Cloud migration is the process of shifting applications, data, and other business elements to a cloud environment, pub. In the digitalized era, cloud migration unlocks benefits that can give a business a competitive edge. According to IDC, spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will more than double between 2019-2023, with a five-year CAGR of 22.3%, public cloud spending is forecast to grow from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023. This means that a larger number of enterprises will need to navigate the risks associated with cloud migration and with maintaining a cloud infrastructure.

That’s right! Even though the cloud helps businesses balance agile innovation with continuity, scale at volume, reduce IT costs and mitigate security risks, cloud migration comes with its own set of challenges and cannot be taken lightly. It requires meticulous planning and exquisite execution, which is why migration to the cloud has been cited as second to security on the list of problems linked to cloud computing. So let’s look at some of the risks associated with cloud migration.

Am I picking the right cloud vendor?

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform are among the leading cloud vendors offering some of the best features and most comprehensive cloud platforms. There are several other competitive niche players present in the market offering cloud computing services. Understandably, this plethora of options leaves IT leaders and C-suite executives in a state of confusion on whom to pick as their cloud partner. While budget plays a key part in the decision, the main criteria should be your primary goal for moving to the cloud because each business will have its own set of requirements and circumstances.

Many organizations may find that their systems are not cloud ready, with their biggest challenge being ensuring that legacy systems and new applications work together in the cloud. So it’s important to pick a cloud vendor that can support a hybrid environment and cause minimal to no disruption to existing systems. Security, compliance, architecture, manageability, service levels, support, cost, and technical expertise are all critical factors to consider before choosing a cloud vendor. Most importantly, it is important that you pick a cloud provider that understands the specific objectives of your business, as well as the reason you decided to move to the cloud.

Is my IT portfolio in danger?

Any dramatic change in an IT environment requires proper discovery and a deep analysis of the current infrastructure before deciding on which elements to migrate, and not surprisingly this is usually the most challenging part of a cloud migration project. It takes time to uncover issues, document findings and turn them into

actionable insights, especially if you are spread across multiple data centers and locations. What makes it risky is when the assessment of the IT environment is done manually resulting in errors, delays and potential bottlenecks caused by incompatibilities. A smooth and successful cloud migration project demands understanding on-premise application workload profiles. Cloud migrations often fall victim to this effect of incompatibility, causing them to fall apart right after moving the first app to the cloud. Workload intelligence, combined with dependency mapping, therefore, adds critical insight and reduces the possibility of missing dependencies during the move.

I don’t know what to leave behind!

A cloud migration is never a simple lift and shift. The prioritization of what to move is fundamental to a successful cloud migration. The best approach is to identify the applications with the fewest dependencies and begin with migrating them, simply because the stakes are low and you can course correct without too much disruption. Once you’re confident of moving larger application to the cloud make sure that your business goals are aligned with the benefits that the cloud brings.

I can’t afford any downtime!

Downtime is understandably the biggest challenge of migrating applications to the cloud. The biggest hurdle between a successful and unsuccessful cloud migration over time is network connectivity. Even the minutest downtime can be catastrophic to the business, both in terms of revenue and reputation. According to a Rand Group research in 2017, 98% of organizations can lose more than USD 100,000 per hour during a downtime.  It is thus critical to plan your migration in a manner that minimizes disruption and ensure business continuity. One such method is live migration, which is basically the process of moving a running virtual machine or application between different physical machines without disconnecting the client or application, and also allows integration and unit testing while the source is still in production.

Will my data be safe and compliant during the migration?

If data is lost, leaked, or exposed to a cyber attack during a migration it will cause a lot of damage. For highly regulated companies, like financial or healthcare institutions for example, that are bound by law to protect personal customer data, concerns around data governance and compliance can make the migration process a nightmare for the IT team and for the leadership team. A secure point-to-point migration can, however, keep your data safe and transfer it via a preferred routable path protected by an unrelenting firewall.

 

Will cloud migration make my IT ecosystem complex?

Cloud computing technology has always tried to reduce IT complexity, but it can add to the complexity, such as those related to management tools, network drivers, and managing data resilience, if not done right. In case the IT migration procedure fails, the benefits of cloud migration can convert into major complications. The high level of variations relating to the services of the cloud service providers can increase complexities. A well-planned cloud migration strategy will help you easily manage the intense process of migration and reduce the overall exposure due to the technical features, policies, and execution methodology.

Conclusion

A cloud migration is complex and needs a flawless approach towards architecting, securing and managing the cloud migration. The proper knowledge insight into cloud migration risks and benefits is necessary to make the migration decision. Your success will depend on the vendor you choose and the extent of their experience, technical expertise and ability to execute the project in line with your overarching digital strategy. Talk to an expert like Xencia to benefit from about our deep experience and mix of capabilities and find out how you can move your workloads to the cloud without jeopardizing applications or data and business operations. 

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