Stalled Cloud Migrations Are a People Problem, Not a Tech Issue

Your cloud migration should include a cultural shift within your business along the way.


As you consider how best to empower your business to achieve its outcomes for customers, cloud has emerged as a clear player for many organizations. Yet, cloud isn’t just a technology solution to a business challenge. Indeed, many companies who have embraced the cloud have realized greater cost and performance efficiencies, greater speed to market and scalability, and greater flexibility to meet new, emerging challenges, but if cloud is not embraced correctly—by making a cultural shift within the business along the way—too many are sadly doomed to only experience painful consequences.

Any IT project should be approached with an eye on three key areas, in the following order:

    1. People
    2. Process
    3. Technology

And the same applies to cloud migrations, which often involve moving a company’s most critical workloads and datasets. The complexities of such a migration shouldn’t be taken lightly, nor performed without substantial planning ahead of time. To address cloud migration from the perspective of a people problem, it’s essential to approach organizational changes in answering the why, what, and how of cloud.

The why of cloud targets the question of strategy, both short and long-term. Why does the cloud make a good fit to accomplish your company goals? The what targets the question of what needs to change in order to make a successful move to cloud. And the how targets the question of how best to make those changes.

Indeed, the answers to these questions may point to a cultural shift that’s needed within your organization. Your IT team will, after all, need to realign on process and technology in the cloud, which can be vastly different from what they may be comfortable with in an on-premises environment, so it should be no surprise that some may drag their feet in this realignment.

There will always be three types of employees within an organization: 1) those who are quick to adopt and evolve, 2) those who will evolve but may need a bit of time, 3) and those who will refuse to evolve at first and need to be tugged along or let go. Decipher which IT members fall into these categories and organize your cloud migration accordingly. How should your IT processes evolve to encourage success in the cloud? Once you have a good process laid out that will both accommodate all employees and encourage optimized operations in the cloud, then you can begin the discussions for what specific technology or tools are needed to help get you there.

To help ease the people aspects of a cloud migration, especially where you identify any skills gaps in the process and planning, it may be good to approach a third-party vendor to supplement any needed areas and to gain advice along the way. Here, it’s important to have a vendor with validated expertise in both your current infrastructure and the specific cloud environment you intend to land in.

Above all else, when strategizing your journey to the cloud, it’s essential to plan extensively, to gain buy-in from other business units and leadership, and to get advice from peers and experts along the way, to be sure that your long-term vision remains within reach continuously.


Jacob Picart is a Cloud Solutions Architect for InterVision, a strategic service provider (SSP) focused on helping organizations transform their technology strategy, improve risk management, and gain a competitive advantage.