Cloud Computing has been growing in the enterprise faster than kudzu in the spring, but that growth just scratches the surface. According to a January 2015 study by RightScale, 88% of enterprises use the public cloud in some form, but 68% of respondents admitted that less than one-fifth of their app portfolios currently run in the cloud. Over half of the companies polled (55%) reported that an additional 20% or more of their application portfolios are cloud-ready, but remain undeployed to cloud architectures. It’s likely that many companies will be doing additional cloud migrations soon – likely yours will too. In your excitement to move into the virtual, don’t forget to plan for the physical equipment that you leave behind.
Remarket your Unused Assets
If you own your equipment, now’s the time to figure out what it’s worth. The value of the equipment that your cloud migration replaces could cut your bill and ease the transition from CAPEX to OPEX billing, but you need to know how to find the right buyers at the right time. Making a spreadsheet list and sending it out to your usual suspects just won’t cut it if you want to extract all of the value from your equipment. Get to know the true market value or work with someone who does. Remember, not all equipment is worth reselling; knowing when to recycle instead of resell and how to recycle in accordance with regulations will save a you a lot of wasted time and effort, and legal trouble.
Protect your Sensitive Data
Don’t forget that the old equipment still houses your vital data. After you’ve completed the migration, you will still need to do something to clean up the data. This remains important even if you don’t own the equipment. Equipment that you return to a leasing partner will eventually end up in someone else’s hands, and you need to make sure to sanitize it before it leaves your control. Don’t rely on your leasing company to cleanup for you. Once the equipment has been decommissioned, we recommend using a tool that’s independently certified to thoroughly sanitize data1, – multiple passes and random bits (not just zeros) will be your best friends here. Also make sure that your personnel have been trained and vetted to remove critical data. The consistent execution of vetted processes will be the key to preventing critical data from falling through the cracks.
Manage your Precious Time
Let’s face it, you probably already have your hands full with this cloud migration. Even if your applications are “cloud-ready” (whatever that means), you’ll still run into issues that you need to work around and likely TBs of data that need to be moved into the new platform. All of these things can be a major time suck. Unfortunately, the time required for proper remarketing and careful data sanitization can add another 25% or more to the project allotment. Be sure to account for this time and make room for it in the project’s budget. Too often decommissioning equipment is an afterthought that will waste money or lose data. Don’t let it happen to you – budget wisely.
Cloud computing offers exciting flexibility, and, if the current trend continues, you’ll use it even more in future projects. Just don’t forget to set your decommissioning affairs in order before you make the leap.