The use of cloud technology has exploded over the last couple of years, and it’s no surprise why. Operating on the cloud has numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes including increased efficiency, low cost, better support, scaling, profitability, and much more. Study shows that the global cloud computing market is expected to hit $623 billion by 2023 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18 percent during the forecast period. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading cloud vendor for SMBs is expected to hold the largest percent market share.
Even with such significant growth, many enterprises have yet to realize the full potential of a cloud data environment because migration is still often a huge challenge. Uncertainty over financial costs, security, internal resistance to change are among the issues of major concern. For this reason, businesses need to develop a meticulous plan and exquisite execution for a safe and successful migration.
At this point, it’s a good idea to seek the advice and help of a cloud-managed service provider to utilize their knowledge and technical expertise in how the cloud environments they support operate.
So, before you streamline your workflow with cloud-based computing, here are the top challenges to keep in mind as your company prepares for the big move.
Lack of a Well-defined Cloud Migration Strategy
Too often businesses decide to make the move to the cloud without a proper plan in place.
Migrating critical application and business processes to the cloud requires careful planning and deliberation. But often, businesses don’t “shop around” enough to ensure they discover the right strategy that works for them. For instance, the lift and shift model, app modernization and refactoring, as well as re-platforming are all popular methods of cloud migration, and each one of them has its place in the migration strategy.
While the lift and shift approach may be the fastest and least disruptive model, it may not work for all mission-critical and propriety applications. Special consideration should also be given to how the applications handle being in a cloud environment in cases of temporary communication hitches or failure of underlying host hardware.
Start with a detailed cloud migration strategy. In this case, analyzing your current infrastructure and business objectives thoroughly will help you choose the right strategy and decide where you’d like to integrate.
A well-thought strategy ensures that you can easily navigate the transition while avoiding analysis paralysis during later stages. Also, keep in mind the critical assets that might need slight modifications or reconstruction once the migration is successful. These systems should be indicated in your roadmap and strategy. Then, go ahead and split your entire strategy into various steps to make the transition process as seamless as possible.
Lastly, don’t forget to include the processing cost, data, and applications that need to migrate, as well as cost associated with downtime.
Data Security and Compliance Risks
One of the prime barriers to AWS cloud migration is data security concerns and compliance. This is because companies and organizations alike are still hesitant to hand over their private data to third-party cloud services, despite the cloud environment being completely secure. In fact, the SANS 2019: The State of Cloud Security report shows that 56 percent of respondents indicated that they’re extremely concerned about cloud security when moving to the cloud.
The hesitation towards cloud migration has more to do with technology and application-specific concerns. If data is exposed to cyber-attack in the migration process, it could lead to serious disruption. The biggest risks lie with data sensitivity, especially due to poorly designed applications and weak controls around access to information and systems managed by the enterprises themselves.
Today, cloud platforms are fully secure, and service providers have advanced security systems to create a holistic cloud environment. A secure migration ensures that the transfer of the company’s data is done through a preferred routable path and data is secure in the firewall at all times. This ensures that confidential data is not visible to third parties during the transition, which eliminates the risk of data theft and compliance during the migration.
For additional assurance, ensure you ask your cloud service provider the following questions before embarking on a partnership.
- Where will they store data?
- Does their data have end-to-end encryption?
- What process do they use to migrate data from the cloud?
- Are there security policies and procedures in place?
- Are they compliant with various security regulations (HIPAA, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, etc.)?
The answers to these questions will give you an overview of the AWS partner and learn about their procedures before making the final decision.
Uncertain Cost of Cloud Migration Process
Over time, migrating to the cloud can cut costs through streamlined processes, increased productivity, and reduced administrative costs. However, achieving this can still feel like an expensive and complex process.
Moving to the cloud can be a costly endeavor, especially if your company fails to properly analyze the potential financial impact beforehand. The price shouldn’t not only factor in the cost of using the cloud platforms, but also the cost of moving to the cloud, long-term monetary risks that result from slow adoption, and the necessary training needed after the cloud migration. Such budget surprises can be a hindrance to achieving a successful move to the cloud if not addressed.
The best way to avoid huge expenditures when it comes to cloud migration is to prepare. Work with your cloud vendor to establish the costs associated with the cloud migration before you commit to any plan.
Factor in all the elements such as direct costs (software licenses, hardware, materials, supplies, maintenance contracts, etc.), operational costs (labor, maintenance), administrative costs (training staff, maintaining the team), and any other costs involved in managing systems.
Having an overview of all these items will make the cost and scope of the project more manageable. It will also help you estimate timing, minimize disruption, and plan for growth as well.
Mitigating and Overcoming Cloud Migration Challenges for a Smooth Transition.
As challenging as it may be, it’s inevitable for enterprises to make the move to the cloud. The most important asset to succeed is to have the right strategy in place when moving to the cloud. At the same time, it helps to have a cloud service provider with vast knowledge and experience in matters related to the current cloud migration challenges.
With the support of our cloud professionals, we can help you create an effective cloud-based strategy to aid in moving your workloads to the cloud without compromising data or applications, and more importantly, your day-to-day business operations.