Moving to the cloud can be a daunting task. There are potential issues with stability, expenses, and above all, security. However, for many organizations, a successful migration to the cloud leads to cost savings, increased flexibility, and a significant decrease in the likelihood of a cyber attack that could harm the business.
In today’s data-driven world, it is crucial for companies to adopt cutting-edge technologies that keep pace with the changing demands of customers.
No one wants their customers to perceive that they are paying for outdated applications, websites, or subscription services.
Additionally, customers are less likely to use or retain your services if you are utilizing legacy systems that have difficulty scaling. In the coming years, managing and updating legacy systems will be one of the most significant challenges that businesses will face. This is because continuous technological advancements can make a business obsolete and increase the risk of being left behind.
Now, let’s dive into the topic- what exactly is cloud migration? How challenging is it to undertake? And most importantly, what are the advantages of migrating to the cloud?
What is Cloud Migration?
Cloud migration is nothing but moving the data, applications, and computational workloads to the cloud, usually to run on the cloud infrastructure offered cloud service providers like AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc.
This process can take different forms, such as transferring an application from a physical server to a virtual one hosted in the cloud, or breaking an application into components and distributing them across various cloud services, such as database and storage services.
A business may also opt for a partial migration, for instance, migrating only the data storage to the cloud and keeping the application’s code on-premises or using a combination of on-premises hosting and cloud hosting, also known as a hybrid cloud environment.
Additionally, a company might use the cloud only as a disaster recovery or “cloudburst” location, while still hosting the primary site on-premises infrastructure.
In short, cloud migration solutions eliminate the need for physical hardware, reduce manual involvement, and automate repetitive tasks, while also increasing scalability and security.
Overcoming 5 Most Common Obstacles of Cloud Migration
Obstacle #1: Lack of Expert Hands
Despite the numerous advantages of cloud computing, the complexity of migrating can deter many organizations from pursuing it. One of the primary obstacles of cloud migration is identifying individuals who possess the necessary skills to manage a successful migration.
As more organizations shift their focus towards the cloud, competition for migration experts has become increasingly fierce. Unfortunately, the demand for cloud experts currently exceeds the available supply.
The scarcity of professionals with the appropriate skill set can present a major challenge for organizations looking to adopt cloud technology. If an organization is unable to hire cloud migration talent, alternative solutions must be sought.
One effective long-term strategy is to develop cloud skills within the organization. This approach offers several benefits. Firstly, current IT employees are already familiar with the organization’s legacy technology and existing processes, thus, once trained, they will be able to make valuable contributions more quickly.
Additionally, hiring and training new employees can be costly in terms of time and money, thus, working with existing talent can save resources and result in a better financial investment.
However, it is important to note that this approach is not without its difficulties. The shelf life for cloud computing skills is becoming increasingly short, as new releases are introduced at a rapid pace. Therefore, it is important to maintain a commitment to regular training and education in order to retain top talent.
Another approach to alleviate the pressure of finding and qualifying talent is to adopt an incremental adoption approach. By focusing on smaller migrations of key applications, the IT team can learn and master the systems over time, instead of facing a full migration all at once.
Obstacle #2: Migration Costs
The benefits of cloud migration such as increased efficiency, reduced administrative costs, and streamlined processes can be realized in the long term, but the cost of migration can feel like a significant burden.
Financial concerns are intertwined with various challenges that come with cloud migration, such as the immediate cost of migration and the long-term financial risks of low or slow adoption and training after migration.
The costs of cloud migration includes rewriting application architecture for the cloud, investing in the necessary people and tools for a successful migration, and addressing performance issues such as latency, interoperability, and dependencies on non-cloud apps, as well as potential downtime.
To keep cloud computing costs low, there are several strategies that organizations can implement. Firstly, a thorough preparation is necessary, including a solid change management plan that can help manage the scope of the project and the disruption to the business.
It’s important to also carefully evaluate business objectives and requirements, the current state of IT operations, and the different cloud options available. This can help identify potential issues, opportunities, and needs that can be prepared for.
Another strategy to manage financial investment is to migrate to the cloud incrementally. This approach can break down what can be a financially overwhelming project into more manageable pieces over time. Additionally, by migrating operations in batches, organizations don’t have to invest as much money upfront, providing more flexibility and options.
It’s also important to consider the different cloud options available, whether it’s a public, private, or hybrid cloud option. Depending on the computing needs of the organization, a full cloud migration may not be the best option, and a hybrid cloud option may make more financial sense.
This can allow the organization to migrate applications with varying usage while keeping the rest in on-premise or private cloud operations.
