It’s a chaotic time for business today. A deluge of new technologies has subsequently emerged out that continues to define a new business era. The organizations are flocking to the cloud in an effort to cut costs, stay nimble and ensure future survival.
Each journey to the cloud is very unique and the challenges along the way are pervasive. Businesses must be looking ahead to the journey and preparing accordingly for safe and controlled cloud migration. The cloud enables organizations to effectively reduce IT costs, mitigate security risks, agile innovation with continuity. But all this requires planning and exquisite execution, which explains why migration is cited second on the cloud computing pain spectrum.
These are the 5 key challenges of cloud migration:
1. Choosing the right Cloud Service Provider
The wealth of like-for-like cloud services can make it difficult to choose the right cloud service provider. This often leaves IT leaders and C-suite executives in a state of analysis paralysis, stuck at the first hurdle of digital transformation. Although the budget plays a key part in making a decision, organizations need to consider their primary goal for moving to the cloud. One organization may need to leverage the enormous instant scalability offered by some providers. The key to choosing the right cloud provider, therefore, requires a defined selection and procurement process.
Security, compliance, architecture, manageability, are all critical factors to consider before choosing a cloud provider. Without the right blend of technical expertise and service excellence, the partnership will not empower the business in the cloud. Therefore, the alignment of business goals and vendors’ services is a critical part of the cloud provider decision-making process.
2. Evaluating the current IT Portfolio
A successful cloud migration project starts with understanding on-premise application workload profiles. A key part of this discovery process is figuring out ‘what talks to what’, or rather, analyzing the knock-on effect systems can potentially have on one another. It takes time to uncover issues, document findings and turn them into actionable insight, especially for organizations that spread their infrastructure across multiple data centers or teams. Businesses often fall victim to this domino effect of incompatibility, causing them to come unstuck after moving the first app to the cloud.
Workload intelligence, combined with dependency mapping, therefore, adds critical insight to the decision-making process and significantly reduces the possibility of missing dependencies during the move.
3. Minimizing Business Downtime
Downtime is frequently cited as the biggest challenge of migrating workloads to the cloud. The biggest hurdle between a successful and unsuccessful cloud migration over time is network connectivity. In fact, 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000. The priority, therefore, should be to plan accordingly to minimize disruption and ensure business continuity during the migration.
A live migration refers to the process of moving a running virtual machine or application between different physical machines without disconnecting the client or application. This guarantees long-term success, as it brings together delivery, go live tools, integration testing, source control and unit testing all whilst the source is still in production. This allows the business to test the migration offline before any cutover is made and ensures risk mitigation when moving from physical to virtual environments.
4. What to modernize and what to leave behind?
Migration is not simply a matter of lift and shift. The prioritization of what to move and when is fundamental to successful cloud migration. This ensures unforeseeable problems can be dealt with whilst the stakes are low. It also provides valuable learning and confidence before tackling more complex workloads in the future. Starting small is, therefore, key to successful cloud migration.
Some applications are more suited in the cloud than others, particularly applications with variable usage patterns. Therefore, it’s important to align business goals with the benefits that the cloud brings; such as faster and frequent application releases and flexible auto-scaling. Prioritizing the migration of these applications leverages the numerous advantages offered in the cloud and eliminates waste on premises.
5. Automation capabilities
Automation is fundamental to a successful cloud journey. Efficiency and productivity are the primary motives behind automating the cloud migration process, which cultivates a level of consistency and repeatability unmatched by manual processes. There’s also the added benefit of not having to add staff to the project team to manually asses, fix and convert the application for the virtual cloud platform.
To fully leverage the cloud, organizations should automate application compatibility testing and fixing, since the cloud allows multiple virtual platforms to be tested and remediated simultaneously. This reduces cloud migration time requirements and lowers the unit cost of the individual workload.
Cloud migration is complex as it requires meticulous planning and impeccable expertise to architect, secure and manages. Your success will depend on the partner you choose and the extent of their knowledge, skill-set, and experience to identify and manage the cloud migration.
As you look ahead to the journey, be sure to prepare for safe and controlled cloud migration. Talk to TechNEXA about our deep experience and mix of capabilities and find out how you can move your workloads to the cloud without putting your data or applications at risk and, perhaps more importantly, day-to-day business operations.