you convinced the IT decision makers at your business to move key workloads to the public cloud. You even chose a great vendor to facilitate the transition and now your migration is finished.

But before you’ve taken a step back, assessed your progress and demonstrated to leadership that the migration succeeded and the results justify the investment, your migration to the cloud is still incomplete.

At Rackspace, we have years of migration experience and thousands of successful migrations under our belt, and we’ve found that the best way to measure success is by leveraging concrete, established KPIs. The following metrics will help you quantify the value of your cloud migration.

Uptime

In today’s economy, this is a non-negotiable KPI — no business wants to migrate applications to the cloud at the expense of availability. Measure post-migration uptime on an ongoing basis so you can demonstrate that current metrics meet or exceed initial expectations. 

Performance

Application performance is similarly non-negotiable — no set of cloud benefits will justify a loss of application responsiveness. Quantify post-migration performance relative to prior baselines to show meaningful improvement.

Cost Savings

Businesses expect cloud technology to reduce expenses and drive efficiency, and you should make it a priority to quantify your cost savings. Maybe you resized existing infrastructure based on a utilization matrix, or migrated workloads with spiky usage to reduce unnecessary spend. Document every cost-efficiency generated by your migration.

Duration

Did the project meet the deadlines set by the business and IT? If not, why? Did you underestimate the complex interdependencies between, say, data and applications? Fully understanding delays is crucial — you’ll need to articulate strategies for avoiding them in the future.

If your project did deliver on schedule, make sure you record the target and completion dates. And if this was a large-scale migration, identify which teams and processes kept the gears turning. Understanding what worked will help create a best-practice template for future cloud migrations.

Budget

Was the migration over or under budget? Why or why not? It’s important to be able to enumerate the factors that led to success or failure in adhering to your budget. You want to be able to demonstrate that success is repeatable and failure is avoidable.

The other kind of disruption

How did the migration process impact day-to-day operations? To what extent was business disrupted during the migration, and did the disruption fall within acceptable parameters? Were performance or availability affected beyond best estimates? These are especially important considerations for lengthy migration projects.

Ability to innovate

A successful migration should reduce the burden on in-house IT, whether through leveraging cloud automation templates, implementing DevOps practices or outsourcing routine maintenance. And after a major migration, your IT staff should be spending significantly less time on day-to-day operations and more on strategic activities like infrastructure optimization and feature delivery. Survey your IT team to document any increase in innovation ability and report it back to the business.

Quantifying your migration success will do more than justify a recently completed cloud project. It will pave the way for future migration efforts and increased agility and efficiency for your business.

If you’re looking to demonstrate the value of a recent or ongoing migration, our experts can help.

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Deepen Shah is the North America practice lead for cloud services at Rackspace, where he has worked since 2013 when he came aboard as a senior technology strategist. He is currently based in the Greater New York Area.

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