Cloud computing is on the rise and is already an integral part of most of organizations’ IT strategies. Businesses all around the globe are becoming more aware of the advantages and multiple other benefits cloud computing offers. The cloud provides efficient, cost-effective, and easy-to-implement and use solutions with the freedom of scalability. The cloud drives higher productivity at lower costs, and this is the very reason so many companies have at least one cloud application in their arsenal. These organizations that are using cloud computing often tend to scale up or down in terms of the bandwidth to meet the business needs. It is common these days for companies to switch from one cloud provider to another or go from a public cloud solution to their own private cloud environments. Apart from this, considering the various advantages different types of cloud services offer, big organizations are opting for hybrid cloud environments to get the most from both public and private cloud network models. In order to do so, critical business-related data and applications have to be migrated to a newer environment. And that brings us to cloud data migration, which can also improve productivity and security. But getting there is sometimes a problem. Yes, data migration to the cloud is often fraught with various challenges. Here are the top cloud data migration challenges companies may face and how to make sure they don’t hamstring your cloud journey:
Have a plan and strategy for your cloud data migration
There are multiple reasons for an organization to switch to the cloud. Performance, costs, flexibility, scalability, agility, maintenance, and digital transformation are among the top reasons for companies to choose cloud data migration. But an organization’s business strategy must define the cloud strategy to be adapted and not the vice-versa.
Before migrating to a cloud environment, organizations must thoroughly plan, discuss, and come up with a definite strategy. Often, companies overlook this and end up with losses during or after cloud migration. Organizations must also ensure that all the people involved in the migration must be on board and the processes needed for the move must be planned and adapted for your company. All these aspects have to be carefully considered before the cloud data migration.
Network or service outages can be disastrous. If an organization is migrating from one cloud to another, all the applications and services residing in them will be severely affected if not arranged with a proper backup. Even the minutest downtime can result in huge losses to the business in terms of revenue, reputation, and customer loyalty. Downtime is one of the most crucial and commonly faced issues during cloud migration. One possible solution to this is to set up a backup environment or allocate resources to run the applications till the migration is complete.
However, to set up a temporary environment to host all your business applications and services is not as easy as it looks or sounds. The allocated resources must have the capacity to house these applications and must be able to handle the user’s load on the servers. If you cannot avoid the downtime completely at least try to minimize it as much as possible. Various organizations start posting a banner on the applications to inform users that the service or application will be unavailable beforehand and plan the migration at odd hours when the use of the service is minimal.
Data protection and security
Internet security is the biggest issue in this contemporary IT world. Cyberattacks are growing exponentially and data breaches are increasing at an alarming rate. The process of migration is often hindered by these cyberattacks and extreme care and caution must be taken during the process. When data is being moved from a physical server to a cloud or from one cloud to another, your organization’s data is most vulnerable. Neither your network security nor the cloud’s security can completely protect your data from any breaches during the migration. Therefore, extreme care has to be taken and the process of migration has to be done under the supervision of experts. All possible security solutions have to be implemented to ensure there is no data leakage or breach.
One common myth in cloud migration is that companies often assume that the cloud provider will take care of all the security-related aspects. When migrating to a cloud, organizations must consider obtaining third-party reports about the cloud provider’s security. These reports often aid in planning a proper security measure to consider during and after the migration.
The word “interoperability” refers to the ability of systems to communicate with each other. Interoperability is one of the pressing issues in cloud migration as it is not easy to establish a proper communication between your applications with newer cloud environments. In a cloud environment, interoperability is common for other organizations that use the same cloud services. When working with a cloud framework, a company has to make sure that all applications and services depending on the cloud work well with that particular cloud provider’s systems. At times, you may have to adapt some of your company’s processes to that of the cloud provider.
This is the most common issue faced during cloud migration. Adaptability is a common practical challenge every individual or organization has to face while switching to a new system or policy.
In cloud migration, organizations have to spend considerable capital equipping themselves with the knowledge required to handle the new cloud platform. With the migration to the cloud, companies might have to modify or at times completely revamp their mission, staff, resources, authority, and the funding in various departments to get the work going with the new cloud environment.
Issues also arise when an organization decides to modify their current working architecture to fit with that of the cloud services. Although it is beneficial to take the advantages of the cloud services, it would be a foolish thing to do if this architectural change breaks the bank. After all, every business must consider return on investments.
Apart from these common yet critical cloud data migration issues, there are several other factors that can make or break the business for organizations opting to move to the cloud. Cost, time, and changes in management and other staff are among the other crucial aspects to be considered. One of the most effective ways to neutralize these challenges is to have an experienced team of cloud professionals guide you or get the migration done for you. Finally, even after your business has successfully taken the leap into cloud services, you are not finished. Once you are up and running, constant learning, caution, and monitoring will be your best ally to avert any future problems.
Photo credit: Shutterstock