Four cloud migration mistakes you do not want to make
As if there weren’t already enough mistakes IT teams could make, enterprise developers are innovating new ways to mess things up on the cloud. Here’s the four of the most common cloud-related slip-ups.
More than 90 percent of businesses are using some form of cloud technology. That’s the word from Virtualization Review, reporting on a recent cloud computing study. Though getting from local stacks to cloud-based alternatives isn’t always easy. Here are four of the most common migration mistakes — and how you can avoid them.
1. The similarity slip-up
Not all clouds are created equal. However, this isn’t always apparent — big providers and small vendors alike trumpet their own unique take on cloud services, giving companies the impression that at the core, cloud services are virtually identical. As a result, businesses often select vendors based on their reputation or sheer size but don’t consider the specific nature of the cloud offering.
As noted by eWeek, for example, some clouds make excellent testing environments while others are suitable for high-performance enterprise workloads. Public clouds offer scalable resources at a low cost — great for companies just getting started and with limited IT budgets — while private clouds are the better choice to safeguard sensitive data such as health care information or strategic corporate documents. Avoiding this mistake means developing a cloud migration plan that addresses specific operational needs by leveraging best-fit providers.
2. The all-in adoption
Next on the list of cloud migration mistakes is going all in and moving every application and service your company owns to the cloud. While this may seem like an efficient use of resources, there are some apps that simply don’t belong in the cloud; legacy software and mission-critical code top the list.
What’s more, moving everything to the cloud comes with the specter of risk — what if your cloud provider goes under or isn’t willing to play nice with other vendors when you decide to switch cloud services? There’s a simple answer: Start small and only move what you need. Rushing to the cloud won’t drive ROI.
3. The expertise exception
What does your company know about the cloud? Have IT admins received specific training on cloud services, or are they relying on gut feelings and personal experience to manage your new deployment? According to Information World, companies often assume that providers will supply an experienced team of cloud professionals to ensure services are properly managed and resources are efficiently distributed.
While this should always be your expectation, it pays to have someone on the ground who’s familiar not only with local systems, but how cloud resources impact those systems day to day. By spending the time and money to train local IT, companies can ensure their cloud deployment is executed in line with corporate values, best practices and expectations.
4. The cost condition
Cost remains a key driver of cloud adoption. Yet it can also lead to mistakes; many companies assume that cost reductions will happen on day one, and that without the need to maintain and replace hardware, the ongoing costs of cloud computing will more than balance physical spend.
There are several problems with this model: First is the fact that initial costs for consultation, setup and integration with existing systems can be substantial. Second? Over time, money paid to cloud vendors will outstrip spending on hardware. When cost cuts don’t materialize as hoped, many businesses cut and run. To avoid this mistake, think beyond money when it comes to savings — time gained, thanks to automated procedures and reduced IT troubleshooting, is typically more than enough to offset both initial and ongoing spend.
Looking ahead to a cloud migration? Take the time to avoid common mistakes. Don’t buy the line that all clouds are the same, never go all in, always opt for in-house expertise, and don’t get caught by cost controls.