Gartner surveys seem to underscore the point that CIOs are putting Cloud migration projects at the top of their priority lists. The Gartner survey estimate is that industries will spend as much as $112 billion in the coming five years on acquiring Cloud services.  If that is so, Cloud migration projects are going to proliferate and project managers handling these projects need to have a clear idea on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of these projects.

First, it should be remembered that the Cloud migration project deals with digital assets. Digital assets are fragile—extremely vulnerable—unlike traditional assets. They are at constant risk. They can be corrupted, lost, hijacked, vanished or destroyed by glitches in transmission networks, problems in the storage media, mistakes in the encryption algorithm or de-duplication algorithm or accidental deletion by users.  They have to be handled, transmitted, transmuted or stored with extreme care. So, a Cloud migration project can leave the CIO extremely nervous and even hypertensive!

Second, the Cloud as a storage medium is still new. There is a lot of hype about the Cloud and the capabilities it endows on the user and the benefits that can be derived from its use. But, it has been demonstrated—by any number of data breaches that have occurred—that the Cloud can be insecure and unauthorized access to data is a possibility. Those who wish to ride the Cloud must consciously evaluate the risk and undertake the task of migration with unwavering attention and care to security issues.

In context, the Cloud migration project should be approached with great care and understanding of the risks involved. This will be the “What” of the migration project. The selection of the service provider must focus attention on all aspects of the service. All the relevant questions must be asked.  Trial runs of the product must be undertaken. Workloads must be analyzed and test runs must be initiated to ascertain whether the sign up to the service will serve the purpose of the organization.  The reputation of the service provider must be painstakingly examined and any doubts and negatives must be clarified. In short, the migration project should be exhaustive enough to make the project easily implementable. There should be no unwarranted compromises affected.  This will be the “how” of the project.