What to Look for in a Cloud Migration Specialist

Moving to the cloud has turned into a must for most businesses, but actually planning out the migration process can leave technology executives scratching their heads. You need someone who’s done this before and knows how to navigate the common pitfalls associated with cloud migrations. This might be a single person or a small group from an outside services company.

A cloud migration specialist, whether hired in-house or as a consultant, can help you plan your cloud migration and improve your time to value. In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to look for when hiring a cloud migration specialist.

Choosing a cloud migration specialist

Migration specialists set realistic expectations

If a migration specialist tells you they can get your cloud migration completely done in a week, run the other way. Not only is this unrealistic, but it shows that the consultant either doesn’t care to tell you the truth or isn’t very experienced. That’s not a good sign, and you should definitely not sign a contract with that person.

Just like short timelines, cloud migration specialists shouldn’t promise you that the process will be easy. They can make your migration easier, yes, but it’s still going to take a lot of time and effort to get all of your data and applications moved and factored correctly. Your cloud migration consultant should be able to prepare you for a lot of the pitfalls you face and help you navigate them if and when they come up.

Also read: 3 Challenges You’ll Face When Migrating Apps to the Cloud

They have a good track record with similar cloud migrations

When researching cloud migration specialists, take a look at their previous clients if that information is available and check out their reviews or ask for references. You’ll want to find a consultant that’s worked with companies similar to yours and that has good reviews from their previous or current clients. Many cloud migration consultants will have testimonials from previous clients available on their website, or even offer customers to talk to.

Pay attention to the overall review trends rather than the individual reviews. If multiple reviews mention the same issue, it’s likely one that you’ll face as well. However, if most of the reviews are glowing and there’s only one scathing review, you can anticipate that the bad one is probably just an outlier and shouldn’t worry too much about it. If something in the reviews makes you nervous, ask the consultant about it. It may be something they’ve addressed, but if they can’t give you a straight answer, then you might want to look into other options.

They can play the migration role you need

Decide early what you need from your cloud migration specialist. Do you want a single in-house hire or a small consulting team? Are they going to be the lead architect? Maybe you just need a project manager to keep your team on track. You need to define this role before you start looking for consultants. Then, it’ll be easier to determine whether or not they can play the role you need them to.

One of the easiest ways to determine what kind of role you need your cloud migration specialist to play is to perform an internal audit of the resources you currently have and the data and applications you’ll need to move. You’ll also want to decide whether you need a local consultant who can come into your office to provide support or if you can handle your cloud migration specialist working remotely. This will depend heavily on where the rest of your migration team is located and how you expect them to collaborate during the project.

Also read: Best Cloud Migration Vendors 2021

Make sure your cloud migration specialist fits your business

When choosing a cloud migration specialist, you need to put your business needs first. While this might seem obvious, it can be easy to get distracted by a consultant’s credentials or a service company’s special offer. But a well-known migration consultant who specializes in enterprise migrations might not be equipped to handle the challenges your business faces. You need someone who understands both your industry and your business. Make sure the cloud migration specialist you’re considering fits your business and its needs before hiring them.

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