5 Reasons for Cloud Migration Failure
From auto-scaling to remote storage, the commercial benefits of cloud computing are clear - offering computing solutions that are faster, more efficient, easier to access and more cost-effective than traditional hard-frame servers.
Cloud migration is now seen as an essential step on the path to Digital Transformation with the worldwide public cloud services market set to grow by 21.4% in 2018. 60% of all workloads are expected to take place in the cloud by 2019.
Successfully migrating to the cloud comes with some daunting challenges for businesses. Here are five of the key causes of migration failure and common pitfalls.
Perhaps most obvious is what is the end goal and what needs to be done to achieve it? Having a clear vision at each stage of the Cloud migration process will ensure clarity of what needs to be done by everyone involved.
“Communicating a clear brief will increase the chance of a successful migration in budget and to time” says Anthony Bisaccia, Team Leader of Development & Integration at Empiric. “Having the right people in place is key to a successful migration. Specialists roles such as Head of Architecture and Head of Engineering are integral to a successful migration.”
From public and private cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud setups, through to investing in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Ensuring businesses have the right skilled people in place to evaluate the pros and cons of each option in relation to the goals of the business.
All decisions will play an integral part to the success of the migration especially as managing the cloud requires a very different skillset to overseeing traditional servers, so hiring for key positions will need to be supported by a broader programme of training across your teams.
When it comes to migration, more haste often means less speed. It is often most effective to start by migrating less-used services, and once in the cloud to look at how services can be scaled down to match actual usage. Also consider the fact that apps may have been built based on assumptions about server setup, which may no longer hold true once in the cloud.
The new infrastructure must come with redundancies and fail safes. If an individual data centre becomes temporarily unavailable, for example, how will it affect the business? In the longer term also consider the fact that a multi-cloud setup can come with the benefit of keeping the organisation flexible and minimising the risk of vendor lock-in.
Migrating to the cloud will come with an upfront cost, both in terms of hardware and in terms of recruiting and training personnel. Making decisions based on short-term expenses is likely to be a false economy. Meanwhile, having expertise in-house will help to ensure that realistic budgeting is set from the start as well as reducing the risk of delays and overspending on the project. Ensuring that the Strategy Project Manager has the authority and business support will help ensure costs and timings stick to plan.
Migration may be a multi-stage process that takes months or years – for example, launching a hybrid setup and keeping some assets on physical servers until these can eventually be transitioned to the cloud.
Cloud migration is a project that will affect every part of the business, so it’s important to fully invest in the process at every level and it’s crucial to have full buy-in for the initiative at the board level. This is essential to provide the necessary drive, direction and commitment from the top and to give the leaders of the process the authority that they need to make drastic changes. Moving in reverse, or scaling down midway, will result in large amounts of money being wasted and the business likely being left in a weaker position than it started in.
A common concern ahead of migration is that the cloud will inevitably be less secure than physical servers. Given the granular controls that are available for managing the cloud, this isn’t necessarily the case, however, and particularly so with private cloud deployments. However, it shouldn’t be assumed that you can simply ‘lift-and-shift’ your existing network security settings. IaaS providers typically have highly effective native controls – the challenge is having the expertise on hand to ensure that they are set up correctly. With some 80% of cloud breaches expected to be caused by the misconfiguration and mismanagement of cloud-native security controls, it’s important to get it right – and particularly so in the era of GDPR compliance.
Despite these challenges, migrating to the cloud offers an enormous opportunity. The most important thing is to set the process off on the right footing, to have a long-term strategy and to ensure that the finished product is right for your business.
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