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Blog February 9, 2021

Cloud Migration KPIs: Manage What Matters

In our last post on cloud migration key performance indicators (KPIs), we discussed three types of KPIs: those that measure cloud migration success, those that provide visibility into the health of the migration initiative, and those that alert you to trouble spots. With so many cloud migration elements to monitor and measure, it’s easy to get carried away when setting KPIs.

The objective of cloud migration KPIs is to help your team manage what matters. Set too many KPIs, and your team can quickly lose their focus. KPI targets are also important. Setting your KPI targets too tightly can make them unattainable, or at the very least, expensive to achieve. In this post, we’ll focus on how each stage of your migration project can provide insights that help you set smarter KPIs.

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Phase One: Advisory

The advisory phase typically involves your key stakeholders (e.g., CFO, CEO, CIO, business unit leads, etc.) and your managed service provider or consulting firm if you’re using one. This phase allows the broader team to explore what they want to achieve from the migration and any concerns they have. The objective is to create high-level plans and agreement on the overall cloud strategy and migration initiative.

It can be tempting to skip this stage, especially if the organization has been talking about a cloud migration for some time. That would be a mistake. This phase formalizes those discussions into a preliminary roadmap with targeted objectives, milestones, and timelines. While the specifics may change, especially during the assessment phase, this roadmap provides a valuable and concrete place to start.

From a KPI perspective, the advisory phase is where the cloud migration team captures leadership’s expectations. These expectations inform KPIs such as the migration timeline and budget. It’s better to uncover any unreasonable expectations now, instead of finding out later that the strategic KPIs you set for the migration didn’t match what leadership had in mind.

It’s also vital to include the business leads during this stage as their teams are most directly affected by the cloud migration. Involving them in phase one will help ensure their support in later phases. You should cover workload timelines, responsiveness concerns, and availability expectations with them. These discussions will help you set KPIs such as recovery objectives, which will, in turn, inform budget KPIs as well as many of the technical decisions you make during the migration.

Phase Two: Assessment

In the assessment phase, your migration team, including any external expert resources, should conduct an in-depth assessment of your IT environment and application dependencies. There are tools available that can help you do this thoroughly and effectively. Once the technical assessment is complete, the team should craft a detailed plan, covering migration methodology, cost, and timeline.

From a KPI perspective, this is where you turn the high-level KPIs like migration timeline and budget that you ballparked in phase one into actual targets in a formal plan. Most plans involve move groups, so different workloads will have different timeline KPIs. It’s vital to get sign off on these timeline KPIs from the business owners of these groups to avoid missed expectations due to miscommunication.

Phase Three: Planning

Phases one and two were all about setting the strategy and the objectives (KPIs). Therefore, phase three planning is about execution. During the planning phase, you will map out each element of the migration and assign specific responsibilities. To minimize disruptions to the business and migration delays, everyone should know exactly what they are accountable for and by when.

Phase one and two are where you set most of your KPIs. By the time you reach phase three, your cloud migration KPIs should be pretty well baked. However, at this stage, you may be setting performance KPIs for individuals or groups involved in executing the migration. They will have milestones they need to meet by certain dates. An experienced cloud migration project manager can be a valuable resource for ensuring your cloud migration plans are thorough and achievable.

Phase Four: Migration

The migration phase covers both migration testing and the actual cut-over to a working cloud environment. This stage is more about managing the milestones than setting new KPIs. However, testing the environment before go-live will also allow you to assess whether the performance KPIs you set in phases one and two are achievable. 

Phase Five: Management

From a KPI perspective, the final phase, management of your cloud environment, is all about continuing to meet the expectations set during the cloud migration. In many cases, this is a matter of monitoring KPIs, such as those involving security and performance, using a cloud management platform.

With other KPIs, such as those involving disaster recovery and business continuity, you’ll need to conduct periodic testing to ensure these KPIs can be met. You’ll also want to schedule regular reviews of your cloud management KPIs to ensure they meet the changing needs of the business.

Experience You Can Rely On

Meeting cloud migration KPIs is easier when you have experienced, expert resources you can rely on. Connectria has helped organizations migrate hundreds of workloads to a wide array of cloud environments, including both public and private. We have the expertise as well as the tools to help you monitor your cloud migration and environments to ensure your cloud-based workloads are secure, compliant, and performing as expected.

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