Every day enterprises around the world begin migrating from on-prem, legacy systems to the cloud. But while cloud migrations certainly are common, they can also be fraught with issues for organizations, departments or individuals that struggle with change.
The good news is that the majority of IT departments are accustomed to change management. The bad news? Some fail to realize the need for change management during a cloud migration. This is primarily because teams that are used to managing key considerations (e.g., availability and accessibility) during on-prem system migrations and upgrades turn to managed service providers (MSPs) like HOSTING to take responsibility for the same considerations during cloud migrations.
While it’s easy and smart to offload many of these responsibilities, the onus is still on the IT team to manage and track changes both in the particular cloud service they’re migrating to and in their organization’s usage of the cloud service. For instance – and as one would expect – platforms like AWS and Azure often update features and roll them out directly. If the IT team isn’t keeping abreast of changes – and instructing users how to work with these changes – then it can rather quickly lose control of some aspects of system usage.
Cloud Change Management Policies
Now that we understand the need for cloud change management policies, the next step is to create them. Following are some tips from the migration experts at HOSTING that might come in handy:
- Make sure that your MSP keeps you abreast of any changes. Seems obvious but in our experience, many MSPs can forget this critical element of customer service. Ask for a detailed statement about how these changes are communicated, and build a process on the back-end to manage the information.
- Assess the changes to estimate impact. Once you’re aware of a change, evaluate it with regards to the impact it will have on your systems, security, and users. Also, make sure key stakeholders are in the know and sign off on any proposed action steps.
- Write it down. Be sure to accurately record the changes, the impacts and the action steps taken so that you (or anyone else in the company who needs it) has a detailed record of the information evaluated and decisions made. This will help smooth the process moving forward — as well as serve as invaluable reference material.
MSPs bring a lot of value to IT teams by taking responsibility for uptime and system access (not to mention doing all the boring stuff like patching and monitoring), but they certainly don’t absolve organizations of change management.
To keep your company, department and systems running as smoothly as possible, try to determine cloud change management procedures in concert with how your MSP manages and communicates change. It’ll make your life a lot easier in the long run.
And if you have any questions or concerns about how the relationship with your MSP is working – or how you would want it to work in the future – feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to talk it through with you and give you some pointers for best practices. You may also be interested in our recent webinar, 5 Cloud Migration Experiences Not to Be Repeated.