Cloud migration is a pivotal moment for every business and is something that all decision-makers consider at some stage.
But implementing a cloud-first strategy is not so simple! While 70% of businesses plan on bumping up their spending on cloud computing, it doesn’t come without a carefully thought plan that analyzes risks and incorporates an exit strategy if needed.
Before we delve into the cloud migration process and its challenges, here’s a quick breakdown of why the cloud migration strategy has overhauled on-premise hardware.
The cloud environment has more positives
Challenges of cloud migration exist but they certainly don’t outweigh the positives of cloud services.
Many businesses have the oversight to recognize the cloud’s power in scaling, flexibility, overall cost benefits and recovery capabilities. Consider it from the perspective of a new business looking to gain a foothold by acquiring essential technology.
Purchasing hardware is a major cost. Businesses also need to fork out additional funds for installing the hardware, having the necessary space and maintaining it. You will eventually need to upgrade your hardware or completely replace it at some stage.
Need new technology for a specific project? Instead of buying new hard, simply embrace cloud adoption by subscribing to software for the duration it’s needed.
We all make mistakes. But it can be avoided when you’re provided a start-to-finish solution that doesn’t require human involvement. Leave it to your cloud provider and mitigate any risks.
Successful cloud migration is always packed with advantages and you’ll mostly be satisfied with the choice. But to ensure a smooth cloud migration journey, let’s cover some challenges you might encounter.
Cloud Migration Challenges
Changing to the cloud can feel overwhelming – but it’s worth it!
The number of businesses that have transitioned to the cloud and plan on increasing their spending on it is a testament to the cloud environment’s capability.
Lack of strategy
- What is your why for cloud adoption?
- Is it for a specific project?
- Reducing costs or overall scalability?
These are some of the questions that need to be answered before ditching hardware and shifting to a cloud environment. Cloud migration strategy can’t be an afterthought and the organization must have rigorous planning on why each cloud service is being adopted.
Have a clear business case on each software’s usage and how the cloud infrastructure will be more beneficial than sticking to hardware. It’s a complex process of understanding what data and applications must be migrated.
A detailed cloud migration strategy will simplify the selection of a cloud provider. The journey of managing or monitoring cloud migration also becomes easier because the strategy should involve measurable metrics of success.
Lack of vendor flexibility
Not all cloud providers enable compatibility with other cloud platforms.
While most cloud platforms have a vast number of services, it makes picking and choosing difficult. This links back to strategy and ensures you comprehensively understand the platform you’ve chosen.
Shifting to a new platform is a costly and time-consuming process you want to avoid. Thorough research will be a lifesaver and prevent selecting a cloud environment that doesn’t fit your needs.
This issue is one of the most common cloud migration challenges.
There are two types of potential downtime an organization can experience.
It takes serious consideration and an understanding of your timeline before committing to cloud migration. A medium-scale migration process can take around two to four months, and at a larger scale, it can reach 120 days – planning and execution have to be perfect.
Another form of downtime – albeit uncommon – is cloud providers experiencing technical difficulties which affect their services. Because an organization is completely reliant on external cloud technology, it’s up to the provider for permanent uptime.
We mentioned earlier that cloud solutions are cost-effective.
However, there is a prerequisite of having set KPIs to understand if the migration was truly cost-effective. Without having numbers that show your current hardware costs and setting goals, how can an organization determine if the migration process was an economic success?
Cloud migration strategies should also account for the dynamic changes in prices that the cloud environment entails. Cloud technology is constantly evolving and not every update or benefit can be free.
Data security challenges
This responsibility still falls on the business.
Most cloud providers are very safe and feature their own robust security measures, but there’s a hefty amount of configuration businesses need to do on their end.
For example, the Google Cloud Platform has various measures for data security but it’s your responsibility to change them based on your security protocols. We also have to be wary of the migration process itself.
The journey of transferring large amounts of data through different applications is a process that exposes confidential information. The risk of human error and data being misplaced is a probable scenario throughout the navigation of multiple applications.
Then comes the complication of compliance. Some industries have more legal compliances than others and businesses will need to ensure their cloud migration complies with all applicable regulations.
Make yourself familiar with your cloud service provider to create a smoother transition.
Lack of control
The final cloud migration challenge of this list is reduced control.
The act of transferring your data to a cloud provider is essentially outsourcing your IT infrastructure. Your overall control is significantly lower, so it’s best to select a reputable and trustworthy cloud provider.
This is often what raises the debate of on-premises vs cloud technology.
Is it worth it?
The number of businesses harnessing the cloud-first strategy has drastically increased since the past five years, and this trend will certainly continue. The initial process isn’t easy and takes time, but the final result is worth it.
Greater scalability, cost savings, reducing human error and many other benefits come with the cloud environment. It all comes down to writing a comprehensive cloud migration strategy to safeguard the future of your business.
Interested in learning more?