Many company executives have make-shift cloud strategies managing cloud migration on their own. However most such initiatives run into problems and executives face many challenges in migrating to cloud, arising out of some common mistakes. Many businesses go about without any specific cloud migration strategies but a thorough process evaluation and goal setting can help avoid some common and costly mistakes such as:
- Lack of a Cloud Strategy
- Uncertainty About What should move to cloud
- Choosing the Cloud Platform
- Process of Migration
- Need for Security and Compliance
Undoubtedly Cloud benefits businesses, but differently across the business spectrum with cost reduction and data control being the major benefits. One of the most common mistakes businesses commit is to get into it without a cloud strategy that outlines the objectives and goals of the initiative. Outlining a goal and assessing the process, accomplishments and benefits of cloud migration is the first step towards success. The strategy should consider the internal resources, the cloud provider, automation tool, migration team and host of other factors.
For small businesses the choice of applications for cloud migration is easy and they can look at those with less than 50-200 VMs/workloads. However, in the enterprise space there are hundreds and thousands of workloads making this assessment difficult and critical.
In making the choice, it is important to understand workloads, applications and databases. A clear understanding of what workloads are being used, when and how are they being used, which application is interacting with another, when it is happening, and which databases can be relied on, makes the choice simpler and more streamlined.
Once the decision to move to the cloud is made, it now becomes a matter of choosing the specific cloud platform. Different platforms–public, private or hybrid cloud platforms–have their own unique and different features, benefits, and challenges. Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) are also choices that come with their own benefits and challenges to them.
A wrong choice can result in major costs, a slowdown in business processes, loss of access to applications, inability to compete in the market and other unfavorable outcomes. The important considerations in the choice of a cloud platform are cloud services, cloud maturity, its performance, costs and competencies of the provider.
Businesses need to understand the process of migration completely before initiating the process since not all applications can be simply shifted to the cloud (re-hosting). Some of them might need a significant amount of re-architecting (refactoring) in them and usually businesses err by not being aware what to re-host or refactor and when to do it. Another common mistake in cloud migration is trying to optimize a workload after it has been moved to the cloud while migrating an application without application mapping is equally so.
Businesses often do not understand the need for data protection and mistakenly believe that their data is protected automatically. The truth is that all the workloads and data may not be safe even if the cloud provider is compliant with HIPAA and PDI DSS. Companies have to ensure that data is protected and secure by encrypting it.
These mistakes arise from a lack of planning, knowledge of the process, understanding the offerings of cloud providers, the requisite resources and platform choices. With the latest cloud migration automation tools and services, companies can overcome the complexity and much of the costs and uncertainty of the migration process.