Cloud Customer Beware: 3 Challenges with Cloud Migrations

For all of cloud computing’s potential, business leaders need to keep their feet firmly on the ground and recognize the sheer complexity of cloud migration. Research indicates that one in three cloud migrations fail and only 25% of businesses meet their migration deadlines.

To compound this further, 90% of CIOs have experienced failed or disrupted cloud-based data migration projects. Clearly, this is a massive undertaking that’s littered with hidden pitfalls. A troubled migration can potentially cripple businesses with huge overspending due to faulty applications, lost data, weakened security, and at worst, a re-migration back to on-premise IT systems.

Yet despite the turbulent nature of cloud migrations, today’s market is fully capable of tackling these challenges and providing businesses with a smoother transition to the cloud. Below are some of the biggest obstacles behind cloud migrations – make sure your plans don’t suffer from one of these common mistakes.

Also see: Top Cloud Companies

1) Adopting the Wrong Migration Approach

Business leaders feel the allure of certain cloud solutions that guarantee a cloud migration that’s fast, easy, and cost-effective, yet fail to properly assess whether these approaches are compatible with their situation and capabilities.

Take for example the lift and shift approach: in theory it’s the least disruptive and is commonly adopted by many businesses for this reason. It involves transferring applications and operations from on-premise IT systems to the cloud without having to intricately redesign or re-structure each component.

This means little to no code changes. In the eyes of many business leaders this seems like a convenient shortcut that can save time, money and human resources, when in reality this could potentially provide quite the opposite.

Cloud migrations aren’t a place to be cutting corners and the lift and shift approach isn’t without its risks. The drag and drop-like procedure means that any pre-existing bugs you have on your IT premises will be transferred to your new environment, which could hamper the implementation process.

Furthermore, maintenance in the cloud is less attached than conventional on-premise maintenance and requires more responsibilities to be split between your business and the vendor.

2) Going Too Big Too Soon

Despite vendors working hard to provide seamless cloud migrations, the operation is still a huge undertaking that requires a lot of time, effort and re-educating of staff. With that in mind, trying to make the transition in one fell swoop is incredibly risky. Cloud migrations can take years to complete depending on the size of the company and its architecture.

Not everything can be moved at once and not every process or backbone of infrastructure is compatible with the cloud. Codes that are written incorrectly will wreak havoc in their new environment, entangling untrained staff in a mesh of complications.

Bit by bit migration allows businesses to swiftly react to errors without impeding normal business activity. Making the transition too fast may force a business to stop dead in its tracks to resolve the issue.

Also see: Why Cloud Means Cloud Native

3) Lack of Specialist Staff

A skill shortage in an area as complex as the cloud can be devastating. Problems will inevitably arise throughout the migration process and the ability to respond efficiently will determine whether these issues are a mere bump in the road or a complete car crash.

There are so many variables that need to be analyzed to assess what’s going wrong, where it’s happening and how it can be fixed. For many organizations, the amount of data that needs to be transferred, stored, utilized, and monitored is astronomical.

In fact, this data often must be digested in real time by a range of applications across different clouds, with different architectures that are transmitting data to and from different locations around the world. Without a knowledgeable, experienced staff, headaches are likely.

Also see: Cloud Native Winners and Losers

Yet Cloud is Worth the Effort

Today’s cloud offerings are more mature and service-based, providing you with more bridges to cross over into the cloud. For example, there are managed databases as a service (DBaas) that keep your database highly available as well as enhancing your ability to scale seamlessly. These are offerings that weren’t available five years ago.

Back then, you had to hire a specialist, which incurred a high service fee. Today all you need is an API. From a business perspective this is golden because you don’t have to invest in a specialist to build your app in the cloud – now you have other businesses that can run the service for you.

Programmers can instead be hired to focus on creating valuable applications that provide value, as opposed to managing and maintaining systems. In today’s market, businesses can leverage a cloud environment that fosters ingenuity and an advanced tool set, enabling them to compete as market leaders.

About the Author:

Ryan Powers, Director of Product Marketing, Redis

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