The lessons of Southwest Airlines’ flight scheduling meltdown from a year ago have gone unheeded at many companies. The perils of unchecked technical debt are more prevalent than ever.
For most legacy organizations, years of failing to address backend infrastructure dependencies still are at risk of snowballing into a massive, business-altering failure. The fiscal and reputational damage Southwest experienced due to its systems failure offers other tech-dependent enterprises a parable on a worst-case scenario when technical debt comes due. That hefty toll is resonating through multiple industries.
Managed services providers should prioritize infrastructure independence, along with the resources and expertise it will require. Don’t let “shiny object syndrome” and fear of falling behind the AI curve distract from what’s most important: solid infrastructure built for the future.
Cloud Migration Is a Financial and Technical Project
Transitioning from legacy infrastructure to the cloud is a complex — and expensive — undertaking that requires extensive planning on both the financial and technical fronts.
Fortunately, securing buy-in from the finance side is becoming easier as cloud providers roll out powerful capabilities — like advanced security features and scalable infrastructure models alongside attractive flexible pricing plans. These present opportunities to save money and operate more efficiently.
Tech teams may hesitate to cede control over layer 1 and IS level infrastructure, which they’ve likely spent years fine-tuning and customizing to their business’ exact specifications. However, there are advantages to letting go of hardware dependence.
Notably, more engineers can transition their talent from cost centers to revenue centers. That allows them to devote more time to innovation and product development. Plus, IT teams can rest assured that the cloud won’t force them into a one-size-fits-all solution. Cloud providers offer some flexibility for customers seeking to customize their cloud infrastructure.
Ready to Explore the Cloud?
The cloud delivers myriad benefits — agility, flexibility, modernization, cutting-edge security, cost savings, and more. But to fully harness the cloud’s potential, you must commit to developing a comprehensive transition plan and staying current with the latest technological developments.
Consider the following questions to gauge your level of readiness for a cloud transition:
1. What will it take to decompose legacy code?
You’ll need to embark on a complete tech stack rewrite. This requires adopting a microservices approach, a difficult and time-consuming process to modernize legacy code so it can transition to a cloud setting without the burden of technical debt. While it’s possible to migrate before decomposing legacy code, it’s not advised. You would be transitioning technical debt from one location to another, and consequently overspending on cloud resources. The good news is most cloud providers like Amazon, Google, and Oracle are willing to assist your team with these tasks at a significant discount as an incentive to secure your business.
2. Can you keep pace with new technological advances?
A huge advantage of the cloud is guaranteed compliance with global regulations for information systems management, including data privacy laws and cybersecurity regulations. All public cloud providers meet or exceed global compliance standards. However, as cloud providers push updates and develop new technologies, you’ll need to be ready to advance your own configurations in tandem. This can be challenging or unrealistic for some IT services providers, so it’s important to thoroughly explore your prospective cloud partner’s requirements before making the switch.
3. What expertise do you need?
Cloud consultants or vendors can guide you through your first cloud migration. These partners can share insights gleaned from executing dozens of infrastructure transitions, help write necessary code and scripts, and assist you in creating a playbook you can reuse as you migrate additional instances to the cloud. Once in the cloud, infrastructure exists as lines of code, not cables and hardware. This means you’ll need to ensure your internal team responsible for deploying new infrastructure (code) is equipped with the skills and expertise for the cloud environment.
Harness the Cloud’s Business and Technological Benefits
Dismantling legacy infrastructure and adopting the cloud is a complicated technical process that necessitates thorough planning on both the financial and technical fronts. It also requires a comprehensive transition playbook and an internal commitment to optimize your infrastructure alongside the latest innovations.
Though it may seem overwhelming, it’s an achievable project, especially when you enlist the support of a professional cloud consultant to help you unlock the cloud’s many business and technological advantages.