Cloud migration challenges are always at the forefront of CIOs’ minds when they decide to take the next step for their organization. As more and more businesses start to explore cloud migration, they question the challenges that they will face. How can they prepare for the challenges? Is there a time when cloud migration is smarter? Who should carry out cloud migration for fewer challenges? Too often, the idea of cloud migration challenges makes enterprises push the process into the future, opening themselves up to risks. However, if an organization is prepared and plans ahead, those challenges are reduced.
Cloud migration is the process of moving or transitioning all of a company’s data, services, and applications from a physical data center location on-site to the cloud. Essentially, it takes all of that information and puts it into one place that is easily accessible (to the company) from anywhere at any time.
The most common goals of cloud migration are: to reduce operating costs and capital expenditures; innovate by leveraging cloud native services such as auto-scaling, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc.; and make information more accessible to all levels of the company. Most often, many organizations plan to move to the cloud, despite challenges, because it allows for more dynamic scaling and resource allocations.
Understanding what cloud migration is and what it isn’t can help to determine the challenges that may be faced during the process. Cloud migration doesn’t look the same for every enterprise and, therefore, the challenges in cloud migration will not look the same. Each different type of cloud migration has a different set of challenges.
One of the biggest challenges with cloud migration is that people and processes within a workplace need to change and adapt. Changing the mindset of a company can take a long time, especially those with established teams. Younger companies will do this more easily as people aren’t stagnated in the “what we’ve always done” mindset.
Highlighting the reasons why a move to the cloud in necessary (agility, flexibility, performance, cost, digital transformation, etc.) can help to make the process easier, but time is the best answer to this cloud migration challenge.
Another cloud migration challenge is that the process takes time and money. Moving data can be a slow process that requires a lot of time and bandwidth. Security becomes an increasing concern and requires people to work systematically.
Having a dependable infrastructure can help to move this process along more quickly, but getting it right the first time is the best defense for this challenge. At the same time, accurately estimating the costs of cloud migration can help to mitigate problems and plan ahead.
Migration to the cloud isn’t something that happens in a day or even a few weeks, even if using a cloud migration service and planning ahead. CAST can help a team to prioritize what applications or workloads should be moved to the cloud in the first phase and without challenges. Then, CAST’s tool can proceed to create a timeline for cloud migration that breaks down each step of the process that includes potential challenges. Segmenting applications into clear categories such as “Rehost”, “Refactor”, and “Retire” is critical and requires an analysis of both objective insights from an application source code scan and qualitative metrics such as Business Impact from surveys. Then, uncovering the specific roadblocks within the source code of each application to be migrated is necessary. Does the application use hard-coded IP addresses that will break in the cloud? Is the application using persistent files that won’t be accessible in the cloud? These are just two simple, but very common, examples of roadblocks that can be quickly identified by CAST enabling a much more rapid and successful migration. This is a lengthy discussion, as the pros and cons of each move have to be discussed amongst the team and management. A few more cloud migration challenges to consider include:
Unless using a cloud migration tool that provides a great deal of insight, companies have difficulty with getting the migration process completed efficiently. There are many different pieces to the process, especially with PaaS, and they can go together in different ways. To get it right, you need to have objective insight into your portfolio.
The cloud migration process itself does not have to be difficult, though it does have to take some time to be done correctly - and there are going to be challenges, regardless of how prepared a company is. Working with a reputable cloud migration service with tools to help mitigate some of these challenges can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process, however.