Cloud migration is a serious decision for any organization and should not be taken lightly. There are many things to consider when moving, and it’s important to do your research and plan carefully to avoid common mistakes.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 mistakes businesses make when moving to the cloud and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of knowledge
Lack of knowledge is one of the biggest cloud migration mistakes organizations can make. The first step in any migration is to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve and how the cloud can help you achieve it. Without this essential foundation, it is all too easy to make other costly mistakes. (Also read: Why business continuity belongs in the cloud.)
Many companies dive into cloud migration because there is so much noise around the cloud and the CTO/COO is afraid to fall behind. But getting involved without thinking about the necessary consequences can increase costs, make the transition less secure, and set the organization up for failure.
When considering moving to the cloud, do your homework first. Research what other companies in your industry are doing and assess whether the cloud is right for your business. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your migration, whether you have any unclear security issues associated with moving to the cloud, and how things like radius security can help address them.
2. Lack of planning
Another common mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to plan properly. Moving to the cloud is a big undertaking and needs to be approached strategically.
Many organizations make the mistake of thinking they can simply move their existing infrastructure and applications to the cloud as is. This is often not the case and can lead to all sorts of problems.
Instead, spend time planning your migration. Evaluate what needs to be moved to the cloud and what can stay on-premises. Figure out how you’ll move everything and what changes you need to make to applications and infrastructure. And most importantly, make sure you have a solid backup and disaster recovery plan in place before you begin your migration.
3. Inaccurate cost estimation
One of the main reasons organizations migrate to the cloud is cost savings. And while the cloud can certainly help reduce IT expenses, it’s important to get the costs right before making the switch.
Many organizations underestimate the costs associated with migrating to the cloud and end up spending more than they anticipated. To avoid this, it’s important to understand the different pricing models offered by cloud service providers and how they will affect your bottom line.
Also, don’t assume that all cloud providers are created equal. They all have different pricing structures and features, so it’s important to compare them before making a decision. (Also read: 5 Questions Businesses Should Ask Their Cloud Provider.)
4. Incorrect risk assessment
Another mistake organizations make when moving to the cloud is failing to properly assess risk.
Anytime you move data off-premises, you introduce additional risk into your environment. This is why it is so important to assess the risks associated with migration before starting the migration. Determine what sensitive data you will be moving to the cloud and implement security measures to protect it. Determine how you will manage cloud access and who will be responsible for it. And make sure you have a solid contingency plan in place should something go wrong.
5. Migrating everything at once
Many organizations try to migrate everything to the cloud at once, and this is often a recipe for disaster. Not only is this incredibly complex and time-consuming, but it also increases the risk of errors and downtime.
Instead, it’s usually best to take a phased approach to migration. Start by migrating to non-critical applications and data. This will give you a chance to resolve any issues and get used to the new environment before migrating more critical workloads.
6. Improper testing
Another common mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to properly test. It’s important to thoroughly test your applications and infrastructure before and after migration to ensure everything is working as it should.
Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that their existing tests will be sufficient. However, it is often necessary to create new tests or modify existing ones to account for the changes brought about by the migration.
Also, don’t forget to check your backup and disaster recovery plan. This is one area where many organizations fail and it can have devastating consequences if something goes wrong. (Also read: DataSecOps: Prioritizing data security in the cloud.)
7. Failure to observe personnel training
If you’re moving to a new cloud provider or using new cloud applications, it’s important to properly train your employees. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that employees will be able to figure everything out on their own, which often leads to frustration and mistakes.
Any kind of successful digital transformation depends on training, so take the time to train your employees on how to properly use the new applications and systems. This will help ensure a smooth transition and reduce the risk of errors.
8. Improper supervision
It is important to closely monitor your cloud environment to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that existing monitoring tools will suffice. However, it is often necessary to modify or create new monitoring scripts and processes to account for the changes brought about by the migration.
While doing all this, it is important to constantly monitor your backup and disaster recovery plan. You want to be sure that nothing will go wrong and that you have a solid plan in case something does. (Also read: Responding to a Data Breach: 5 Essential Recovery Steps.)
9. Failure to create an exit plan
If something goes wrong during migration, it’s important to have a rollback plan. This will allow you to quickly return to your local environment if needed. While it’s unlikely you’ll need to use a cancellation plan, it’s important to have one just in case.
One example where a rollback plan could be a lifesaver is if data is accidentally deleted during the migration process. If you have a rollback plan, you can quickly return to your on-premises environment and restore the missing data.
10. Failure to update documentation
Finally, don’t forget to update your documentation after migrating to the cloud. This includes things like network diagrams, application inventory, and runbooks. It’s important to keep your documentation up to date so you can quickly and easily fix any potential problems.
The updated documentation may also include information such as your cloud provider’s SLA, contact information, and information about any support agreements you have.
The cloud is the future. Migrating to the cloud can be difficult and intimidating, but you can ensure a smooth and successful transition by avoiding common mistakes.