Make Cloud Migration a Success by Avoiding These Common Pitfalls

BY:

Oct 30, 2019

Here are some costly mistakes to avoid when moving your business to the cloud

Moving any aspect of a business to the cloud brings major benefits to just about any company, but it is a big undertaking. Unfortunately, it’s not a simple plug-and-play solution like uploading photos and videos to Dropbox. IT teams and management alike often underestimate or are simply unfamiliar with the work involved in migrations.

There are a lot of factors to consider, no matter how large the size of the move and some key things can be devastating to forget or do incorrectly. Mistakes can lead to wasted time, money, and trust, which are huge burdens to any company.

However, successful migrations with a long-term strategy can completely transform the way a business operates. The transition is worth the reward if some of these common pitfalls are avoided in the process.

Moving everything at once

Moving to the cloud should be like getting into an ice bath: slowly and one piece at a time. If a business decides to move all applications to a cloud provider at once and something goes wrong in the process, operations could be down for days before the issue is fixed.

It’s a good idea to perform a portfolio analysis to determine app readiness, complexity, and priority before moving them over. Consider starting with smaller, less critical applications, those that take up less storage and are less interconnected with other applications. Move these over and see how things progress. Use them as an opportunity to work out any kinks before moving over larger workloads.

Not doing proper analysis beforehand

Lack of planning or “winging it” is almost never a good idea in business, and it certainly isn’t when moving to the cloud. A business analysis can help answer some key questions before the change is made.

  • What is the goal of moving to the cloud? Moving to the cloud is not in itself a business strategy. It is a tactic that can greatly help a company if used correctly. Think about what the purpose of moving to the cloud is before the process begins.If it’s saving money, working faster, or being more flexible, ensure that migrating to the cloud will do just that. Consider the apps, the cloud provider, and the new tools in place. Look into everything thoroughly so there isn’t a large shift with little to no impact.
  • What applications need to be moved to the cloud? Think through which apps need to be moved, which can be replaced by cloud software, and which don’t need to be moved at all. As mentioned earlier, trying to do too much, in the beginning, is a formula for trouble. This step can help layout a roadmap and migration design to determine what needs to be done and when.
  • Are there regulations or compliance issues to consider? Organizations in industries such as health care and finance have to comply with certain standards to operate legally. Some cloud service providers offer compliant services already, but it is pivotal to verify beforehand to avoid violations.
  • What tools do employees need to maintain? Just because cloud services are “the way of the future” doesn’t mean they have all the answers. Employees rely on certain tools in the current local infrastructure to do their jobs. It’s important to do an audit of these tools and make sure the new cloud service will at least have something comparable. Not doing so can result in a loss of underestimated but critical functions.
  • How are apps interconnected? This is where migration design comes into play. What applications are moving to the cloud first? How will those integrate with applications on-premises? What coding, if any, will be needed to ensure functionality? These are all questions to consider and ones that need a detailed design to answer.Mapping all application dependencies will help avoid connection breaks once migration begins and ensure no information is lost. It will also help identify issues if they do arise by creating a trail to follow back to the beginning.

Underestimating costs

Saving money is one of the most common reasons businesses move to the cloud, but the cost of the migration itself is often underestimated. That’s because the price is often man hours and energy. Answering the questions above, mapping out a strategy, and figuring out how to move and store data could take weeks or months to plan.

That is time the IT team is spending away from other projects, which could cost the company money indirectly. This is also assuming the internal IT team tackles the project or that there is an IT team at all. Additional costs can be assumed if outside consultation is required.

Not getting enough training for the IT team

IT teams may be extremely competent at maintaining and updating an organization’s infrastructure, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to migrating and operating in the cloud. There is a whole separate knowledge set needed to not only move to the cloud but conduct business there successfully. It’s scary even for them.

It’s vital that IT teams get the proper training about the chosen cloud provider and cloud architecture so they can perform a smooth migration and navigate the new cloud network afterward. An untrained team can leave a lot of opportunities on the table out of simple ignorance, so getting training on what the cloud service offers can help them learn and adapt down the road.

Putting security on the back burner

Data still needs to be protected during transit from local servers to the cloud, especially under certain compliance regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Although many MSPs (Managed Service Providers) offer some security, they may not offer complete coverage during the migration.

It’s vital to establish any security protocols that are not already in place, vet vendors for security issues, and train the IT team on how to uphold security standards. Letting security slip as a priority can lead to leaked information and credentials, exposed networks, and lack of accountability.

How AWS MSPs can help with cloud migrations

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a partner network that helps businesses transition to the cloud. MSPs provide A to Z cloud migration services such as portfolio analyses to establish app readiness, roadmaps for migration, data and application transfer, maintenance of a cloud ecosystem, and security. Here is a helpful checklist of things to consider before using an MSP.

CloudHesive is an AWS MSP that focuses on security, reliability, availability, and scalability. Our services help companies reduce operating costs and increase productivity by moving their workloads to the cloud. CloudHesive’s innovative management platform and experienced cloud engineers help customers leverage all there is to offer. Learn more by getting in touch with CloudHesive at 800-860-2040 or through our online contact form.

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