Although businesses are moving their data and applications to public cloud environments, some are struggling to get their cloud migration plans off the ground. Whether it’s due to a lack of planning, testing, or foresight, many businesses face a number of common cloud migration challenges when beginning a project.
In this article, we will explore 6 cloud migration mistakes that businesses face and outline the appropriate steps to avoid them.
6 public cloud migration mistakes
- Lack of planning
- Lifting and shifting all data
- No robust testing phase
- Overlooking the end-user
- Poor user adoption
- Not using a migration partner
1. Lack of planning
Without correct planning, your business may experience cloud migration challenges. With no insight into the workloads that should be migrated, or how they will work in a cloud platform, this will cause significant costs, delays and disruptions to your project.
Although there is significant scope for capacity, scalability and elasticity with public cloud platforms, many businesses are failing to reap these benefits. They are likely to be over-provisioned and, depending on the size and type of chosen server, could be incurring unexpected costs. To mitigate this cloud migration mistake, it is critical to map out a complete scope of your processes, structure, and calculate expected costs.
For example, if you are a ticket vendor, users will expect to easily navigate your website when tickets for high profile, high demand events go on sale. While you may have some on-premise servers to run day-to-day processes and administration, utilising public cloud during busy periods will help you to meet customer demands.
A good migration partner will work with you to assess your business needs and help you map out a complete migration plan. Your needs will be based on:
- Time. How long is the predicted migration period? Will licensing run out during this period, if so, how will this affect the ROI of your project?
- Current infrastructure. Is hardware going out of date soon? What technology updates are you expecting? How can you manage the end of life of business-critical hardware?
- The future. How will your cloud platform continue to work? Are there any considerations you need to make now, such as hardware lifespan?
- One way to mitigate risk is by creating a staging platform. This will help you understand how your new infrastructure will run, and will give your team the chance to learn how to use your new system before go-live
To correctly plan your cloud migration strategy, you need a thorough data and infrastructure assessment. Book for your no-obligation cloud migration assessment today.
2. Lifting and shifting all workloads and applications at once
Many businesses opt for a lift and shift approach because they think this will cause the least disruption. Applications are “lifted” from the existing environments and “shifted” as they are into the new cloud environment. There are usually no major changes needed in the application architecture, data flow, or security mechanisms.
Although this approach may appear to be the least disruptive, businesses who execute a lift and shift migration can fall victim to this common cloud migration challenge – moving too much, too soon. By moving everything, all at once, your business runs the significant risk of:
- Causing delayed and unresponsive processing power, as your legacy applications are too large.
- Legacy system downtime, as they’re unable to run outside their current infrastructure.
- Outdated processes being rebuilt as is, prolonging negative user experiences and reducing the positive impact your cloud migration strategy could have.
- Overpaying to retrieve trivial information from the Cloud.
In order to mitigate these potential risks, it’s vital to approach the migration more strategically. This includes slowly and effectively moving non-critical applications to the cloud first. This will give you true insight into how your legacy systems will perform in the virtual engine. With this insight, you can better understand how to streamline user journeys, allowing you to better manage connectivity costs and reduce downtime.
A lift and shift migration leaves your business at significant risk of not hitting your deadline and causing downtime due to legacy applications being too large, out of date, or unable to run outside their current infrastructure.
3. Failing to apply robust testing
Without properly testing your new cloud system before migrating, your project will be susceptible to significant (and avoidable) mistakes. This is especially important when using live services with your front office team. Any significant challenges can lead to:
- Business downtime. If your system is live too soon, you risk not meeting user and customer expectations.
- Loss of revenue, with products and services unavailable online.
- Loss of data, if your cloud platform is down for 12 hours, that is half a day’s worth of data missing from your system, which will cost you significant money to retrieve.
- Reputational damage, if customers are unable to use your service, they’re more likely to choose a rival supplier.
