Cloud computing has become very popular with businesses today as with each new day, the number of cloud service providers continues to grow. It is found, businesses are adopting to cloud infrastructure at a very exciting price. If you have plans to move your business to the cloud environment, then you will have to consider a few things before making this big jump. First of all, you will have to build a strategy to migrate your business to the cloud. It also includes identifying the challenges that come along with cloud migration.
Successful migration to a cloud environment requires proper attention from the companies. If your business is not ready to deal with the cloud migration challenges, then it could be an expensive and risky result for your data and your business. However, if you are aware of the barriers, and how to handle them, then your journey to cloud setup can be very advantageous.
Here in this article, we will discuss a few common cloud migration challenges that your business can stumble on. You will also learn how to counter them.
Planning a Cloud Migration
It is a well-known fact for any IT professional or somebody who has been dealing with IT environments that it is not easy to adapt to new technology without having a proper strategy in place. The cloud technology is no different, and hence you must start making your strategy before planning to move your business to the new environment. It starts from finding the right service provider to proper cost estimation of the migration, project downtime, assessment of total time to complete the process, and finally, training of the employees. Completing the migration can take a long time (possibly several months) depending on the business size and the size of the data that has to be migrated to the cloud.
Break the Entire Migration Task into Stages
If you have plans to move everything onto the cloud in one go, then it will be the worst thing you could possibly think of doing. Though all businesses are keen to move everything at the earliest time possible while shifting to a new setup, they should know which data should be moved in the beginning. The ideal way is to start the migration of non-essential or redundant data in the beginning. When you have just begun, you are still testing the system and trying to find out how it is reacting in a new environment, so you shouldn't move your essential data first. There are possibilities that the system might generate errors, and your data might get erased or corrupted. The error might even pose a danger to your data. You will not want any such thing to happen to your sensitive or critical data. In such situations, the task must be done in stages, and even the migration takes places in steps.
Cost of Cloud Migration
Migrating to the cloud is an expensive affair if the estimation of the migration and possible financial impact is not calculated in advance. Though the cloud environment is cost-effective in the long-run, the cloud migration can be expensive based on the size of the data that you plan to migrate. However, this cost should not become a reason for you to not invest in a cloud solution. After the migration, you will also have to train your employees on this new environment and then there will be the cost of rewriting and replacing data to make it compatible with the cloud setup.
Cloud Security Concerns
Security is the major concern when it comes to adopting cloud solutions, and the concern is genuine too. Businesses should give security the priority while integrating new technology in their infrastructure. In the case of a cloud solution, you are actually asking another party to store your data, without knowing whether the party is trustworthy or not. The trustworthiness of the party will prove whether your migration to the cloud will be successful or not, if not, then you fail miserably. It is a very serious concern and should be taken care of early in the process of migration. You must be aware of the cloud service provider’s security practices. Find out where your service provider is going to store your data and how your incoming and outgoing data will be encrypted and also what are the factors that the service provider is responsible for.
Training Employees on the New Technology
This is not only important but essential too. Whenever you migrate to a new environment or introduce new technology to your setup, you will need to put each of your employees who will be using that technology for operations on the same page. Assuming that your employees will learn or train themselves will be too much and irresponsible on your part. Even if they do, it is your responsibility to provide them with the right training so that they are comfortable in the new environment. Ensure you run training sessions for your employees once your setup is completely migrated. It will help you in the long run and save you from a lot of problems that may arise if you simply force the new technology on them.
Avoid Long Term Contract with Your Vendor
You might be very happy with your cloud vendor in the initial stage, but later you might find the vendor is not giving you the service you were expecting. Long term service contract with a vendor is a very common problem with those who adapt to the cloud environment, as the entire process is not only expensive but time-consuming too. It is the reason that businesses prefer to stick to a single vendor, even though they realise during the process that the vendor is not up to their expectation. While choosing your cloud service provider, make sure that you set a cloud goal for yourself, which can help you find the right vendor for the job. Also, ensure you have signed a service-level agreement (SLAs) with the vendor that will help you understand what your vendor can do when you decide to close their cloud service.
When you decide to migrate your business to the cloud environment, make sure that you have done your homework properly. In this age of information technology, you have got all information on your finger-tips. Before you hire a cloud consulting company, do a proper search on the technology to understand it a bit and then search for a professional and experienced service provider. Avoid picking anyone from the market. Proper background check of the vendors is very essential as you are not only going to invest a huge sum of your money, it is also a big risk to your data when you move from one platform to another.
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