Cloud migration refers to a variety of things. From something as simple as storage to something more complex, like migration as part of an ERP project or accounting move, the migration process is often a challenges. However, with so many guides targeting the CFO or the IT team, these all seem to ignore you, the person in charge of the day to day, month to month, and quarter to quarter financial activities and check signings.
According to Deloitte, the cloud represents a fundamental shift in how technology solutions are developed and delivered.
As the controller, you’re probably the one who’s most impacted when a project runs long or a visionary project gets lost in the weeds. Today, we’ve compiled three lessons for the controller looking to avoid watching their company’s cloud migration turn into a lost cause.
Think Big, Think Broad: Knowing What Your Cloud Migration Should Address
The biggest mistake you can make when planning your cloud migration is thinking too small. Focusing on individual workloads and data sets limits your vision and will limit your success. As a controller, it’s your job to make sure your projects don’t get lost in the minutiae. If you think too small, you’re going to see your projects run longer. Longer projects mean higher costs.
The goal of a cloud migration, whatever it is you’re migrating, should align with the bigger picture of your business, says Prescient Solutions. Making the move to the cloud needs to focus on ‘big ideas’ like The business possibilities and the overall impact of the cloud, the importance of workloads, and the long term impacts this may have on your business.
Lesson: The more you treat a cloud migration project like a bit-by-bit process, the more potential you run into a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment. Learn how to focus on the big picture from Prescient.
Migrating Data is Like Moving into a New House
If you’ve ever bought a house, you know that the purchase decision isn’t always the hardest part. Often, it’s the move. Now, many people will work on getting rid of clutter before trying to make a move. Throw out the stuff you don’t need, box up the stuff you won’t need before you move, and ultimately do what you can to clean up your place.
Unfortunately, most companies don’t take the same approach. Often, this results in a “take it all” approach that rarely works as well as it sounds. Data doesn’t usually move seamlessly from one system to another. One solution may store a flag as a Y or N and the new system might store it as a 1 or 0. It takes time and processing power to approach.
As someone who is in the financial weeds, so to speak, you know what you need when it comes to something like AP and AR aging, historical transactions, and more. Do you really need 20 years of sales data?
Lesson: Like packing for a move, the last thing you want is to pack up two trucks when one may do. Know what you need to take—before you need to move. Approach your migration project similarly, says MIBAR.
Don’t Get Ghosted: Beware the “Grey Market” Cloud
One of the most annoying trends in the dating scene nowadays is called “ghosting,” where the person you’re talking to disappears without a trace. “This couldn’t happen in business software relationships,” you tell yourself. It can.
Imagine paying a hosting provider for years. Then, say you want to make the move to a new hosting provider. This should be easy, right? Not for one manufacturer, who found themselves in a “Gray market cloud,” according to cloud ERP experts Crestwood Associates. When Crestwood attempted to get in contact with the provider on behalf of their client, the hosting provider disappeared.
“Gray market” sellers simply host an exchange server and resell that services to other companies. You never know whether they’re qualified to do that, what types of backup mechanisms they have in place, what security they have for themselves (and therefore your data), etc.
Luckily, this ended happily, with Crestwood able to migrate data to a secure Azure deployment.
Lesson: Due Diligence matters even more in the cloud. Before you hand over any credentials or approve any payments, make sure the company you pay can deliver. Ask for references and beware the lowest cost vendor.
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