The 2018 State of Resilience study provides valuable insight into the challenges IT professionals face when undertaking a migration. The study found that a worrying number of migrations fail and many are delayed or postponed because of fears of downtime.
Part of the reason, according to the study, is that many organizations have not yet adopted the latest migration techniques and best practices. Because migration is so important, the study recommends IT professionals to adopt tools, testing processes and technologies to mitigate risk and reduce the problem of downtime.
Pressure to Migrate
Many respondents to the study reported that they were struggling with outdated infrastructure in addition to pressures to accelerate migration to the cloud. So, it’s no surprise that the top drivers for migration included upgrading outdated technology, improving performance and consolidating servers. Other objectives included reducing maintenance costs and adopting a cloud platform.
Time and Skills Challenges
Many organizations continue to rely on internal staff to handle migrations – more than 90 percent of respondents according to the study – while only half employ external consultants. However, IT leaders also recognize the pressures that migration puts on staff, particularly if the migration does not go well.
Migration can be extremely time-consuming, adding to the pressure on internal resources. Migration is not a single process; it requires time spent on planning, migration, testing and cutover. Although the complexity of migration projects varies for each organization, respondents were evenly divided on the amount of time spent on projects, which ranged from 1 – 50 hours or more than 100 hours.
Spiraling Migration Costs
While internal costs are a concern, many organizations reported that their migration labor costs had increased because many projects took place outside normal business hours. Seventy-two percent of respondents carried out migration at weekends, 54 percent after hours on working days, and only 20 percent during office hours.
The reason in most cases was to avoid the risk of downtime. Given the pressure on budgets and resources, tools and technologies that reduce migration time can make a big contribution to cost savings and risk mitigation.
Risk of Failures and Delays
Despite advances in migration techniques and technologies, the risk of failure remains high. Forty-two percent of respondents experienced a failure and almost two-thirds reported that they had delayed a migration because of lack of resources or risk of downtime.
Reasons for failure varied, but lack of planning and testing, inadequate skills and tools, or late discovery of problems featured high on the list of problems. The risk of downtime influenced many decisions about project timing. Sixty-four percent of respondents reported downtime of up to 48 hours. Few organizations felt they could report zero downtime.
Room for Improvement
The study highlights the need to improve the migration process and make use of available tools and technologies to reduce the time and cost of migration projects. VTG’s patented ZENfra tool is one example of such a tool. Experience indicates that using ZENfra to manage and monitor migration projects cuts lead times by 30 to 40 percent and reduce costs by 25 percent compared to traditional in-house methods.