Blog May 17, 2019

Navigate Cloud Migration Risks and Ensure Success

Nearly any business can take advantage of cloud computing, no matter their size or their sector. A rapidly increasing number of businesses are turning to the cloud, with an estimated 83% of cloud-based workloads existing by 2020. If you’re thinking about a cloud migration for your business, there are lots of benefits, but you should be aware of the potential pitfalls as well. Done right, cloud migration can have a fantastic positive effect on your business applications. Done wrong, however, and it can quickly turn into a disaster.

Let’s explore some of the biggest risks and mistakes that can derail your cloud migration and learn how to set your business up for success.

The Benefits of Cloud Migration

For many companies, cloud computing has transformed the way they do business. It’s easy to see why so many businesses are migrating to the cloud when the benefits are so plentiful. Here are just some of the many benefits of a cloud migration:

Whether you need to increase your storage capacity, scale your business in response to increased traffic, make your IT processes more effective, or you want to develop a remote work team – the number of ways that the cloud can help your business are seemingly endless.

  • Improved Collaboration

Cloud computing allows you and your team to skip the in-house meetings because your data is available online. This means greater freedom in sharing and holding virtual brainstorming sessions in real time, without location being a barrier to the next great idea.

  • Disaster Recovery

Nothing can set a business back quicker than losing your data. Cloud backups keep your data secure and protected from crises, like power failures and outages.

  • Scalability

Businesses who use cloud systems are more agile when it comes to scaling their business. Cloud solutions allow you to roll with any fluctuations and grow with increasing demands on IT resources or storage.

  • More Efficient IT Process

Your business can save money as you pare down your IT department because your cloud service provider can shoulder much of the work that an in-house team normally would. On the other hand, if you’re keeping your current IT staff on board, they’ll have the capacity to do more when they’re not worrying about burdens like storage and manual backups.

  • Remote Workforce Capabilities

When you move your applications to the cloud, your employees can easily work from home, off-site at another location, or while travelling, without diminishing productivity or losing access to critical information. Cloud computing can streamline your data so you can access it anywhere, anytime, without the need to be in the office.

With advantages like these, migrating to a cloud-based system probably seems like a great idea – and it is. But, it’s not without risks. Any savvy business owner needs to be aware of the pain points and potential for failure that come along with making the migration to cloud computing.

Cloud Migration Mistakes

Cloud migration can go horribly wrong, as we can see from examples like Trustee Savings Bank in London.  A recent survey of IT professionals revealed that cloud problems are on the rise, with 51% reporting migration failures in 2016 and 83% of IT managers reporting downtime due to a migration.

There are plenty of opportunities for things to go awry if your migration isn’t done right, and these are some of the most common mistakes that plague businesses:

  • Failure To Plan

Poor planning, or not having much of a plan at all, can be detrimental to your cloud migration. A migration is a complicated process, one that needs to be carefully thought out by a team of core people in your organization, including executives and IT professionals.

A critical part of the plan is in the timing of your migration. Rushing and migrating too quickly usually ends poorly because the process is not well thought out or tested. While your company is likely excited about moving your data to the cloud, you’re well-advised to tame your enthusiasm and take things slowly. This allows for the proper structure set up, testing, and rollout of your migration.

  • Overly Complicated Architecture

When it comes to your migration, there are likely applications, or aspects of them, that can be transferred to the cloud in a “lift & shift” manner, rather than re-writing and starting from scratch. Creating an entirely new infrastructure is not always necessary. If you do start from the ground up, you’ll want to take a gradual approach that allows for plenty of testing before your migration.

  • Security Risks

Security risks are among the most serious problems that you can run into when migrating to the cloud. With cloud computing, there are a variety of security breaches that can happen, from hackers gaining access to a user’s credentials to customers’ personal data being compromised.

Other examples of security risks include DDoS attacks and human error. In fact, 95% of security failures happen at the hands of the system’s users, not the cloud provider.

  • Improper Application Analysis

Part of your planning process that should happen before your migration is a thorough analysis of your current applications and how they’ll change in the cloud. Applications as simple as email or calendars should be addressed, as well as more complex tasks like data backup.

Creating a seamless migration, for both your business’ internal users as well as your customers, involves careful strategy and communication on how your new system will look and feel to the user. Application interoperability should be a major concern as part of your migration plans.

Setting Up For Success

By now we’ve identified the many benefits of a cloud migration as well as the areas for potential failures. Successfully moving forward with your migration plans involves several steps that will ensure you’re doing things right from the beginning:

  • Have a Risk Mitigation Strategy

The risks associated with a migration to cloud computing aren’t going away any time soon. The good news is that your business can overcome these hurdles with the right strategies in place. With input from your IT managers and cloud service provider, you can create a solid plan that allows you to diminish your risks and address them effectively if they do arise.

  • Adopt a DevOps Mindset

A DevOps mindset is one that embraces practices and philosophies that allow businesses to evolve their products and rapidly deliver applications with greater agility. DevOps fosters collaboration between IT and software development teams which allows greater flexibility and speed in rolling out applications and services.

This type of forward thinking is exactly what’s required in creating a successful cloud migration strategy as well as implementing it efficiently.

  • Use a Zero-Trust Security Model

A zero-trust security model strictly requires each user and device that connects to your data to be fully verified and validated. Whether the user is within the network’s perimeter or not, identity verification is non-negotiable under a zero-trust model. This type of model minimizes the likelihood of a data breach and adds an iron-clad layer of security.

  • Continuously Maintain

Thinking that you’re “done” once your migration is complete is a rookie mistake. Rolling out a migration is one thing, but remember that there’s always maintenance to be done after the fact.

While cloud computing takes a lot of the manual work out of your operations, it’s important to stay current and stay informed about what’s happening with your applications and data so you can avoid any mishaps that might slip by unnoticed.

  • Team Up With Experts

Most business owners aren’t born with an in-depth knowledge of cloud computing, which is why it’s critical that you surround yourself with professionals who do.

At Connectria, we’re leaders in cloud migration and multi-cloud management, making us the perfect partner for your business. From initial strategy, to your migration, to after care and management, we’re with you every step of the way.

Take your business to the next level by putting cloud computing to work for you. Get in touch with the Connectria team to begin your cloud migration strategy and implementation.

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