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5 tips on cloud migration from those who know

Sharon Gaudin | Oct. 9, 2015
How to avoid minefields and even improve your network

Migrating to the cloud is a good time to wipe the slate and adopt a cloud-based way of thinking about the company's whole network.

"You really need to change your way of thinking," said Micielli, who saved his county $1 million by moving from tape backup to a cloud-based backup, as well as $300,000 in operating costs year over year. "We're married to our solutions. We've been with them for 30 or 40 years.... See what the cloud has to offer. Try to adopt a solution that is really cloud friendly, rather than making your system look just like it used to look while running a few things on the cloud.

"Let go of the way you've been doing things," he added.

Beware IT pushback and culture change

Micielli thought he'd get the most cloud resistance from corporate management; Surprisingly, it came from his own IT staff.

"[My business leaders] were concerned, but we could prove to them that we could handle this," he said. "The biggest push back was from my own staff. That, I've found, has been the biggest challenge. People are competent in their certain technologies and now they're coming in and trying to figure out these new services.

"Before they felt like experts, 'I'm a storage architect. All I do is storage,' " he added. "In this world, that doesn't work anymore. You have to know about storage and security and networking."

Chapple also said that his biggest surprise migrating to the cloud at Notre Dame was the cultural shift in the IT shop.

"Some staff had been here for 30 or 40 years in some cases," he said. "We really needed to help them. People can't be living in one particular technical silo anymore."

Chapple noted that his operation has done a lot of training and brought about 17 people to the AWS re:Invent conference to help them learn more.

"We just do our best to make sure everybody has the ability to transform themselves," he said. "We heard quite a bit, 'I'm afraid I'm not going to have a job when this is done.' We say, 'You'll have the ability to have a job here, but that job may change.' It's a time of dramatic change, but there are opportunities for everybody."


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