According to RightScale’s latest State of the Cloud Survey, 95 percent of enterprises are now using the cloud. Of these companies, 77 percent are using private clouds, which has increased the hybrid cloud adoption rate. As more companies migrate to the cloud, IT teams have grown more experienced with typical cloud deployment mistakes and had more opportunities to learn from these mistakes.
Here are five of the most common cloud migration mistakes and how to avoid them.
Assuming Cloud Migration Is Easy
A CIO.com survey of cloud migration experts found that the biggest cloud deployment mistake companies make is assuming that migrating to the cloud is a simple turnkey operation. In fact, a cloud migration is a complex process that requires a sound strategy, careful planning, and disciplined implementation for a successful execution. This process may require developing solutions for unexpected bumps in the road, such as discovering that one of your company’s favorite applications does not work on the cloud. To avoid stumbling over these obstacles, RKON Technologies solutions architecture director Christopher DeMichael recommends treating a cloud migration as a data center migration, rather than a simple upgrade, and acting accordingly. As part of this migration approach, Zensar Technologies associate vice president David Eichorn adds that you should test your new solution in a target infrastructure environment before doing any actual migration.
Going It Alone
Underestimating the difficulty of cloud migration leads to another mistake companies often make: trying to handle cloud migration alone. Cloud adoption is often a cost-cutting solution, leading many companies to cut corners by delegating migration responsibility to their cloud provider and to internal IT staff, Virtustream co-founder Sean Jennings explains. The problem with this is that, on the one hand, cloud providers typically provide generic solutions that do not address industry-specific applications; while on the other hand, internal IT members who typically lack cloud migration experience. The best practice is to have your internal IT staff work with an experienced cloud migration consultant who can help ensure that your solution is consistent with the specific needs of your business.
Migrating Everything at Once
A third common mistake is moving your IT wholesale to the cloud all at once in one fell swoop. This approach discourages testing procedures which are essential to a successful cloud migration, running the risk of leaving your entire IT infrastructure out of order if something goes wrong. It also ignores the fact that not all applications necessarily need to be on the cloud. Successful companies tend to begin their cloud migration by adopting a cloud-based solution for a particular app or infrastructure element, MRK Technology Marketing Services principal Michael Krieger says. This is one reason an increasing number of companies are adopting a hybrid cloud solution.
Assuming the Cloud Will Solve IT Issues
Another common error is assuming that moving to the cloud is a panacea for IT issues. The problem with this assumption is that if your IT strategy and procedures aren’t sound to begin with, moving them to the cloud will simply duplicate your existing issues on the cloud, often increasing their complexity and expense. To avoid this, KEMP Technologies director of technical product marketing Jason Dover recommends that before your cloud migration, you should conduct a thorough review of how your current IT infrastructure is being used by all departments of your business throughout your organization and analyze the most natural path for migration of existing applications.
Focusing on Technology without Considering Business Processes
Another mistake organizations make is approaching cloud migration as a purely technical procedure without consideration for how IT technology supports more fundamental business processes. Taking this approach fails to achieve the full business benefits moving to the cloud empowers, says Orange Business Services director of cloud services Jay Stephens. For example, adopting a cloud contact center solution such as Aspect Zipwire can improve customer service efficiency and reduce payroll costs, over and above the benefit of cutting IT costs. Stephens recommends that companies considering a cloud move should build cross-functional teams to analyze what services you need and which ones you don’t so that you can fully integrate the cloud into your business operations instead of just automating basic processes.
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