Many organizations that are early adopters of cloud computing solutions have realized cost and operational efficiencies. However there are still companies sitting on the sidelines. Perhaps their IT team is comprised of “server huggers” who prefer to keep their data and applications in-house. Or they read about a company whose maiden journey to the cloud involved some detours and speed bumps. Since the cloud is here to stay, companies who are considering it should engage with a cloud service provider with deep experience implementing successful cloud migrations. Following are seven common mistakes that trip up companies during their cloud migration, and how to avoid them.
Sprinting through a cloud migration
IT leaders that convinced their C-suite of the benefits of the cloud rejoice when they get the green light. They then race to implement a cloud-based solution without considering all the implications involved with a cloud migration. Before launching a cloud migration, users need to consider cost, security issues, compliance regulations and the cultural impact of moving IT assets off-premise (potentially hurting the feelings of those server huggers).
Assuming a cloud migration will provide immediate cost savings
Yes, organizations can realize cost efficiencies by adopting cloud-based solutions – particularly since they can shift their expenses from a CapEx (capital expense) model to an OpEx (operating expense) one (learn the difference between CapEx vs. OpEx). Customers mistakenly assume that an operating expense is less expensive than a capital expense since they are writing smaller checks each month. However, they are typically writing a lot more of those smaller checks which add up quickly. While cloud solutions can provide flexibility in how organizations leverage their existing resources, they don’t necessarily provide cost savings.
Not putting enough controls in place
Customers often assume a “one and done” approach once they’ve migrated their data and applications to the cloud. However, controls need to be put in place to address issues such as security, access and regulatory compliance, if applicable.
Assuming all clouds are created equal
Trust us, they aren’t. IT teams that are researching cloud environments need to have a clear understanding how they plan to use them. Some cloud environments are better suited for enterprise workloads, while others should be used for development and testing. For organizations that must adhere to compliance regulations as prescribed by HIPAA, PCI and SOX, a compliant cloud solution is essential.
Not taking a hands-on approach to security
Different cloud providers offer different levels of security. So go deep in exploring the security of their data centers and infrastructures. Ask about past breaches and how they were handled. Get the details on their security and support teams (bonus points if they have a dedicated Chief Information Security Officer). And go through their service level agreements (SLAs) with a fine toothed comb. They should include financial penalties if the cloud provider experiences an outage, causing downtime to a customer’s business. Remember that many cloud providers, including AWS, dictate that the burden of securing their data and applications is the customer’s responsibility.
Avoiding responsibility for data protection or disaster recovery
Read a cloud provider’s contracts and SLAs thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. In most cases the cloud vendor is only responsible for uptime, and many of them won’t even guarantee that (FYI: HOSTING guarantees uptimes of 99.999% to 100%). Unlike HOSTING, many cloud providers don’t offer disaster recovery services; leaving the customer to come up with a strategy on their own.
While all cloud vendors have to have good connectivity into their data centers, customers need to be certain that they have enough connectivity to run their workloads through them. This includes bandwidth from their facilities to the geographic location of the provider. Customers also need to understand the cloud provider’s bandwidth costs and exactly what they are paying for.
Need assistance in planning your cloud migration? HOSTING has helped hundreds of companies implement successful cloud migrations. Our team of cloud solution experts averages a successful cloud migration every six days. Contact us for cloud migration assessment. And watch our on—demand webinar, Navigating the Cloud Migration Minefield, for more tips on ensuring a successful cloud migration.