We’ve hit the tipping point where organizations have heard all about the benefits of the cloud, and if they haven’t started making the migration, they’re thinking about it.
But while the cloud unlocks the potential for hyper scale functionality, operational efficiencies and innovation, you don’t hear about the pot holes –the common mistakes enterprises make when migrating to the cloud and the misconceptions about benefits and use cases.
The good news is you can learn from the experience of others who have made the journey to the cloud. They can tell you what to steer clear of and what questions you need to be asking yourself before you make the move.
1. Boiling the ocean
Many organizations make the mistake of thinking they must migrate all the applications and data to a cloud platform at the same time. Instead, they should be doing less to get more.
Moving business critical workloads to the cloud involves coordinated planning and measured execution. One of the key benefits of cloud adoption is it uncovers better ways of doing things as you migrate. By rushing the process, you risk replicating tired and clunky business processes and migrating old code.
Cloud leaders should prioritize workloads and focus on successfully delivering initial migrations that will validate the model. Early wins will help you build new muscles and gain momentum through the organization. Not only should you prioritize the sequence of your workloads to migrate, consider whether to migrate a workload at all by asking the right questions: Is the workload compatible with cloud? Do the benefits of moving the workload outweigh the effort, risk and cost?
By not rushing to get an application or business process into the cloud, you might find it’s better to start fresh with a new cloud-based application. Further, integration tools and processes have matured dramatically so on-premise and cloud applications can easily work together. For example, Microsoft’s Azure Stack and Azure Cloud platforms allow for a homogeneous hybrid cloud architecture.
2. Forgetting resource maturing and underlying code
Depending on the age of your organization, you may have people and processes that have been in place for a long time as well as and legacy code. They may all be working together as a well-oiled machine on-premise, but moving to the cloud shakes things up.
Lifting well-established systems to the cloud may be difficult for your IT staff, so they need time to build expertise in supporting mission critical applications on a platform that’s new to them.
Meanwhile, your code is no different: if you’ve built on the same on-premise platforms for many years, there may be compatibility issues. Just as with migrations of applications from mainframes to server-based platforms, you must make sure you can successfully
3. Not shedding light on shadow IT
Whether you like it or not, people throughout the organization have their own apps and tools they’ve deployed ad hoc to get things done. Lines of business often select tools they need without getting sign-off from IT.
Your IT department simply doesn’t have control over everything –shadow IT ecosystems exist, which means every user could potentially act independently by implementing applications convenient for them. Whether on premise or in the cloud, shadow IT not only opens the door to security threats, but could also disrupt delivery of services to your customers if forgotten in your cloud migration.
Make sure you understand what shadow IT has been adopted by users and be prepared to onboard it. The issues raised by shadow IT can be mitigated by adopting a hybrid cloud architecture. This gives business units the flexibility they need to get things done while providing the necessary structure and security for proper governance.
Moving to the cloud is not only a great opportunity to bring shadow IT to light but to also consider formalizing it if they do in fact bring great benefits to users. In some cases, it may present solutions to mature technology that can’t be migrated to the cloud
4. Getting paralyzed by it
Security considerations must be addressed when moving to the cloud. And although it can be overwhelming, especially for a risk-averse organization, it shouldn’t be bolted on after migration. However, moving to the cloud is also an opportunity to improve your security posture.
You must ensure that permissions for all your applications are well understood on your cloud environment. A security weakness that previously may have been an isolated incident affecting one or a small group of users can be amplified by moving an application to the cloud and affect hundreds or thousands of users. Again, this type of dire scenario might have you backing away from your cloud ambitions. However, hyperscale cloud providers leverage economies of scale to invest more in security, data privacy and regulatory certifications annually than most Fortune 500 organizations invest in aggregate. Look at migrating to the cloud as an enabler around these mission critical considerations rather than a stumbling block.
In the long run, you’ll be able to take advantage of baked-in security rather than worrying about bolting it on after the fact and having it block user productivity.
As enterprise IT evaluates the best technical approach for hybrid IT management, it’s vitally important that the speed, flexibility and agility drawing end users to public clouds in the first place be preserved in the hybrid model. Although you can’t be 100% sure that the information you store on the cloud is safe, you can use these protective measures to make sure it is as secure as possible.
5. Obsessing about costs
ost savings can certainly play a role in the decision to move to the cloud, but cost should not be the only consideration. You may ultimately spend as much or more on cloud infrastructure than you do currently, but you’ll get many other benefits that have a multiplier effect for your business:
Scale, flexibility, speed and performance: Although senior business executives rated “cost reduction” as a key benefit, according to Gartner2, IT staff don't rate it as highly. CIOs and IT directors instead have cited
“innovation" and “operational agility” as top drivers.
Continuous upgrades: Because servers are off-premise, your cloud provider takes care of them, upgrading hardware for you and rolling out regular software updates so you don’t have to worry about supporting systems yourself. It means you can focus your IT staff on more strategic projects that improve customer experience and grow your business.
Cash flow certainty: Because cloud computing cuts the high capital cost of hardware and replaces it with a pay-as-you-go, subscription-based model, your expenditures are more predictable month-to-month. Gone are the days of setting aside a boatload of cash to upgrade your servers every few years.
Weapons-grade security: Cloud providers are committed to a high level of physical security for their facilities, and cloud service has security baked-in. This reduces the amount of time and effort you must put into securing applications and infrastructure.
Competitiveness for any organization: The cloud has levelled the playfield. Now small and medium-sized enterprises can access the same technologies that were previously only available for large companies with deep pockets to deploy on-premise.
Take Small steps on a road well travelled
There are many things that can go wrong when you start moving to the cloud, but there’s no reason you need to make the mistakes others have. Learning from what others have done wrong and breaking down your migration into smaller chunks will enable you to avoid disruptions to your business and fill security gaps without losing data.
Adastra provides world-class Big Data, Business Intelligence, Data Integration, Data Quality, Data Warehousing, Data Governance, and Master Data Management services and solutions to companies around the globe and across industries. Connect with one of our cloud solutions specialists today so you can plot your clear roadmap to the cloud and avoid the potholes.