Adoption of the cloud last year exponentially increased, and a whopping 83% of enterprise workloads are expected to be in the cloud by 2020. With such massive adoption of the cloud, this means there has been a huge need for cloud migration. Cloud migration is the process of moving a website, application, or other data from an on-premise data center into a cloud environment or from one cloud environment to a different cloud environment.
Mistakes made during the cloud migration process can cause business interruption and cost your business time and money. These are the top mistakes that are made in the cloud migration process and how to avoid them for a smooth migration to cloud services.
1. Migrating Without Expert Guidance
While many cloud providers make it simple to educate oneself on what the cloud is and how to start utilizing cloud services, it takes a deep knowledge of cloud migration to efficiently complete the process. Cloud migration without expert guidance is a sure way to guarantee delays in business services throughout the process.
Simply put, migrations can go wrong and having a team ready to mitigate business interruption is going to be vital to your success. You need the right tools, engineers with specific skill sets, and overarching expert guidance for a smooth migration to the cloud.
2. Not Creating A Cloud Migration Strategy
A strategy is everything, especially when migrating to the cloud. Just like any big business decision, a strategy will help your business prepare for obstacles and clear a path to successful outcomes. It is one of the most important aspects of cloud migration, so failure to create a strategy will absolutely hinder success.
There are six application migration strategies, known as the “6 R’s”. Your cloud migration strategy should center around one or a combination of these elements.
- Rehosting: This strategy is also known as “lift and shift”, where you are simply taking an existing application and moving it to a cloud environment. This is optimal for quickly getting into the cloud.
- Replatforming: Replatforming involves taking advantage of a few of the optimizations in the cloud without fully re-architecting the application. It is very similar to a lift and shift but involves some slight enhancements to optimize the app in the cloud.
- Repurchasing: This strategy involves moving to a new cloud-based product, usually a SaaS (Software as a Service) model.
- Refactoring/Re-architecting: If you are moving to cloud to create new features on your app and really take advantage of the optimizations the cloud has to offer, then you will want to consider this strategy. Refactoring/re-architecting is a way to rebuild an app in the cloud using features that were not previously possible in the app’s existing environment.
- Retire: Working with a cloud migration expert or consultant may help your business realize it is not using all of its assets. This may mean completely retiring certain applications in order to focus attention on more important business functions.
- Retain: Sometimes your business will not be ready to move a certain application to cloud, or it may not be the right time based on current business needs. You never have to move everything — you need to do what makes sense for your business.
3. Choosing The Wrong Cloud Environment For Your Needs
There are several different cloud environments to choose from, but as a company, you need to choose the one that will best fit the specific needs of your organization. While some legacy migration consultants might try to tell you that every cloud environment is the same, there are some key differences that may work or not work for your business.
Cloud environments will differ on service offerings. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has far more service offerings and capabilities than competing cloud providers. Billing models will also vary, with some charging per hour and others charging based on instance sizes or by the minute. Ensure that the billing model and services you will utilize in the specific cloud environment align with your business needs.
4. Not Choosing The Right Fit: Lift And Shift vs. Cloud-Native
As we discussed previously about application migration strategies, choosing how you migrate or build your application will largely affect how successful your migration to the cloud is. This typically means choosing whether to “lift and shift” (move your existing application directly to the cloud with little to no changes made) or to go “cloud native” (build the application in the cloud using applicable cloud optimizations). Each business will have different needs, so there will never be a one size fits all approach to the cloud.
Lift and Shift tend to be a better option for businesses that are looking to quickly move to cloud and don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. A cloud-native approach is more expensive and timely, but it allows businesses to fully take advantage of all of the cost savings, optimizations, and capabilities of the cloud.
5. Not Choosing The Right Fit: Single vs. Multi-Cloud Environment
A single cloud environment is when a business is only using one cloud provider for all business needs. A multi-cloud environment is when a business chooses to store certain applications with one cloud service, and other applications with a different cloud service. There are benefits to both methods, although a single cloud approach is typically recommended.
Large enterprises may choose a multi-cloud environment as a risk mitigation strategy to not be locked into one cloud provider. Multi-cloud environments also may allow a business to take advantage of different cloud service offerings for specific products to be optimized as possible.
A single cloud environment is typically less hassle and more secure. In the cloud, there is a shared responsibility for security. A multi-cloud approach could make it hard to ensure security needs are met, particularly when balancing the different needs of various cloud providers.
A multi-cloud environment will also complicate cloud adoption across an organization. It is a lot to ask all key stakeholders to be on board for a cloud migration, so to ask them to learn the ins and outs of different environments could lead to pushback and complications. Be sure to have a dedicated IT team if taking a multi-cloud approach.
Reap The Benefits Of The Cloud
While any of the above mistakes might be made during the cloud migration process, your business will ultimately reap the rewards of migrating to the cloud. From increased efficiencies to greater security, there is no doubt that the cloud will be a vital hub of most business processes in the coming years.
Author Bio: Alexandra Bohigian is the Marketing Director at Enola Labs Software, a software development company specializing in AWS migration. Alexandra has a strong interest in technology and how it impacts everyday business processes.
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