Q&A: George Dinkov of Appfire Explains How to Avoid Mistakes when Migrating to the CloudJuly 7, 2021
According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market grew 17% in 2020 to total $266.4 billion, and cloud data centers are expected to process 94% of workloads in 2021.
Despite the increase in cloud spending and the incredible benefits that cloud brings to an organization, like greater agility, scalability, and reduced cost of ownership, not everyone is convinced that it’s the right environment for them. Whether it’s for security purposes, unique business requirements, or fearing that their teams don’t have the expertise, there are a handful of reasons that keep companies from making the move.
But as companies pursue their paths to a digital transformation, cloud increasingly becomes the standard for business operations. It’s vital for organizations to build the agility and resilience they need to not only survive, but to excel, in our current environment. Not to mention, we’re still living through a historical pandemic that has pushed companies on the fast track to mobilize their remote workforces. These trends are all considerations that leadership and IT teams should take into account as they prepare for the future and start thinking about the next steps for modernizing their infrastructure.
In this Q&A, George Dinkov, Director of Product Engineering at Botron, an Appfire Company, discusses how to avoid cloud migration mistakes — specifically with workflow, automation and collaboration apps.
CloudCow: Despite the increase in cloud spending and the incredible benefits that cloud brings to an organization, why are some organizations still not convinced that it’s the right environment for them?
George Dinkov: There are a few things that keep companies from making the move to the cloud. Some of the reasons are centered around security concerns, regulatory requirements, unique business requirements, or fear that their teams don’t have the expertise. Additionally, with cloud migrations having a 40 percent failure rate, some organizations are putting it off to avoid such failure.
Migrations are extremely complex and filled with nuances and unexpected issues, like application settings that you forgot about or didn’t even know existed. Going into а migration with the mindset that things don’t always go as expected, coupled with a solid plan, will allow you to quickly get past those unexpected issues when they happen.
But as companies pursue their paths to a digital transformation, cloud increasingly becomes the standard for business operations. It’s vital for organizations to build the agility and resilience they need not only to survive, but to excel, in a competitive business environment.
CloudCow: What are the considerations that IT teams should take into account as they start thinking about the next steps for modernizing their infrastructure?
George Dinkov: When your organization runs on business critical applications, getting cloud migration right is imperative. A poorly managed or ill executed cloud migration strategy can impact an organization’s performance, and not having an intentional strategy is one of the common cloud migration mistakes organizations make. Being prepared can help teams avoid common errors.
Moving your current system is no small task, so you’ll want to make sure you clean up your instance, remove or archive old projects and issues, and only migrate what you really need. Planning is one of the most important phases of migration and one that will determine whether your migration is successful or not. It’s important to ensure users are up-to-speed on what the migration process involves and how it will affect their workloads and productivity.
It’s always better to over-communicate and involve your users early in the process to avoid potential surprises. Lastly, taking into account post-migration follow-up is a key element of a successful migration plan. Too often, organizations don’t lock down their source application in the post-migration phase, and this leads to not having a single source of truth. It’s dangerous if users can still connect to the old environment and modify data after the migration.
CloudCow: Are there common mistakes organizations make when migrating to the cloud?
George Dinkov: Organizations often get overly excited about the cloud and rush into the process without doing their due diligence, such as analyzing needs, creating a solid plan, and making important decisions around third-party apps. Some applications have similar functionality and others have inherent differences based on the instance type. Overlooking critical configuration differences can result in a failed user experience.
Underestimating the time, complexity, and resources required, specifically in the planning and testing phases, are common missteps. Allowing extra time for trial runs before going to production is a key step. Additionally, internal messaging is critical to a successful rollout, making sure key stakeholders are involved in defining requirements and testing, as well as ensuring that all users are informed about the progress of the migration before, during, and after.
CloudCow: What are some of the misconceptions that IT teams struggle with internally?
George Dinkov: A migration is a large event that impacts several stakeholders across the company. A common misconception is that this process is the sole responsibility of the IT team. However, it should be responsibly managed and communicated like any other large strategic digital transformation project — with participation and communication across all teams. Identifying the impacted groups, how they are affected, what each group needs to know, and any specific actions they need to take before or during the process will help create a successful migration proposal and communications plan.
CloudCow: As an engineer developing apps for Atlassian’s Jira product, what are the advantages of cloud migration for Jira users?
George Dinkov: Jira is part of a family of products designed to help teams of all types manage work. By moving Jira instances to the cloud, organizations gain operational efficiencies, reduce overhead, bring in new features, reduce complexity, and improve system infrastructure. In general, the cloud makes the most sense for organizations that want a SaaS experience and don’t require the types of customizability and control that come with server or data center. It’s also a better option for organizations that fluctuate in their app, data, or user needs.
CloudCow: How does Appfire help IT teams with cloud migration?
George Dinkov: We’ve been investing in developing apps for the cloud for many years. We’ve consistently seen really strong performance on cloud versions of our server and data center apps as well as our cloud-first products. And we’ve found that people who try our apps on cloud often convert to paying customers at a very high rate. To support this rapid growth, we’ve trained our developers internally and added cloud experts from across the Atlassian ecosystem, and we’ve seen a lot of success in launching new cloud products over the last couple years.
Additionally, building on years of migrations work, we created trusted solutions for customers migrating their Jira instances. For example, the Configuration Manager for Jira app is a core element for a successful migration and integrates with many other top-selling apps to help easily port over settings and data. It gives IT and platform administrators the ability to automate the promotion of configuration changes between Test, Staging, and Production environments in a transparent and protected transaction, with zero data loss. Thousands of companies worldwide and over half of Fortune 100 use Configuration Manager for Jira to manage their Jira configurations at scale and solve their most complex administration and migration challenges.