It’s vital you mitigate this cloud migration mistake by undertaking in-depth testing. This should be done at all levels to ensure that the application works structurally and operationally.
To determine whether your staging platform is successful or not, you need to identify exactly what you are testing. This can include how the application runs, user accessibility, or the structure as a whole. Once testing has been completed and is deemed successful, then should it be migrated to a live platform.
4. Overlooking the end user experience
An increasingly common cloud migration mistake is building a platform that doesn’t work for your users. Ultimately, it’s your team who will be using this platform. When migrating all data, applications, and platforms to the Cloud, you’ll need to improve their user experience.
To overcome this cloud migration challenge, it’s important to anticipate user issues and obstacles. During the proof of concept phase, test potential programme options and identify:
- Possible security hurdles. The biggest threat to your data and system safety is your users. During the experimentation phase and immediately after launch, it’s essential to monitor usage to ensure everyone has the correct data access, and there are no malicious threats to your database.
- Remote working limitations. It’s important to consider issues such as bandwidth, connectivity, and security with remote users. This will ensure that, no matter where your team are calling ‘the office’, this doesn’t disrupt productivity or customer experience.
- The average number of users. The more users you have on a system at any one time, the more overloaded your new cloud platform will be. In order to mitigate this risk, it’s critical to check that the VPS gateways have been correctly scaled.
By overlooking what your team actually need from a system, you’re minimising the chances of a successful user adoption. Conduct internal research to find out how to simplify processes and maximise user uptake.
5. Poor user adoption
Remote working practices have shifted the way employees work, and the way users interact with businesses. People have come to expect a seamless and convenient digital experience. This increased digital expectation has been a key driver for cloud migration for many businesses and yet, poor user adoption is a challenge that many organisations are facing due to overlooking the user in their cloud migration strategy.
If you migrate to the cloud but have not involved and engaged your team in the essential steps of the process, it’s likely that you will experience resistance to change, rendering your migration unsuccessful.
The key to overcoming poor user adoption is communication. Without communicating the value or benefits of your migration, it may take users longer to adopt your new systems and processes.
Communicating with your users can include:
- Email threads informing them of key milestone dates and the changes they should expect to see.
- One-to-one conversations with leadership or in-house champions, explaining why the changes are being made and the positive effect it will have on their work day.
- Training sessions, either remotely or in person, to ensure that user knowledge isn’t a barrier to entry, but a hurdle they can easily overcome with the right support.
Identify how your users are using your system and how your processes can be improved with a no-obligation cloud migration assessment. Book yours today.
6. Flying solo on your migration journey
Even the most experienced IT team will have some gaps in their knowledge. A common cloud migration challenge businesses are facing is not asking for advice or support from third party experts.
Ultimately, if you want to migrate to a cloud platform using your in-house team, you should still recruit the help of third party experts due to their significant experience planning and building a variety of platforms. A good third party provider will help you mitigate these common cloud migration challenges that will otherwise be costly to your business.
Overcoming cloud migration challenges
If you move too much too soon, fail to test the cloud environment, or overlook the user experience, even a well thought out plan runs the risk of overspending and under-delivering. This will result in a poor user adoption that can significantly affect your business’ revenue and reputation.
To mitigate these risks, it’s important to work with a third-party provider to get a full, unbiased picture of the state of your current data, platform and processes, and how these can translate into a cloud environment. This support, whether it’s during your initial proof of concept phase or throughout your migration process, allows you to easily overcome the cloud migration challenges that your competitors are stumbling on.
- A lack of planning will lead to significant costs, delays and disruptions to your project.
- A lift and shift migration can cause downtime due to legacy applications being too large, out of date, or unable to run outside their current infrastructure.
- In-depth testing should be carried out to ensure that the application works structurally and operationally.
- By overlooking what your team actually want and need from a system, you’re minimising the chances of a successful user adoption.
- Every IT team has gaps in their knowledge. Working with cloud migration experts can allow you to minimise the chance of potential risks and maximise success.
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