June 17, 2020 by Siobhan Climer and Mike Czerniak
Few industries have avoided the job market impact of COVID-19. Certainly, the IT services industry will not emerge from the crisis unscathed; in fact, multiple high-profile IT services companies – IBM, Deloitte, and DXC technology – announced significant reductions in staff and spending over the course of the last two weeks .
While IBM has refused to comment on the layoffs, its employees have been more vocal – sharing reports with TheLayoff.com and reporters across the country.
“…the number of affected employees is likely to be in the thousands,” an affected North Carolina-based employee reported to Bloomberg, adding, “‘This was far ranging – and historical employment ratings, age and seniority did not seem to matter’”.
Accelerated cloud migrations have been blamed, as the latest Flexera State of the Cloud report indicates that cloud usage post-COVID-19 is more necessary and more prevalent.
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NetworkWorld agrees accelerated cloud migrations are to blame.
“Enterprises don’t need to hire as many consultants making six-figure salaries when AWS or Microsoft is handling half of your IT load.”
This theme was reiterated in many comments by anonymous users and now ex-IBM employees on the IBM layoff threat on TheLayoff.com.
“Consulting is a VERY bad place to be right now… many companies are tightening down and just wont [sic] be able to afford those multi million [sic] dollar contracts any longer.”
“Most customers have already chosen AWS, Azure, or Google as their primary cloud provider.”
“GTS for 8 years, 57 years old with multiple cloud certifications. I’m curious what the plan is to deliver on existing multi year [sic] contracts when half the delivery team is RA’d. I feel bad for my teammates left to face the customer. Not sure how much money this saves after penalties are incurred for missed SLAs/deadlines and lawsuits for breach of contract.”
Indeed, it would seem the overwhelming consensus is that AWS, Azure, and Google have won the cloud computing war. IBM, Accenture, and Deloitte have – as one anonymous user put it – “hit the cloud iceberg” and are taking on water fast.
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Why Cloud? Why Now?
Why now? As one of the anonymous users above noted, companies are tightening budgets. Cloud computing has been marketed for years as a cost-saving mechanism, though many remained skeptical. The worldwide impact of COVID-19, protests, and uncertain markets means a recalculation of risk.
So why the cloud? Why not SDWAN or collaboration platforms?
“Low upfront costs, flexibility, and scalability are the key factors responsible for the rapid adoption of cloud computing solutions,” according to businesswire.com.
While cost-optimization for cloud computing remains an at-times ephemeral vision, it is likely the driver for the accelerated cloud migrations noted in report after report. The State of the Cloud report by Flexera supports this notion, noting Covid-19 increased cloud computing use among businesses of all sizes.
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How To Make An Accelerated Cloud Migration Work?
It starts with a plan.
“In terms of cloud migration challenges,” writes Margaret Rogers, VP of Pariveda Solutions, “spinning down a monolithic legacy system can be an exhausting undertaking – like demolishing a building brick by brick.”
Anyone familiar with demolition knows you can’t just whack a building with a wrecking ball and expect it to go ‘BOOM’.
Demolition experts assess several factors: building location, building materials, demolition purpose, and material disposal or repurpose. Even when a wrecking ball is used, only highly-skilled or experienced crane operators can perform the demolition, since “smoothness in controlling the swing of the ball is critical, since missing the target may tip or overload the crane”, according to Juan Rodriguez, a civil works engineer and former large-scale construction writer for The Balance.
Even in an accelerated cloud migration environment, certified cloud experts need to assess infrastructure and cloud environments. They engage in discovery, identifying which systems are in place, how these systems integrate, why the migration needs to happen, and how to effectively migrate the system while avoiding unnecessary damage or loss.
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Making A Plan For An Accelerated Cloud Migration
Mindsight breaks up cloud migrations – accelerated or otherwise – into four primary steps.
- Assess: Asses on-premise environment and review hybrid cloud configuration to create strategic cloud roadmap.
- Migrate: Migrate securely and strategically to the cloud while aligning to organizational goals.
- Manage: Manage cloud environment by monitoring workloads and alerts, patching servers, support infrastructure, and addressing ongoing security concerns.
- Optimize: Continuously optimize access to cloud-based applications and workloads while ensuring secure network connections.
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That’s what our engineers typically find. That’s why so many businesses are engaging in accelerated cloud migrations during the COVID-19 pandemic. But a cloud migration will only help your business achieve these goals if the migration is thoughtfully accomplished.
That’s where cloud computing experts come in. Our experts step on-site for a two-hour dive into your infrastructure – identifying what you have, where, and why – and hand-deliver your Cloud Insights Report. The report includes the five next steps you can take to maximize your on-premise and cloud infrastructure for the world of tomorrow.
Assessment Deliverable: 2-page Cloud Insights Report that includes priority recommendations and an overview of your current environment.
See what we can do for you. Contact us today.
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About The Authors
Mike Czerniak is the Vice President of Project Services At Mindsight, an IT Services and Consulting firm located in the Chicago area. With 20 years of experience in information technology and the cloud, Mike has helped hundreds of organizations with architecting, implementing, and deploying cloud solutions. For the last 5 years, Mike has focused on providing Mindsight’s customers with guidance in approaching – and managing – the cloud. Mike is AWS, Microsoft Azure, VMware certified, and remains deeply invested in providing an agnostic, consultative voice for organizations on their cloud journey. In his free time, Mike enjoys biking with his 9-year old son, recently completing a 50-mile bike ride!
Siobhan Climer writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. With over a decade of experience communicating complex concepts around everything from cybersecurity to neuroscience, Siobhan is an expert at breaking down technical and scientific principles so that everyone takes away valuable insights. When she’s not writing tech, she’s reading and writing fantasy, hiking, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.
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