As SVP, Professional Services at BairesDevDamian oversees the entire customer relationship lifecycle, protecting business operations.
Anyone who has tried to migrate their systems to the cloud can tell you that the journey is not without challenges. Security vulnerabilities, governance issues, expertise concerns, and spend management are all common hurdles to cloud adoption. In fact, cloud migration has so many pitfalls that 73% of cloud technology professionals in a recent survey called it one of the biggest challenges in using the cloud.
That perception around cloud migration is as precise as they come. Getting everything working when moving to the cloud is a difficult and complex process. There are plenty of moving parts, many integration aspects to take care of, and many operational redefinitions that must take place for the move to succeed. In light of all that, the importance of high-quality engineering strength cannot be overstated.
A quality technical team can quickly resolve those hurdles and ensure that all work in the cloud migration is done correctly. The general idea of having that team back up a cloud migration process is not just to have the technical expertise to execute it, but also to have the right approach to everything. Which approach? In short, a quality-obsessed one.
The complex process of migrating to the cloud
I don’t think anyone will argue with me about the need for quality when designing digital solutions, whether they are cloud-based or not. But I want to make a stronger case for high quality in cloud migration based on one aspect of the process: the process complexity, which comes from the cloud systems themselves.
You may be surprised to learn that cloud solutions are complex, especially as they are often marketed as easy to integrate and set up. But when you start thinking about what lies beneath cloud systems, you begin to understand why I focus on the complexity of the cloud and the potential problems that can arise from it.
Consider the level of abstraction of these cloud systems. Whenever you hire a cloud provider, you gain access to customer-facing platforms that quickly make you forget how complex the structure that supports them actually is. Those platforms are often spread across multiple servers, with components and applications coming from different locations to make everything work.
In that complexity lies a potential problem. If there is a problem in the cloud system, your abstraction of that complexity prevents you from quickly identifying what is wrong. Tracking down a broken part, a server that may be down, or a poor integration between multiple servers is a tricky business, especially if you don’t have the ability to analyze the structure yourself.
And that’s just taking into account the underlying structure itself. Once you start migrating your systems to the cloud, you start adding a significant number of proprietary components and services that need to work seamlessly with the cloud resources. Any of those new elements can fail for a myriad of reasons, from lack of integration and incorrect settings to issues with the provider itself.
Quality cloud engineering for a seamless migration
Having high-quality cloud engineers by your side during the migration can help you overcome the many potential issues that can arise. Those professionals know how to approach cloud migration processes: with a sharp eye for detail and a lot of attention to testing. Experienced cloud engineers know that thorough testing during the development and implementation of new cloud solutions is the best way to identify weaknesses and pitfalls and prevent them from affecting the systems they work on.
Engineering through an agile approach is the perfect way to limit the number of issues during cloud migration. By using an agile methodology, the engineering team can easily address some of the most common problems of cloud systems, namely integration, scalability and security.
Quality engineering helps with integration as it uses agile to incrementally improve the connection between the business system and the cloud structure. Each new step is thoroughly tested and vetted before moving on to the next step, making the entire solution resulting from development more robust and efficient.
A high-quality engineering team can also help you with the scalability of cloud solutions. While many businesses today rely on automated scaling, the reality is that building effective automation for cloud scalability can be quite challenging as there are many rules involved. That’s why those companies rely on experienced cloud developers to fine-tune and test the rules of automated scalability: if those rules aren’t configured properly, the companies could end up paying a lot more for their miscalculations.
Finally, there is the issue of security. Some people think that cloud security is the responsibility of the provider, but they are wrong. While the cloud provider is of course responsible for providing a robust infrastructure, the security of the systems you deploy on it is entirely up to you.
That’s why high-quality cloud engineering is a must: it provides the know-how and the operational guide to ensure that the business systems are strong and ready. Experienced developers can do that with a combination of DevOps and testing, all fueled by the incremental improvements of the agile approach.
While investing in high-quality cloud engineering may seem like a no-brainer to many people, the reality is that it is worth underscoring its importance in cloud migration. Cloud platforms are marketed in such a way that they feel like they are plug-and-play options, but in reality there is a lot of complex work to do. Debunking that myth and listing the benefits of quality engineers is the first step to a successful cloud migration. Keep that in mind when making yours!