CTOs and IT heads at organizations planning their cloud migration must partner with the right experts and practitioners for a smooth, hassle-free, and future-proof cloud infrastructure setup.
Over the past several years, more and more cloud providers and solutions have emerged, marking a rapid shift to the digital for enterprises across the globe. Businesses are adopting cloud computing at a feverish rate and spending a huge amount of money and time to ensure a successful migration to the cloud as part of their digitization efforts. But without the right strategy, steps, and tools to manage the cloud migration and overcome early challenges, it could end up being more expensive and complicated, very fast. Nearly all businesses face some teething issues when migrating their systems to the cloud. But knowing, understanding, and preparing for those challenges beforehand will help prepare your team for a successful migration.
What are the challenges of cloud migration and how to tackle them?
The absence of an ideal strategy
Many organizations often overlook creating a detailed cloud strategy, especially when planning a cloud migration with an in-house team. But comprehensive planning documents and checklists can mitigate issues regardless of the scale of cloud migration and the expectations. Small and medium-sized businesses should especially work around a well-planned strategy since mistakes and ineffective implementations lose them time, revenue, and customer trust.
To succeed with change management and user adoption, organizations need to consider and prepare for the following:
- Implementing a comprehensive cloud migration strategy
- Potential issues with cloud migration
- Migration resources
- Methods and metrics to verify and measure success
Many organizations rely on external cloud service providers to help with critical projects like cloud adoption and migration. External firms can bring the experts and latest tools needed to develop strategy and identify metrics, and ensure a seamless implementation and transition for the entire organization.
Costs of cloud migration
In the absence of a financial impact analysis, moving to the cloud can be expensive. Cloud migration might be costly upfront if you plan to move a large amount of data to the cloud, even though the cloud is relatively cost-effective in the long run. Enterprises should know that they need to pay equal attention to the cost of running the cloud along with the cost of the cloud solutions. Companies should also consider the cost of training employees in the new technologies and how to integrate new and simpler ways of managing and accessing data for better speed and productivity.
Providing proper security
Businesses are often reluctant to adopt the cloud because of security concerns. However, the cloud is more secure than on-premise IT systems due to much more sophisticated backup and recovery capabilities than the latter. To avoid any possible pitfalls during the migration stage, you should know what security practices your cloud provider follows. The provider should inform you of where your data is stored, how it encrypts your incoming and outgoing data, and which regulations the provider complies with.
Employee training for cloud systems and processes
When planning any new technology implementation for an organization, you need to ensure that everyone who uses that technology is on board. Dedicate some time to get your employees up to speed on why you are moving to the cloud and the solutions you are implementing and/or replacing. Facilitating an orientation to the new technologies before they are rolled out enterprise-wide will save a lot of employee hours and cost in the long run than simply introducing new technology.
Choosing a reliable vendor
Despite your initial expectations from the cloud vendor, it is possible you may later discover that the vendor does not meet your requirements once you begin the cloud migration process. The problem of vendor lock-in is common among early adopters of cloud technology; since transferring data from one cloud to another can be difficult and costly, most businesses stick with one vendor even when it isn’t the best fit. The cloud service provider you choose must understand your business, the processes, and the technologies required for them, and help you set them up. Check service-level agreements (SLAs) thoroughly to know what services the vendor will perform along with the timelines for their execution.
Setting up adequate and scalable bandwidth
Cloud-hosted applications should deliver comparable performance to their on-premises counterparts. However, failing to specify bandwidth requirements for cloud-hosted applications can cause low performance, poor user experience and negate the advantages of cloud migration.
Prioritizing systems for migration
Prioritizing mission-critical data and applications is another very important decision to make when migrating to the cloud. Ask your cloud implementation team or service provider to provision for zero downtime on your cloud infrastructure at the planning stage itself. This involves identifying services and components that have to be migrated first or prioritized.
Most companies find it difficult to align their datasets with the new technical drivers. In the right circumstances, data alignment can gather data elements and rank each application, enabling organizations to decide how to prioritize.
Migrating a massive database
When migrating a massive database, organizations need to provision for effectively moving a large volume of unstructured data. Make sure to ask your cloud implementation team to enable ease of access between the source and destination databases for smooth migration and performance. In addition, the cloud storage and database must also be configured to scale quickly and flexibly for future business requirements.
Most organizations migrate their data to the cloud to solve the data storage issue and increase flexibility and scalability while reducing costs. However, it is often a challenge for companies new to the cloud to decide whether to migrate all at once or distribute data in small chunks.
Without experienced cloud experts, it is difficult to create an effective and future-proof cloud migration and implementation strategy. Organizations new to digital transformation and cloud can mitigate these challenges with professionals who have the skills and practitioner experience to see your digital transformation project to fruition.