Obstacle #3: No Proper Pre-Migration Analysis
Achieving the goal of not utilizing on-premise servers may not always be possible during a migration. It is possible that certain parts of a product are not able to be transferred to the cloud, which can cause the migration to be incomplete if not identified beforehand.
The issue of overlooked elements during a cloud migration refers to the situation where certain parts of an organization’s infrastructure or applications were not identified or considered during the planning stages of the migration.
These elements may not be compatible with the cloud environment or may have specific requirements that make them difficult to migrate.
This can cause delays and additional costs in the migration process, as additional work may need to be done in order to move these elements to the cloud. In some cases, it may not be possible to migrate certain elements to the cloud at all, which can impact the overall goal of the migration.
To avoid this issue, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the organization’s infrastructure and applications before beginning the migration process.
This can be achieved through a pre-migration analysis, which involves identifying all elements that need to be migrated, assessing their cloud readiness, and determining the most appropriate migration method for each element. It is crucial to thoroughly examine the entire ecosystem
This allows for a more accurate assessment of the resources required and the potential challenges during the migration process.
It’s also important to have a clear understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives of the migration, so that the migration plan can be tailored to achieve those goals.
This can help to ensure that the migration is completed successfully, and that all elements of the organization’s infrastructure and applications are considered and accounted for.
Obstacle #4: Involvement of Large Amounts of Data
Occasionally, the capacity of an internet connection may not be sufficient to transfer a necessary amount of data to the cloud at a designated time.
the issue of limited bandwidth during cloud migration refers to the fact that when transferring large amounts of data from an on-premises system to a cloud environment, the internet connection may not have enough capacity to transfer all the data at once.
This can lead to slow migration times and potentially cause delays in the process.
To address this issue, cloud service providers such as AWS offer specialized data transport solutions like Snowball and Snowmobile.
These solutions involve physically shipping a device to the customer’s location, where the data is loaded onto the device and then shipped back to AWS. This allows for the transfer of large amounts of data at a faster rate than would be possible through a traditional internet connection.
Additionally, other cloud providers also have similar solutions like Azure Data Box, Google Transfer Appliance, etc.
Another approach is to use a network optimization tools such as WAN optimization or compression tools that helps to speed up the migration process by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred.
However, it’s important to note that this issue can be less prevalent for smaller data sets or for organizations that have relatively high-bandwidth internet connections.
Obstacle #5: Change Resistance
One of the major challenges when it comes to successful migration is often the people involved. Change resistance is common, and a cloud migration brings significant changes and disruptions to systems, processes, and leadership.
However, a well-crafted change management plan with specific strategies can help ensure organization-wide buy-in and a smoother transition process.
Securing the buy-in of leadership is crucial.
Executives play a significant role in shaping employee engagement and adoption, so it is essential to have strong buy-in from the top.
Leadership should understand the business needs and objectives for the migration, and clearly communicate the reasoning behind the migration to the organization. When people understand the purpose behind a change, they are more likely to support it.
Select Top-notch tech solutions
In selecting cloud solutions for applications, it’s important to prioritize usability and integration. The more intuitive and user-friendly the solution, the more likely employees will adopt it.
Additionally, applications that integrate with the current technology stack are more appealing as they provide seamless connectivity with existing workflows, increasing employees’ efficiency.
Proper training and resources are also crucial.
Even though the cloud is intended to make things easier, the adjustment can still be difficult, leading to slow adoption.
By providing a comprehensive onboarding program, experts to train and support employees, and designating internal employee “cloud champions” to answer questions and offer support, you can ensure that employees understand the new systems and processes.
User buy-in and acceptance can be a challenging aspect of migration, but with careful planning, clear communication, and a focus on user education and support, a successful migration can be achieved.
Are you ready to take the leap from on-premise to the cloud?
Undertaking a cloud migration initiative can be a significant and complex task for any company.
While it presents a variety of unique challenges, these obstacles are not impossible to overcome. The key is to identify potential risks and challenges early on and develop a plan to manage them.
With proper planning and evaluation, organizations can successfully navigate the complexities of cloud-based IT operations and reap the benefits it offers.
One concern that organizations may have is ensuring that their application is available to users 24/7 without interruption during the migration process.
This can be achieved by carefully planning the migration in a way that minimizes disruption to the customer experience.
It is important to note that cloud migration is not a simple task, it requires expert knowledge and experience to navigate the challenges and ensure a smooth transition.
It is advisable to seek the help of a trusted partner who can manage the migration process from start to finish and ensure a successful outcome.
One such trusted partner that we recommend everyone is Machines And Cloud.
Despite the above mentioned obstacles, experts at Machines And Cloud promise that a successful and financially sensible cloud migration is possible.