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How to avoid common cloud migration challenges

Sarah Doherty, product marketing manager at iland highlights some common cloud migration challenges and how to mitigate them. 

Most IT architectures are complicated. If you’re considering migrating to the cloud, you’re right to be concerned about the many changes that will be required of your architecture and your organisation as you make your transition. Cloud migration challenges continue to give organisations anxiety, even though the cloud has been around for nearly 20 years. 

Of course, nobody embarks upon a cloud migration expecting to fail. The basic problem is that few people understand the hidden challenges of such a complex project, particularly as it relates to ongoing processes and operations. Unexpected challenges are the curse of any major undertaking, and cloud migrations are truly full of unexpected challenges.

It is important to look past the challenges and focus on the true advantages. The cloud provides a great opportunity to modernise IT infrastructure and gain operational efficiency through cloud-native design practices. However, as mentioned, moving to the cloud isn’t easy.

Cloud migrations can bring unexpected results and unforeseen consequences. In some instances, IT teams aren’t initially aware something is wrong. To avoid these issues, cloud admins should familiarise themselves with some of the common cloud migration challenges and errors below:

Don’t forget to build a cloud migration strategy

Too often organisations jump into cloud migrations without a concrete plan that includes a defined strategy that communicates clear vision and change management plans.

It helps to understand why your company wants to migrate and the IT teams must understand how the change will really benefit the business. For example, key drivers are the need for greater availability, the desire to move from CapEx to OpEx and the need for greater scalability as your company grows.

Additionally, don’t forget about the IT staff. The progression from traditional server-based infrastructure to virtualisation and then to cloud involves several mental leaps. The cloud requires an adjustment of mindset and an ability to accept ways of doing things differently.

Don’t rush the migration

Some IT professionals think a cloud migration is as simple as hosting workloads on a new server that just happens to be in the cloud. However, it involves many steps and activities. Organisations often start their move with non-mission-critical applications, which are typically the easiest to migrate – always a good starting point.

The transition of refactoring some applications to function as cloud-native or distributed applications can take more time. This is where migrating data and applications in phases can be a key part of a cloud migration.

Avoiding siloed efforts will also minimise cloud migration challenges. Cross-functional teams can help to develop and execute the strategy, organisational goals as well as financial models.

But, be prepared to look at cloud migrations not just from an application or workload perspective. That way of thinking could lead to inadequate preparation or consideration of potential costs like data management and cloud egress charges.

Don’t underestimate or overlook costs

Understanding all the factors that contribute to billing before your organisation makes the move to the cloud is a must, since cost management changes can lead to problems following the migration.

Cloud services are generally billed once a month or follow a pay-as-you-go pricing model. However, users must factor in hidden fees, such as data transfer costs, and additional support and training. These budget surprises can pose a cloud migration challenge if not addressed. Be sure to choose the right cloud partner who won’t surprise you with extra fees. 

Don’t forget cloud computing costs

Additionally, make sure you don’t overspend for cloud solutions. Consider ways to automate the migration as much as possible to keep things on track and minimise impact on staff and operations. Remember, time is money!

Don’t fail to secure data

Security practices must adapt as data moves to the cloud. While assets are normally well-locked down, it is easy to accidentally create vulnerabilities in the cloud since customers are responsible for setting many security controls around their apps and data.

All clouds have a different set of best practices and design principles. Therefore, knowing those practices up front will help cloud admins avoid headaches later. Working with the right cloud partner to plan and then execute your cloud migration will not only eliminate headaches now and later but will also help you to grow your business for the future.

After analysing all you need to know about cloud migration, be sure to choose the “right” cloud provider. 

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