Barriers to cloud migration in Singapore [Part 1]

by Vanessa Quek
Published on March 2021

Singapore is known as one of the most mature cloud markets in the APAC region. 

So it’s hard to believe that, with the growing interest in cloud, and generous government incentives, 23% of Singapore companies are still on traditional infrastructure. 

What makes these companies so resistant to cloud migration?

Since the beginning, we’ve helped brands and businesses across industries migrate their workloads to the cloud. We’ve spoken to marketing, IT and management stakeholders and listened to the challenges they’ve faced moving their organisations to the cloud. 

And throughout these conversations, we noticed 4 common barriers keeping Singaporean organisations from making the leap:

  1. Misalignment between businesses and their IT Teams
  2. Tech skills and talent gap
  3. Security concerns 
  4. Cloud compliance and regulations  

So, we had to put together this 4-part series!

We interviewed four experts perfectly placed to speak out on these four key issues. Some are Just After Midnight’s own best and brightest; others are leaders in their fields.

Each provides valuable insights into why these organisations aren’t yet reaping the benefits of cloud – and what can be done about it.

So let’s get to it.

Barriers to migration part 1: misalignment between businesses and their IT teams 

 

To tackle this issue, we spoke to Zek Chak, Just After Midnight’s lead solution architect. 

Zek headshot

Before joining the #JamFam, Zek delivered projects for the likes of Microsoft and Twitter and saw many companies in APAC struggling to align the business side of things with the IT teams carrying out the work. 

Here’s what he had to say.

With the clear benefits of migration, why are there still issues?

By now, the benefits of cloud technology are well known. Elasticity, cost efficiency, the ability to innovate and gain a competitive edge, faster go-to-market, and compliance with global security standards, among others.

But often, the appeal of the end-goal and business value of cloud migration leads business leaders to take the quick and easy route known as ‘lift and shift.’ 

In a rush to embrace cloud technology, the essential step of reviewing their business objectives and current IT capabilities gets overlooked.

This leads to migration strategies that don’t really benefit the business and pits IT teams and other stakeholders against each other.

What are the alternatives to lift and shift?

There are other cloud migration strategies like re-platforming, replacing or refactoring which each have their own use cases, depending on your organisation’s applications and architecture.  

Download our checklist for moving to the cloud now ▶

Is there a proven methodology for cloud migration? 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to cloud migration. In Singapore, we often modernise mission-critical applications by:

  • Rehosting (or Lift and Shift)
  • Refactoring or Re-architecting
  • Repurchasing (or Drop and Shop) 

Because each organisation is unique, we take time to sit clients down to understand more about their current business and what they envision post-migration. 

We use best practice frameworks from cloud providers like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform to guide clients in achieving the most secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure possible. 

Using AWS’s Well-Architected Framework as an example, there are 5 pillars we evaluate from: 

  • Operational Excellence 
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Performance Efficiency 
  • Cost-Optimisation 

Each pillar contains questions to help build more robust systems in the cloud. These are some we tackle together with clients:   

Operational ExcellenceSecurityReliabilityPerformance EfficiencyCost-Optimisation
- How do you determine your priorities?- How do you control human access - How do you manage service limits?- How do you select your compute solution?- How do you monitor usage and cost?
- How do you mitigate deployment risk?- How do you manage credentials and authentication?- How does your system adapt to changes in demand?- How do you select your database solution?- How do you decommission resources?
- How do you understand the health of your operations?- How do you defend against emerging security threats?- How do you monitor your resources? - How do you evolve your workload to take advantage of new releases? - How do you match the supply of resources with demand? 

The point of these questions is to give organisations a birds-eye view of how their architecture aligns with cloud best practices so we can make improvements together.

It involves stakeholders across the business and is a great way of starting the kinds of conversations that lead to healthy alignment between tech teams and business people.

Of course, if you’re on Azure or Google Cloud Platform, there are other options. 

The point is, a considered look at your cloud, combined with input from a variety of stakeholders, can really get your migration off on the right foot and avoid the frictions that come up when you opt for a ‘lift and shift’ by default.

Essentially, matching the migration strategy to the business is a must.

The takeaways:

  • The top 4 barriers to cloud migration are misalignment between businesses and their IT teams, the tech skills and talent gap, security concerns and cloud compliance and regulations
  • Business leaders should review their business objectives and current IT capabilities before making any cloud migration decisions 
  • Each organisation is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cloud migration
  • The use of best practice frameworks (e.g. AWS Well-Architected Framework) can help to guide clients in achieving the most secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure possible 
  • Booking a Well-Architected review session can help teams build more robust cloud infrastructure for their workload and connect IT teams with other stakeholders

How we can help 

A migration strategy matched to your needs can make a big difference. So if you’re looking to move to the cloud – drop us a line to find out how we can get started.

But if you’re still quite unsure how ready your team is to move to the cloud, good news! 

This is just the first of our 4-part series on barriers to cloud adoption in Singapore. Follow us on LinkedIn to get updates on the next parts of this series. 

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