Digital transformation or the shift of organisations to embrace digital technology to facilitate their daily activities has resulted in the extensive adoption of cloud migration across the globe. Cloud computing has transformed the digital age as we know it. If you plan to migrate your business elements to the cloud, you should follow the pointers that the early adopters of cloud migration have shared. These insights stemming from their experience will help you be prepared to face the challenges that you might encounter while migrating to a cloud-based platform. Since these lessons cover different aspects of cloud migration, your organisation’s transition to a cloud-based company will be made smooth by being aware of them.
Major Challenges Encountered During Cloud Migration
The early adopters of cloud migration reveal that the following are some of the challenges you are likely to face when you shift your data centre to a cloud computing environment. The solutions to these obstacles have also been included below.
1. Strategic Lacuna
The absence of an efficient and well-planned strategy before cloud migration will have a negative impact on your business. You must spend ample time developing workload-specific strategies specific to each application because the migration of different types of datasets and apps related to enterprise software development will require different approaches for a successful transition. Strategising cloud migration ensures that the conditions and methods you follow during the shift are optimal for each workload.
2. Poor Management of Cost
In the frenzy of migrating your business to a cloud platform, it is plausible that you might forget to develop a financial blueprint that mitigates problems regarding excess expenditure and poor money management. This can be disastrous to your business, making it harder for you to gain profits. Hence you should define your key performance indicators or KPIs and plan cost allocation well before the inception of the migration.
3. Poor Data Security
Rendering your data unprotected is a huge challenge that is encountered when you engage in cloud migration. While seeking the services of a cloud service provider, the security model initiated will be a shared security model that holds both your organisation and the cloud service provider accountable for specific responsibilities related to security. While the service provider is in charge of managing the security of the infrastructure they provide, you will be responsible for the security of all the data from your organisation. Hence adequate risk assessment and security measures must be taken to ensure that, in an attempt to strengthen the future of your business through cloud migration, you don’t sabotage the same.
4. Vendor Lock-in
One of the most common challenges faced during cloud migration is vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in happens when an organisation is unable to move to a different cloud vendor after employing the services offered by a specific cloud vendor since the cost to switch is exceptionally high, forcing them to remain with the original vendor. If you are stuck with a vendor, you will have to settle for subpar services that will affect the overall functioning of your business. Hence, to avoid vendor lock-in, you must opt for a multi-cloud or hybrid strategy that will help your company employ services from different cloud vendors, thereby stopping your dependency on a single vendor.
5. Absence of Technical Skills
The transition of your organisation to a cloud-based business will require professionals who have adequate technical expertise in cloud computing. The absence of skilled employees is a significant issue that you may face after cloud migration. Hence, it is essential to invest resources in training your current employees so that once the migration is complete, you are equipped with a team that is capable enough to handle the new platform. You can also hire experts in the field to add them to your permanent resource pool.
5 Tips for Hassle-Free Cloud Migration
The following are five pointers that are curated from the experience of the early adopters of cloud migration which will help you migrate your business to the cloud.
1. Evaluation or appraisal of current systems.
Go through every aspect of your business using a fine-tooth comb to understand the architecture of your applications, code structure, databases, sensitive data and other elements. You must know everything about the existing elements of your organisation before you can adopt a cloud-based architecture.
2. Describe goals.
Define the vision of your company by enumerating achievable goals. Having clear goals will ensure that every change you make to your business and every cloud service you purchase will agree with your organisation’s vision. This ensures that you will not be sidetracked during cloud migration. Possessing clear goals also aids in cost management.
3. Choose a cloud services partner that is perfect for your organisation.
The sheer volume of cloud service providers across the world can be overwhelming. You must dedicate time and resources to find the right cloud partner for you – conduct assessments and analyses on prospective cloud service providers to narrow down the most suitable partner for your business. Some of the parameters that you need to look into include business objectives, security, clear service level agreements, risk assessment, previous experience, expertise, performance metrics and multi-vendor relationships.
4. Reconfiguration and cleaning up of applications.
Before you migrate to the cloud, you need to ensure that problems and errors in your applications and systems are not transferred to the new platform. Reconfigure your apps and check them for bugs so that when you migrate your business, all elements involved are free of latent errors from their previous architecture.
5. Adhere to the cloud migration strategies or 7 Rs.
As discussed earlier, having a strategy for migration is of utmost importance. You can choose the best strategy applicable to your business from the 7 Rs: re-host, re-platform, re-factor or re-architect, re-purchase, retire, retain and relocate.
If you keep these tips and tricks in mind before migrating your business to the cloud, you will be better equipped to face any roadblocks or challenges that the transition might fling at you.