Migrating to the cloud can transform how your organization delivers services, collaborates, and manages assets. However, a successful cloud migration process can be challenging, depending on the complexity of your current infrastructure.
Read on to learn about some common issues you may experience. We’ve also included some solutions to help guide you through the process.
Cloud Migration Can be Challenging — but it’s Worthwhile
Cloud migration holds immense potential for businesses willing to go beyond a “lift and shift” approach. That’s because moving digital assets represents just a fraction of the technological capabilities cloud computing can bring.
A comprehensive cloud migration strategy also includes moving your organization’s services, IT resources, databases, and applications - partially or fully - to a cloud-based services provider.
The benefits of cloud migration increase substantially for businesses making the transition. These include:
- Faster and easier scaling
- Improved IT systems integration
- Increased access for a hybrid or remote workforce
- Reduced costs
- Increased automation
- Improved efficiency
Migrating to the cloud can bring these benefits - and more. However, the process can be complex, time-consuming, and resource-intensive.
Some common challenges of cloud migration include:
Challenge #1: Complex On-Premises Architecture
The cloud is a virtual environment that differs significantly from on-premises systems. As a result, migration brings numerous technical and operational issues when moving data and applications to the cloud.
Plan the migration ahead of time and implement the strategy in stages. Don’t move everything to cloud infrastructure at once, and ensure that each step is completed and tested thoroughly before moving to the next stage.
Consider consulting with an expert to identify interdependencies between systems. This step is essential in most circumstances because a strategy is critical for a successful cloud migration.
Challenge #2: Cloud Adoption Resistance
Technology has evolved rapidly in the last few years, and perhaps your team is resistant to further disruption. Management may also resist making new changes - especially during an economic downturn.
Securing a buy-in from upper management requires a plan. First, ensure you communicate the benefits of cloud migration in terms of the potential ROI. Also, provide a clear timeline that outlines the cloud adoption process and connect each stage with a company goal or objective.
Getting support from your organization’s leaders is absolutely essential because managers typically play a prominent role in driving technological transitions and boosting employee engagement.
Prioritize Usability and Integration
Prioritize integration and usability when communicating cloud solutions. Ensure that everyone understands that modern cloud-based applications are much easier to learn and intuitive to use when compared to legacy on-premises systems.
Further, applications that seamlessly integrate leverage automation to minimize repetitive tasks and improve productivity. Communicating these advantages clearly to upper management significantly increases the likelihood of a buy-in. Moreover, once company leaders are convinced, the rest of your organization's employees will likely follow.
Challenge #3: Sky-Rocketing Costs
Cloud migration can reduce costs and provide a significant short and long-term return on investment. However, a poorly-planned migration can seriously drain your organization’s time, money, and resources.
Assess the pricing models of all cloud vendors in accordance with your business requirements to avoid an avalanche of fees at the end of the month. Then, choose the optimal cloud management products to maximize your budget’s potential.
Some businesses may require a comprehensive assessment before starting their cloud migration journey. For example, in some cases, rehosting on-premises applications on the cloud before modernizing or modifying workloads may result in higher operating costs after migration.
Calculating Total Cost of Ownership
Calculating the total cost of cloud ownership can be challenging due to the involvement of third-party services. Further, the cloud can turn out to be more expensive compared to on-premises resources if specific capabilities like automation and utilization remain under-utilized.
According to IBM, elements of total cost include:
- Organization and talent
Determining these factors can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Instead, consider consulting with a cloud cost optimization expert to identify optimal ways to run applications in the cloud at the lowest possible cost.
Challenge #4: Vendor Lock-In
Not all relationships last forever, and breaking free from an existing vendor can be difficult. And in some cases, the cost of switching is so high that some businesses find themselves trapped with their current vendor.
Prevent vendor lock-in by identifying your present and future needs ahead of time. Clarify what vendors included in your current offer are compatible with other cloud service providers. Conducting these assessments ahead of time can significantly reduce costs if you decide to move your systems to another cloud platform.
Challenge #5: Cloud Skills Shortage
Finding professionals to manage a successful cloud migration is a prevalent issue that affects many businesses. As a result, the demand for talent significantly outstrips the supply of individuals qualified to execute a cloud migration effectively.
Hiring and onboarding new professionals are both time-consuming and cost-intensive. That’s why many organizations choose to upskill their current workforce, ensuring they can adapt to the continuously evolving cloud computing environment.
Training employees in new skills is always a challenge. Consider setting a solid foundation with cloud migration consultants qualified to identify talent gaps. Further, experts can offer future-forward training solutions that align with your overall cloud migration strategy and company goals.
Challenge #6: Data Security and Compliance Risk
A significant issue when moving to the private or public cloud is security.
Large organizations with sensitive information face substantial risks when transferring data to the cloud environment. In addition, many businesses may share servers with other cloud customers, further exposing themselves to security incidents due to possible vulnerabilities in server infrastructure.
Make a security-focused plan for transferring data and configure access controls to minimize cyber threats. Make sure your cloud services provider has solid protocols in place, and ensure your teams fully understand how to configure them before exposing sensitive data.
Challenge #7: Lack of Strategy
Maximizing the potential of the cloud requires an end-to-end strategy and comprehensive cloud migration timeline. Both must incorporate every application before any data transfer takes place.
A strategy is absolutely essential. Not dedicating enough time to assessment, planning, and execution potentially increases expenses, time, and resources. Further, a poorly planned cloud migration can lock your organization into a vendor. Besides raising costs, this could potentially compromise your organization’s ability to realize all the benefits of cloud computing.
Consult with a cloud solutions expert before taking any action. An expert can help you develop a strategy that incorporates dependent applications, legacy systems, data storage, and operational capabilities. Further, an expert keeps your business objectives in focus, ensuring that your cloud migration aligns with your organization’s goals.
The Advantages of Cloud Migration Outweigh the Challenges
Cloud computing has evolved to give you the tools to quickly scale your operations, improve security, enhance collaboration, save time, and reduce costs. However, moving to the cloud has many challenges, including complex on-premise architecture, rising costs, vendor lock-in, and security risks.
Overcome potential challenges by creating a comprehensive plan to implement the strategy in stages. Ensure you've completed a thorough assessment and identify any future needs before engaging with a cloud provider to ensure a successful migration.
Is your enterprise ready for the cloud?
Migrating your data, IT infrastructure, and applications to the cloud is an opportunity to evolve your business. Moonswitch helps you maximize the potential of the cloud with expert migration services that leverage the unique benefits of cloud computing.
Learn if your enterprise is a good fit by booking a free consultation with one of our experts. We’ll go over the benefits specific to your business and connect them with your company goals.