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Common Cloud Migration Challenges and How to Troubleshoot Them
Most organizations that haven't already moved to the cloud are planning on it. In fact, 83% of enterprise workloads are estimated to already be in the cloud. What's holding most companies back?
For many organizations, it's the fear that cloud migration could prove to be disruptive to their operations. They could lose data, their employees may not buy into the changes, or they may not find the right solutions.
There are many common cloud migration challenges businesses face. But with a little planning, most of them can be resolved.
Migrations in Cloud Computing: What Are They?
When organizations move data, applications, and infrastructure from on-premises servers to the cloud, they are performing a migration. Migrations can lead to delicate times for an organization, as they can possibly leave it vulnerable to data loss, disruption, and security issues. However, avoiding data migration entirely is unlikely. Most organizations will need to adopt some form of cloud infrastructure to improve their operational effectiveness eventually. With this in mind, and because of the complexity of data migration, many organizations lean on professional services to successfully handle their migrations.
By addressing the major challenges of moving to the cloud during the planning stages, companies can be better prepared for the migration—and less likely to suffer the loss of time or data.
Potential Challenges of Moving to the Cloud
What are the most common cloud migration challenges? Many of them have to do with being unprepared for the migration. They include:
- Unclear business goals
- A lack of roles and accountability
- The wrong technology or support
- Going over budget
- Experiencing data security risks
Many companies will also experience data migration testing challenges. If data isn't properly tested after the migration occurs, it's possible that data will be duplicated, lost, or overwritten.
Common Cloud Migration Challenges and How to Solve Them
The more planning that is completed before a cloud migration, the fewer chances there will be for things to go wrong. Creating a comprehensive roadmap from start to finish is critical for migration success. Let's take a deeper look at common cloud migration challenges and how to troubleshoot them.
Unclear Business Goals
An unclear mission, vision, and goal statement can muddle a cloud transition. Organizations shouldn't transition to the cloud just for the sake of being on the cloud. They must have very clear metrics for success. Organizations should be looking to improve their operations with verifiable and quantifiable initiatives.
When you aren't certain what your cloud solution is supposed to achieve, you aren't working toward any particular goals and, consequently, you're not going to meet them.
How to Solve It:
What does your organization hope to gain by moving to the cloud? Greater accessibility? Lower overhead? Better efficiency? Before you start your move to the cloud—before even deciding what type of cloud architecture you’ll adopt or whether you might deploy a multicloud, hybrid-cloud, or single-cloud provider strategy—you should have a clearer picture of what you're looking for. The choices among cloud architectures and solutions are broad and complex. Will you be better served by an all-in-one cloud service provider that manages all storage, compute, analysis and application functions within its walls? Or a multicloud architecture that combines the strengths of multiple cloud services—i.e., storage as a service (STaaS), infrastructure as a service, software as a service, and compute as a service—from individual cloud providers to increase data protection, flexibility, and reduce total cost of ownership by distributing data and resources across multiple specialized and strategically selected locations? Without narrowing your focus, you won't be able to find the right solutions for your organization.
No Clear Roles and Lack of Investment from Teams
Any major infrastructure change requires key stakeholders and responsible parties. Not only do they need to know that they are responsible and accountable, but someone must be empowered to make decisions and act accordingly. A lack of assigned roles for the migration process leads to confusion and reduces the amount of buy-in you get from your team.
How to Solve It:
Work with team members and key stakeholders to create a responsibility and accountability chart. Ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and what they're responsible for. By creating a shared mission, giving people responsibilities, and creating goals that you can work toward, you'll foster a more meaningful work environment.
Incorrect Technology to Support the Migration
Some cloud services providers have transition tools that are tied to or align with their cloud instance. There are also data-transfer tools that are cloud- and vendor-agnostic, which will be especially useful when adopting a multicloud or hybrid-cloud strategy, as it enables you to move exactly the data you want to precisely the cloud instance your strategy calls for, without running into data corrals, limits, or added fees.
How to Solve It:
Having a knowledgeable partner can cut down on mistakes throughout the transition process, including the potential for using the wrong technology. Many companies provide technology partners to ease the transition. Otherwise, it's important to do your own internal research regarding the right transition utilities. Many solutions come with their own migration management, but you'll still need to ensure you're using the right combination. Again, when deploying a hybrid or multicloud strategy, it may be most efficient to look for vendor-agnostic solutions.
Going Over Budget
Migration costs can be very dynamic. A migration can cost next to nothing or become very expensive, depending on the decisions used, the utilities involved, and the amount of time it takes. If a cloud project isn't managed effectively, it can quickly become a very expensive project. And because of that, it's important to manage time and budget accordingly and ensure you have realistic goals.
How to Solve It:
Budget and planning are carefully linked. Before initiating the migration, go over everything that could potentially present a risk or a challenge to the project. Make sure that you have major milestones to track and that you're able to act swiftly if you start going over budget.
Data Security Risks
Data security is paramount when it comes to cloud migration. If you transfer your data incorrectly through cloud migration, it could become visible to third parties. For personally identifiable, confidential information or corporate intellectual property, that can be very dangerous. It's important to make sure all data is properly secured before transferring it to a cloud service.
How to Solve It:
One straightforward way to resolve data-security risks is to ensure a Zero Trust strategy is already in place. Zero Trust methodology ensures that all data is secured as it's transferred, because only permissions that explicitly allow for the processing of that data will be directed. It's an authorization service rather than a banning service.
In many cases, moving large quantities of data may best be served by utilizing a physical data-transfer-as-a-service (DTaaS) solution that explicitly offers secure data devices and processes and fast transfers and flexible timing for any given amount of data.
There are many challenges when it comes to cloud migration. But all of them can be surmounted by planning ahead. With the right technology partner and the right tools, anyone can start to reap the benefits of an excellent cloud strategy. Apart from the above cloud migration challenges, there may also be challenges unique to your organization. Performing a full system audit before your organization commits to the transition can help you prepare.
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