/Cloud Migration Challenges and How to Solve Them

Top Cloud Migration Challenges and How to Solve Them

According to Forbes, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.

Many organisations are putting their cloud adoption and migration initiatives at the forefront of their IT strategy. Migrating to the cloud has many benefits if it is performed correctly, including improved efficiency, cost savings, easier and more securely managed accessibility, enhanced security and integration with legacy systems. However, if the right considerations have not been adequately addressed whilst on their cloud migration journey, organisations can run into pitfalls that will set them back including blown out costs, lack of overall strategy, reduced governance, and vendor lock-in. In this article, we explore a few common challenges and how to solve them.

Strategy and Cost

Optimisation and cost management are two key reasons why organisations initially look at using the cloud. Initially, the projected savings anticipated while optimising systems seems like an advantage. However, for many organisations this is not the case. They might not fully understand how to fully manage, operate and optimise their cloud infrastructure and soon see costs spiralling above initial predictions.

Solution

To avoid increasing costs, optimise your resources by taking a proactive approach towards understanding your cloud infrastructure and its operational requirements and defining an actual strategy for the migration. Initially, create resources within your environment based on an informed assumption and on key performance metrics. Organisations need to ensure that all departments involved in the migration be on board and the processes required for the migration are to be planned and adapted. All of these aspects must be carefully considered before the cloud data migration is commenced.

Questions to consider:

Have I defined a cloud strategy?
How will my existing business processes change?
Who should be involved?
What is my budget?

Skills Shortage

A cloud migration can impact many aspects of an organisation. Enterprises must create a clear set of technical and functional goals, and deadlines for their migration. Once they have clarity on the strategy and process, they can assess if they have the necessary skills internally to achieve that goal. Often, this step is overlooked but exposed during later stages in the cloud migration causing financial, continuity and time disruption to the project. Having access to the necessary skills and technical experience is crucial in delivering a smooth migration.

Solution

Organisations should elect project managers to help define roles crucial to migration milestones. These key stakeholders should focus on uncovering internal skill gaps and addressing these deficits by either harnessing possible solutions from dedicated training programs in order to upskill existing talent or to simply hire a specialist contractor. By taking this approach, enterprises can maximise contributions from teams and outside contractors in a way that aligns with what matters for their business. Employees gain skills needed to perform the migration and are empowered to work within a new framework that connects directly to their newly acquired skills. Outside contractors can help to fill in the skills gaps and train internal employees to ensure each team member has the skills needed to progress with the migration.

Questions to consider:

Do my staff have the right skills to support the cloud migration?
What skills are missing?
How can we fill this gap?
What are some training programs we can adopt?

Security

Data and systems security are one of the most talked about topics in 2019. Cyber attacks and data breaches are increasing at an alarming rate. Often, the process of migration is hindered by threats of a cyber attack thus, extreme care and caution must be taken during the process. When sensitive data is being moved from a physical server to the cloud, your organisation’s data can be put at risk. Unfortunately, neither your network security nor the cloud’s security can fully protect your data from any breaches during the migration.

Solution

Careful planning and care must be taken, and the process of migration must be done under the supervision of security experts. All possible security solutions must be implemented to ensure there is no data leakage or breach. If your team does not have experience with the secure migration of data, it may be useful to speak with an expert that can help to ensure all necessary security precautions are in place prior to the data migration.

Questions to consider:

Where is my data currently stored?
Is the data encrypted?
Have I defined security governance policies and procedures?
How will I migrate data from the cloud?

Vendor Lock-in

Migrating to the cloud can be very beneficial in improving your business productivity, however, if anything goes wrong with your cloud service provider after you have migrated, then switching to another vendor can be very costly. Generally, most businesses will find it risky and expensive to have all their data, applications, and infrastructure with one cloud provider and opt to have two or three that can work together which results in reduced risk.

Solution

Prior to the execution of any cloud migration strategy, it may be beneficial to sign a cloud agreement that includes an exit plan and can identify and manage the potential costs that are likely to arise if the exit plan is actioned.. Many organisations use a multi-cloud strategy by working with two or more vendors. This type of approach prevents organisations from being locked into any one provider and gives them access to certain proprietary features offered by each specific vendor.

Questions to consider:

Who are the top cloud vendors in my area?
What are my criteria for the vendor I want to work with?
Should I adopt a multi-vendor strategy?
What is my exit plan and what will it cost me?

Conclusion

There are multiple reasons for an organisation to switch to the cloud. Performance, costs, flexibility, scalability, reduced maintenance, and digital transformation are among the top reasons for companies to choose cloud data migration. But an organisation’s business strategy must define the cloud strategy to ensure for a successful outcome in the cloud. In this article we have outlined key challenges organisations face when migrating to the cloud and how to solve them. With cloud being a top priority for organisations today it is crucial to plan and have the right steps in place to achieve a successful migration.

If you are looking for a cloud migration specialist, we can help. Contact us and speak to one of our cloud specialists to find out more.

By |2019-05-08T12:50:23+10:00May 8th, 2019|Cloud, Technology|