Cloud Migration Strategy: 10 Mistakes to Avoid
As more and more businesses adopt cloud computing frameworks, it can feel tempting to migrate to the cloud in a hurry -- but that's a major misstep. Ensure a smooth and successful transition to the cloud by avoiding common mistakes.
Cloud migration is a big decision for any organization -- and one that should not be taken lightly. There are a lot of things to consider when making the move, and it's important to do your research and plan carefully to avoid common mistakes.
In this article, we will discuss the top 10 mistakes businesses make when migrating to the cloud and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of Knowledge
A lack of knowledge is one of the biggest cloud migration mistakes organizations can make. The first step in any migration is understanding exactly what you’re trying to achieve and how the cloud can help you get there. Without this essential foundation, it’s all too easy to make other costly mistakes further down the line. (Also read: Why Business Continuity Belongs in the Cloud.)
Many companies dive into cloud migration because there is so much buzz around the cloud and CTOs/COOs are scared to get left behind. But going in without the necessary implications in mind can increase costs, make the transition less secure and sett an organization up for failure.
When considering a move to the cloud, do your homework first. Research what other companies in your industry are doing and assess whether the cloud is right for your business. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your migration, uncertand the security concerns associated with a cloud move and how things like radius security can help address them.
2. Lack of Planning
Another common mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to plan properly. Moving to the cloud is a big undertaking and needs to be approached strategically.
Many organizations make the mistake of thinking they can just move their existing infrastructure and applications over to the cloud as-is. This is often not the case and can lead to all sorts of problems further down the line.
Instead, take the time to plan out your migration. Assess what needs to be moved to the cloud and what can stay on-premise. Work out how you’re going to move everything over and what changes need to be made to your applications and infrastructure. And, most importantly, make sure you have a solid backup and disaster recovery plan in place before you start the migration.
3. Inaccurate Cost Assessment
One of the main reasons organizations migrate to the cloud is to save on costs. And while the cloud can certainly help you reduce your IT expenditure, it’s important to assess costs properly before making the move.
Many organizations underestimate the costs associated with migrating to the cloud and end up spending more than they anticipated. To avoid this, it’s essential to understand the different pricing models cloud providers offer and how these will impact your bottom line.
Additionally, don’t assume all cloud providers are created equal. They all have different pricing structures and features, so it’s important to compare them before making a decision. (Also read: 5 Questions Businesses Should Ask Their Cloud Provider.)
4. Improper Risk Assessment
Another mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to assess risk properly.
Any time you move data off-premise, you’re introducing additional risk into your environment. This is why it’s so important to assess the risks associated with your migration before you start. Identify what sensitive data you’ll be moving to the cloud and put security measures in place to protect it. Work out how you’re going to manage access to your cloud environment and who will have responsibility for it. And make sure you have a solid disaster recovery plan in place in case something goes wrong.
5. Migrating All At Once
Many organizations try to migrate everything to the cloud all at once and this is often a recipe for disaster. Not only is it incredibly complex and time-consuming, but it also increases the risk of errors and downtime.
Instead, it’s usually best to take an incremental approach to migration. Start by moving over non-critical applications and data. This will give you a chance to iron out any problems and get used to the new environment before migrating more critical workloads.
6. Improper Testing
Another common mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to test properly. It’s essential to test your applications and infrastructure thoroughly before and after migration to ensure everything is working as it should be.
Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that their existing tests will be sufficient. However, it’s often necessary to create new tests or modify existing ones to account for the changes introduced by the migration.
Additionally, don’t forget to test your backup and disaster recovery plan. This is one area where many organizations fail, and it can have disastrous consequences if something goes wrong. (Also read: DataSecOps: Prioritizing Data Security in the Cloud.)
7. Neglecting Staff Training
If you’re moving to a new cloud provider or using new cloud-based applications, it’s important to train your staff properly. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming staff will be able to figure things out for themselves, and this often leads to frustration and errors.
Successful digital transformation of any kind depends on training, so take the time to train your staff on how to use the new applications and systems properly. This will help ensure a smooth transition and minimize the risk of errors.
8. Improper Monitoring
It’s essential to monitor your cloud environment closely to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Many organizations make the mistake of assuming their existing monitoring tools will be sufficient. However, it’s often necessary to modify or create new monitoring scripts and processes to account for the changes introduced by the migration.
While doing all of this, it's important to stay constantly monitoring your backup and disaster recovery plan. You want to be sure that nothing is going to go wrong and that you have a solid plan in place in case something does happen. (Also read: Data Breach Response: 5 Essential Steps to Recovery.)
9. Not Making an Exit Plan
If something goes wrong during your migration, it’s important to have a rollback plan in place. This will allow you to quickly revert back to your on-premise environment if necessary. While it is unlikely you will need to use your rollback plan, it’s important to have one in place just in case.
One example where a rollback plan could be a lifesaver is if, by chance, data is accidentally deleted during the migration process. If you have a rollback plan in place, you can quickly revert back to your on-premise environment and restore the missing data.
10. Failing to Update Documentation
Finally, don’t forget to update your documentation after migrating to the cloud. This includes things like your network diagrams, application inventory and runbooks. It’s important to keep your documentation up-to-date so you can quickly and easily troubleshoot any problems that may arise.
Updated documentation might also include things such as your cloud provider’s service level agreement, contact information and details of any support agreements you have in place.
The cloud is the future. Migrating to the cloud can be complex and daunting -- but you can ensure a smooth and successful transition by avoiding common mistakes.