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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Monday, 26 August 2019 13:56

Seven Cloud Migration Pitfalls

Written by  SCOTT DROSSOS

Many enterprises are attracted to the benefits cloud presents. A few obvious advantages include convenience, scalability, and flexibility, packed with the ability to modernize existing IT assets and prepare for future needs. However, getting to this place of improved speed and innovation in the cloud can be difficult since moving away from traditional, physical infrastructure is no easy task.

Businesses are taking various approaches to cloud migration. Some are diving in all at once, while others are moving very specific applications first and re-evaluating from there. With any migration, there are always one-time costs involved. There may even be resistance to change from users and internal decision-makers. These are just a couple roadblocks which may occur during the cloud migration process. What are others? Below are seven most common pitfalls in cloud migration.

1. Lack of a clearly defined cloud strategy

When it comes to cloud migration, often the most crucial assets within a business are the ones being migrated, which means there is no time for uncertainty or disorganization. A short and long-term plan is vitally important to the success of the project. When developing the cloud strategy plan, consider the following:

  • Why does the organization want to migrate to the cloud?
  • Is this core to your business?
  • What makes cloud the best fit for these business goals?

When it comes to a cloud strategy, the foundation should be built upon the reasons for migrating.

2. Selecting the wrong type of migration

Once you have gone through the pre-migration stage and determined an effective cloud strategy, it is time to examine the current state of your IT systems. Determine how they will play into the strategy during the subsequent processes and evaluate what needs to move or retire in order to embrace the cloud. There are different cloud migration strategies, and identifying which is the best for your business can make or break success. The four main types are the following:

  • Rehost: move existing physical and virtual servers into compatible infrastructure
  • Rearchitect: replace the application with a SaaS product
  • Replatform: change the operating system or database engine
  • Refactor: examine how the application is architected and developed, and implement new cloud features to assist performance, scaling and agility

3. Failure to segment or prioritize data and applications

Enterprises have expansive amounts of data and grouping. Prioritizing all of it is critical. where are your proprietary products like key decision enablers? Where do intellectual properties need to live within the system? Group data into tiers to be more effective; tier one is the most important data, followed by tier two of middle importance and low importance in tier three.

4. Forgetting security

The modern organization faces a slew of cybersecurity threats which have real business impacts including data theft or loss, espionage, vandalism, extortion, disinformation, market manipulation, reputation loss, and disruption of infrastructure. Since moving to the cloud means a greater level of accessibility from cybersecurity threats, an effective migration will account for the threat possibilities and implement prevention, detection, restoration, and educational plans and policies.

5. Shifting assets with the wrong resources at the wrong time

Businesses love fast processes. However, moving fast when it comes to cloud migration may not always be the smartest choice. While moving into the cloud quickly can occur if there is proper alignment on capacity, resources, and other tools, it is more important to do it right and set realistic expectations. This is especially true if your IT team is new to cloud computing and requires a more incremental approach to the cloud. This applies even if you have selected to rehost, lift, and shift data during the migration. If the system does not migrate properly, only a small portion is available to troubleshoot prior to moving an entire system, leaving room for expensive errors.

6. No disaster recovery plan

Many businesses cannot afford to stop operations during migration and the same goes for any mishaps that may occur. This is where backup and disaster recovery may come into play. Ensuring all backups are current before moving data can help prevent a potentially large disaster. Make sure all designations for recovery time objectives are in place for each application rather than solely in groups, as this can help get systems back up and running more efficiently. If a strategic services provider (SSP) is handling this process and assisting in the overall migration, this should be proactively built out and placed in the plan with details of all remediation practices.

7. Lack of analysis for interdependencies

The single most important aspect of any cloud migration is knowing what you will be migrating. A high-level snapshot is not a sufficient strategy. Perform an up-front analysis of the applications, scanning the network for interdependencies, and deeply understand the as-is environment that will be migrated.

Avoiding these seven deadly sins will help to ensure a successful journey to the cloud. The four types of cloud migrations (listed earlier in No. 2) emphasize there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so organizations must first have conversations with their leadership to establish a business-wide cloud strategy and properly set expectations for adopting cloud.

Drossos ScottScott Drossos became president of the Infiniti Consulting Group, an InterVision company, in 2015. Under his leadership, Infiniti rapidly grew to become one of the leading AWS and Azure cloud services companies in the US. His career has taken him through the rank and file of technology and services companies including Apple, Pearson, McGraw Hill and Xerox, where he held a variety of significant executive leadership roles. Additionally, Drossos helped build a tech start-up from inception to a multi-million-dollar SaaS company he helped take public and grow through multiple acquisitions.