There are numerous benefits that arise from cloud computing compared to on-site servers. The hardware acquisition and maintenance costs fall, and SaaS software is more affordable and accessible to companies of all sizes. However, migration from on-site to the cloud is a delicate process that needs planning and excellent execution. The risks involved might cripple a business for a while before full recovery of operations is attained. Cloud migration processes bear numerous risks that must be mitigated to achieve a smooth transition.
The Need for a Cloud Migration Strategy
When opting to move some operations or data to the cloud, your organization must settle on a strategy. It could opt for a single cloud service provider, multiple providers, or a hybrid system. In a hybrid system, not everything is migrated but some information will still be stored on-site. Most companies opt for a combination of two public cloud service providers with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure being the most popular.
Relying on one provider might leave your operations locked in and fully reliant on the vendor’s service quality. However, picking two or more providers leads to more work in platform management. The cloud migration process must start with selection of the right strategy and picking the right service providers.
Picking the Right Model
Part of planning also involves what the cloud migration aims to achieve for the business. This helps identify the right cloud services model for your business. For instance, if the migration is aimed at supporting such things as human resource management or customer relationship management, then a Software as a Service is the correct fit. However, if the business only needs infrastructure to support operations, then Infrastructure as a Service it the right option.
The Complexity of Current Infrastructure
The complexity of your current IT infrastructure might complicate the cloud migration process. This is a major challenge for many businesses because they must find people with the proper skills to manage the process.
When you want to implement a hybrid system, it might require a redesign of the internal IT infrastructure to ensure compatibility with cloud servers. The cloud migration team must audit the existing legacy architecture, figure out what technology is lacking for a seamless transition, and finally make proper documentation to enable future teams to provide proper support. A lack of documentation can be a big problem down the road.
The Risk of Data Loss
Perhaps the biggest fear among executives managing a cloud migration is the risk that some data may get lost, files might be corrupted or incomplete. The solution is to have a proper backup before the process starts. In case of a power loss or other contingency, the business will restore its data. Multiple backups provide an even greater peace of mind, and this might explain why some organizations opt for multiple cloud providers to offer redundancy.
An experienced team leader during the migration process ought to anticipate potential challenges, including data loss and make proper contingency plans.
Cost Overrun Challenges
A lot of cloud migration projects tend to go over their budgeted costs. According to research from Gartner, two-thirds of costs incurred are avoidable. Companies end up paying for computing power, storage, and data transfer capacity that they do not need. To avoid this problem, there must be a critical analysis of all cost drivers. The team must come up with the correct mix of services to pay for.
The cost optimization costs often involve deleting underutilized instances, setting alerts for exceeding predetermined spending thresholds, and rightsizing workloads. Businesses should also take up any discounts that might save them costs.
The Risk of Latency
Cloud migration can lead to latency in the workflow when improperly optimized. Latency is noticeable in websites and applications and can hurt user experience. For instance, a cloud migration might lead to an application’s database take a few seconds to grant a user request. It can lead to loss of revenue.
The cloud migration team must optimize the network to ensure that the user experience is better than it was even before the migration. Multi-cloud connectivity is important in ensuring service stability.
Security Challenges in Migration
Security challenges are the biggest risk in cloud migration processes. Businesses must ensure there no compliance violations during the process because that carries litigation risk. It is also prudent to check whether migration might breach any contracts the business might have with third parties such as customers.
Businesses in the past have suffered insider attacks, malware attacks, and external attacks during cloud migration. To prevent this, data must encryption is necessary during transit and after migration too. To minimize the internal threat, multi-factor authentication and user access policies are also important. Configuration of a firewall minimizes the risk of malware attacks. All users involved in the process should also receive security training because accidental errors can occur.
Getting Cloud Migration Right
As seen, a host of challenges might crop up during cloud migration. Major planning is the only way to reduce the likelihood of data loss, cost overruns, and performance issues past migration. While a lot of technical work is outsourced to the public cloud provider, businesses must preserve an internal team to manage cloud resources the business is paying for. An internal team has to do some optimization work although there is some level of automation that is possible to minimize cloud costs.
Attaining a smooth cloud migration is crucial for protecting brand equity and revenue. A migration that takes too long will lead to a loss of trust due to service outage. Latency issues hurt user experience while a data breach might expose the business to lawsuits. Therefore, it’s crucial to work with a team that can anticipate and hedge against these risks.
If your company is in need of a cloud migration partner, check out Transcendent Software. We help businesses get ready to scale by moving certain aspects of their operations to the cloud. We assess current IT infrastructure, recommend cloud technologies, before executing the migration plan with proper risk mitigation. Get in touch with us today!