There have been many proven advantages to joining the cloud but many still have questions and concerns when it comes to making the switch. Is it secure? Will the IT department be out of a job? How can the migration process even get started?
Reluctance to Change
Many believe that a transition to the cloud is simply moving virtual machines from an on-premises platform to a different hosted platform. This process is often identified as the ‘Lift and Shift’ approach, where organizations lift their current virtual machines and shift them to another hosted platform.
This lift and shift approach does not let the network work as smoothly or efficiently as it could if it were properly set up on the cloud. This also means that the IT department was not trained on the correct way to handle a cloud transition, which can drive the reluctance to change.
With all the cloud has to offer, it is hard to remember that there are alternate ways to do tasks. What may have worked with on-premises servers has the possibility to react differently on the cloud. Leveraging platforms as a service (PaaS) is the best way to ensure best usage and the only way to ensure that can happen is by properly training your IT staff.
For a long time, IT departments were perceived as having a “stacking & racking” job: get servers, stack them up, rack hard drives in and then service could be provided. With the introduction of the cloud, many IT processes will be changing and this method of distribution will no longer need to be handled. This is where employee concern comes in.
Microsoft Azure makes the implementation process easier for IT departments. However the training process must be spearheaded by the organization itself. Many Azure courses are available to help with the training for the movement and proper usage.
Companies tend to hold back on new technology when they’re not sure if it will meet all of their needs. A big concern when it comes to the cloud is the question of whether or not it is secure. Regulatory concerns have been placed on the cloud since its debut.
Microsoft has worked hard to make sure that Azure will be a secure cloud network that will meet as many security standards as possible. Many businesses don’t even know where their data will be stored; a data center nearby or one in another country? Organizations are actually being urged to store their files on data centers that are in other countries. Germany, for example, holds much stricter data privacy laws than the United States. Even more so than the rest of the European Union. There are some incentives to utilizing data centers in different location, which is something that is not normally considered.
Transitioning to cloud computing and making sure all applications can smoothly run is not only a concern on execution but also legality. Licenses are a big part of the network and without the proper ones, there is no way to run certain programs. The biggest issue surrounding licensing is the many different vendors and types of licensing models that need to be sorted through.
Azure helps simplify this issue. For the most part, licenses are bundled into the permanent costs. The exceptions to this are if personal software is being implemented; users are still responsible for the licensing on that software. The bundling aspect of Azure helps users by taking away the fear of compliancy when it comes to licenses.
The Pace of Change
The implementation of cloud-centric environments, such as Azure, brings up many changes that may scare the IT department. The pace and level of change that is going to be added is very different from the physical servers and work that is needed to put into those that many employees are currently working with. While the initial switch is challenging to adapt to, Azure also works hard to constantly keep its technology updated.
“You do have to be flexible because…the changes are introduced on a continuous basis. The world is built on concepts of DevOps and continuous deployment nowadays and that’s the world that we live in. If you sit back for too long, it just changes so much that it feels alien if you’re not looking at it periodically.” – Shawn Stugart, New Horizons Technical Instructor
The pace of change is very quick. Ensuring IT departments have proper training will help with success. IT departments have always been seen as an environment that has so much going on, they cannot participate in driving the business forward. It is a group that works in the background to help those in the foreground. This can be a positive for the future of IT departments. For a long time, focus was on the supporting and maintaining the physical equipment that was needed. Now these tasks are taken care of and those employees can help with other things.
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