7 Common Cloud Migration Risks and Solutions to Mitigate   

Categories

  • Article

A recent cloud report states that in 2020 the cloud migration services market worth was $119.13 billion, and is prognosed to grow to $448.34billion point by 2026. Over the last decade migration to the cloud has been on the rise due to increased investments to IT infrastructure. Today businesses tend to rely on the cloud more and more. With all that cloud has to offer, which is flexible infrastructure, scalability, business resilience, agility, enhanced security, and much more, it is no wonder cloud migration is on everyone’s mind. The only catch is cloud migration risks.   

Indeed, migrating to the cloud only for the sake of the cloud and because everyone around has done it is nothing but reckless behavior. It’s important to remember that cloud migration does come with some challenges but they can be overcome. 

Here are some of the most common cloud migration risks and ways how to avoid them:    

  • Data governance regulations  

Another concern that is bound to come up for many companies, especially for highly sensitive industries such as healthcare, is government data protection and privacy regulations. These require a governance framework that sets data ownership, response to breaches, and coordination. And the question is how does the cloud tackle this problem?  

How to solve this: Many cloud providers are by default HIPAA, GDPR, etc. compliant. This makes them a more convenient and sensible option as it means that a cloud provider worries about compliance and the company that uses their services are just given a guide on how to maintain this compliance.  

You need to have a very clear understanding of your non-functional requirements before the move. Compliance is a part of these requirements and you need to understand what standards the solution must meet. If you’re dealing with an old legacy solution it could be a good time to consider applications modernization as regulations might have changed since your application had been developed. For instance, GDPR was introduced only in 2018 and solutions which has been designed without strong capabilities for personal data management can be non-compliant by design and now could be the best time to improve it. 

  • Incompatibility of existing architecture   

One of the most serious concerns and something that can stall your move from the get-go is your existing architecture. Legacy architecture tends to be complex and oftentimes incompatible with the cloud as it might rely on programming languages, system libraries, or execution environments that are not supported or available in the cloud.    

There are cases when a business wants to migrate a legacy system that is going out of support soon but it is tied to, say, integration to hardware in 1000+ restaurants. Moving it to the cloud would automatically mean reinstalling all of this hardware. This would make it not just a move to the cloud, but a global renovation which is not as easy as it may seem.   

How to solve it: The solution here is to audit the infrastructure that you have thoroughly and assess which parts of the architecture are interdependent and which ones make economically no sense to move to the cloud. If the latter is the case, consider building a hybrid cloud model. In this case, the part of the legacy system that is impossible or economically impractical to migrate will remain as it is, while everything that can be taken to the cloud is moved. The business logic is to move everything that can be easily transferred.  

  • Loss of data   

Another risk of cloud migration that might worry every executive when moving to a new location is the possibility of data being lost, incomplete or corrupt. Various factors might be the cause of it, such as some technical issues, power outages, or human error.   

How to solve it: The good practice is to always create a backup of your files. This is something that should be done regularly whether you are going through cloud migration or not. By creating a backup, in the event you do lose all or some part of the data, you will have no problem restoring it. You might even go further with your precautions and have your data stored by multiple cloud providers. In this scenario, you won’t have to worry about unexpected downtime of your provider.  

However, it is important to note that data loss, if it took place, would be a cause of a great calamity indeed. But if you are leaving your cloud migration into the capable hands of professionals who know what they are doing, it is quite hard to lose the data.   

So the solutions to this problem come down to two actions: create a backup and choose wisely who you trust to perform your cloud migration.   

  • Wasted Cloud Migration Expenses  

Cloud migration should take into account not only logical steps and business continuity but also costs. If for instance test environments are suspended for several months or even longer and the client keeps paying for them it’s a serious cost impact. If the move is not planned thoroughly, there’s bound to be over the expense, the size of which will depend on the scale of the project.  

How to solve it: To make sure that you are paying for the services your business needs and uses, employ professionals that will control you don’t overspend. Another sensible move is having a cloud readiness assessment checklist that among many things would include a detailed budget estimation.   

  • Security  

The problem of security is on top of every company’s list whether cloud migration is concerned or not. The main issue is that not all companies (and actually only a few) are lucky to have skilled security experts on their teams.   

How to solve it: In the past, it was believed that the cloud is not the most reliable option where security is concerned. On the contrary, today with cloud managed services and industry leaders such as AWS or Microsoft Azure are offering greater security if configured correctly. On top of that cloud services are more stable compared to what your in-house team, which is probably constantly understaffed and limited in its abilities, can achieve. With a cloud, provider security won’t be such a problem that requires reading security releases each month or making sure that all systems are patched. Amazon or any other cloud provider is capable of taking on this responsibility much more efficiently than any in-house team.   

Concerning cyber-attacks, the cloud has available on-demand services like DDos protection that can be switched on demand when under attack. If the infrastructure under attack is on-premise, you will need to look for and buy actual hardware, set it up and install it. This usually takes up to a couple of months while you will be hacked within a couple of hours. So, in reality, with all the safety worries around the cloud, it is a more secure option.    

  • Lack of internal IT resources   

The complexity of cloud migration is often what stalls the move, despite its numerous advantages and the willingness of the organization. One of the main reasons here is the lack of a skillset. Cloud migration can put a lot of strain on your in-house IT staff, especially if it’s missing the right talent or knowledge. This might lead to human error and costly mistakes.   

Finding the right staff that can effectively lead the move is one tricky cloud migration risk.   

How to solve this: There are two ways out of this conundrum – you can either grow your internal team or turn to third-party vendors.   

Cultivating your cloud talent internally is a good long-term solution. However, it comes with numerous obstacles. Leading specialists are hard to come by as the demand for such talent exceeds the supply. Another challenge would be retaining top talent by offering regular training and continuous learning. But even if these conditions are met, there is always a risk a leading cloud expert would go looking for a more challenging or interesting project.   

Another way out is to look for a trusted vendor that can provide dedicated resources for successful cloud migration. They could bring their vast experience as well as a track record of successful cases to enhance your IT team.   

  •  Time and cost of migration   

Time and cost spent on cloud migration is another risk factor that has to be considered. Without a detailed audit performed before the move any numbers or figures you are promised are a shot in the dark. This both means that you can either receive an inflated budget as a precaution, or a promise of a moderate cost of migration which can exceed several times.    

How to solve this: The migration of legacy systems should start with a detailed audit and inventory and continue with the architecture of the new solution. The migration procedure solution should be the following – you must have a clear migration plan that serves as a link between your current model and a target model. This plan should go into detail about what should be migrated, what is considered a success, and what is not, as well as the criteria for the next step, etc.  

The correct cloud migration service is the following:   

  • Audit of existing functional and non-functional requirements for the system, its current state.  
  • Development of the target model – how it should be in the future. 
  • Detailed transition plan.

Cloud migration is not always about saving money. It’s more about flexibility and elasticity. the main reason companies want to migrate to the cloud is because it is better but not cheaper. Any system can be optimized for both costs and other parameters. It is possible to optimize the system in a very cost-efficient way but at the same time lose elasticity (for instance if we have significantly more users then we can process efficiently) or redundancy (if we have requirements for system reliability. It’s all a matter of optimization but the main value of the cloud is that it gives far more flexibility compared to on-premises 

Share