The Top 7 Mistakes People Make When Moving to the Cloud

Guillermo Rayo

Organizations are increasingly moving their applications and data to the cloud. Embracing cloud computing gives your company access to faster digital experiences, flexible storage, and experiences that your users can access from any connected device. However, there are a variety of things IT leaders must keep in mind when developing their cloud computing migration strategy. Here is a look at some of the most common mistakes—and how to avoid them—when you are moving your critical apps and workloads to the cloud.

Related: Moving to the cloud? 6 Reasons Small Businesses are Choosing Microsoft Azure

A Lack of Clearly Defined Business Objectives and Planning

Making the shift to a cloud computing provider can significantly level up your organization’s productivity and eliminate infrastructure-related roadblocks. And you will capture the highest return on investment from a cloud migration when you start with a clearly defined business objective. Start your projects with a well-defined use case for the business outcomes you hope to achieve. Not only will this simplify measuring success, but it provides a useful baseline to evaluate providers and help you create migration and employment growth.

Not Designing for Failure

Embracing a new technology is a time for optimism. Cloud computing can streamline your IT operation and introduce a new level of speed and efficiency. However, it’s important that your cloud design migration plan include fail-safes. What happens if your cloud services provider experiences an outage or a cybersecurity event? Consider data backups and disaster recovery as part of your overall cloud strategy development. Talk with prospective providers to understand what solutions they offer for keeping your critical applications running and data accessible if one of their data centers experiences an outage. Having backup plans in place now will help you avoid outages that can damage employee productivity or customer relationships.

Failing to Assess Legacy Technology and App Modernization

One common aspect of organizations moving applications to the cloud is determining what applications can migrate and which ones may need to be replaced. Typically, as part of your migration strategy, applications will fall into three buckets: applications that can move to the cloud as-is, applications that need to be modernized for cloud migration, and applications that must be replaced. Conducting an application portfolio assessment can help you develop a holistic plan for how applications will be treated during a cloud migration project. This process also allows you to identify how critical applications are migrated and the risk tolerance associated with migration-based interruptions. By going through this process, IT leaders can identify a subset of applications they can migrate successfully and then develop a phased roadmap that moves key workloads to the cloud over time—in concert with the organization’s priorities.

Not Prioritizing Workloads and Controlling Costs

Once your team sees the power of cloud computing, this can stimulate a lot of enthusiasm for cloud-based projects. However, if you begin the process by defining your use cases and understanding the cost modeling, you can keep cloud-computing costs in check. Consider a common scenario: When companies embrace cloud, they sometimes move nonpriority workloads or large data sets that might be better handled in other ways. As usage scales, the costs associated with cloud computing quickly balloon, and the added expense can eclipse any financial benefit that the cloud offers. Having a strong understanding of what you’re trying to achieve from a business-outcomes point of view and developing a cost-based assessment to guide your work with migration will ensure that your business captures the benefits of cloud computing. You can also rest assured that you stay within budget and realize the promised savings.

Not Moving Beyond “Lift and Shift” to Capture the Full ROI of Cloud Computing

When IT leaders consider cloud migrations, it’s all too easy to fall into a lift-and-shift mentality. However, the cloud offers numerous benefits beyond simply where an application or data is housed. Businesses that have a plan in place to leverage automated tools, ongoing management, performance assessment, and rules-based oversight can streamline their operations. Adapting to this mindset can also help you identify where the cloud is an asset to managing your IT team’s workload, and where opportunities exist throughout your IT infrastructure to take advantage of these tools. When IT teams are lean and budgets are tight, cloud management tools or managed services can help ensure that your initiative is a success.

Overlooking Security Considerations

One reason some organizations have been hesitant to move to the cloud is due to security concerns. Whether you are in a highly regulated industry or simply want to avoid an expensive data breach, it’s critical to evaluate security paths as part of any cloud project. Defining your security objectives can help you make the right choices for long-term business resiliency. In an environment where threats are escalating, it’s important to understand several key factors about cloud security:

  • Security is often a joint responsibility. What responsibilities do you have in managing access and security, and what does the cloud provider take ownership of?
  • What tools are provided for access management—including customizing rights, monitoring use, and keeping logs for incidents that need to be investigated?
  • Does the cloud provider offer automated threat detection tools that could actually improve your security? What do those look like, and how can you best position your cloud configuration to take advantage of these tools?

Not Considering Managed Services

A cloud migration is a major undertaking, even if you’re starting with a pilot project. These issues become compounded quickly when there’s a skills gap around cloud deployments or when your already busy IT team simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to take on another major project. Part of the process your organization evaluates is whether a managed services partner could be the right choice. Professional services providers can assist with all aspects of the process, from helping you more efficiently scope your needs to overseeing the ongoing monitoring of your deployments.

Related: 5 Things to Look for in an Azure Managed Services Provider

Cloud migration is a complex process that can often benefit from expert assistance. Help your organization avoid common pitfalls of shifting to cloud computing by working with an experienced partner. Connection offers IT managed services that can scope, migrate, deploy, and manage cloud resources that help you achieve your business outcomes while keeping workloads and costs in check. Contact us today to set up a customized consultation.

Guillermo Rayo is a Cloud Consultant who has been helping customers with their cloud roadmaps for more than five years. Guillermo loves the outdoors and taking camping trips with his family.