Cloud migration is a big decision for any organization — and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many things to consider when moving, and it’s important to do your research and plan carefully to avoid common mistakes.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 mistakes businesses make when migrating to the cloud and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of knowledge
Lack of knowledge is one of the biggest mistakes cloud migration organizations can make. The first step in any migration is to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve and how the cloud can help you get there. Without this essential foundation, it is very easy to make other costly mistakes. (Also read: Why business continuity belongs in the cloud.)
Many companies dive into cloud migration because there is so much buzz around the cloud and CTOs/COOs are afraid to step back. But jumping in without considering the necessary consequences can drive up costs, make the transition less secure, and set the organization up for failure.
When considering moving to the cloud, do your homework first. Research what other companies in your industry are doing and assess whether the cloud is right for your business. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your migration, the security issues associated with cloud moves and how things like Radius Security can help address them.
2. Lack of planning
Another common mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to plan properly. Moving to the cloud is a big undertaking and needs to be approached strategically.
Many organizations make the mistake of thinking that they can simply move their existing infrastructure and applications to the cloud as is. This is often not the case and can lead to all sorts of problems.
Instead, take the time to plan your move. Assess what needs to be moved to the cloud and what can stay on-premise. Figure out how you’re going to move everything and what changes will need to be made to your applications and infrastructure. And, most importantly, make sure you have a solid backup and disaster recovery plan in place before you begin the migration.
3. Incorrect cost assessment
One of the main reasons organizations migrate to the cloud is to save costs. And while the cloud can certainly help you reduce your IT costs, it’s important to do a proper cost assessment before moving forward.
Many organizations underestimate the costs associated with migrating to the cloud and end up spending more than they expected. To avoid this, it’s important to understand the different pricing models that cloud providers offer and how they will affect your bottom line.
Additionally, don’t assume all cloud providers are created equal. They all have different pricing structures and features, so it’s important to compare them before making a decision. (Also read: 5 Questions Businesses Should Ask Their Cloud Provider.)
4. Improper risk assessment
Another mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to properly assess risk.
Any time you move data off-scale, you are introducing additional risk into your environment. That’s why it’s so important to assess the risks associated with your migration before you begin. Identify what sensitive data you’re moving to the cloud and take security measures to protect it. Find out how you will manage access to your cloud environment and who will be responsible for it. And make sure you have a solid disaster recovery plan in place in case something goes wrong.
5. Migration all at once
Many organizations try to migrate everything to the cloud at once, and this is often a recipe for disaster. Not only is this incredibly complex and time-consuming, but it also increases the risk of errors and downtime.
Instead, it’s usually better to take an incremental approach to migration. Start by moving to non-critical applications and data. This will give you a chance to iron out any issues and get used to the new environment before migrating more critical workloads.
6. Improper testing
Another common mistake organizations make when migrating to the cloud is failing to properly test. It is important to thoroughly test your applications and infrastructure before and after the migration to make sure everything is working as it should.
Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that their existing tests will be sufficient. However, the changes introduced by the migration require the creation of new tests or the modification of existing tests.
Additionally, don’t forget to test your backup and disaster recovery plan. This is an area where many organizations fail, and getting something wrong can have disastrous consequences. (Also read: DataSecOps: Prioritizing Data Security in the Cloud.)
7. Ignoring employee training
If you’re moving to a new cloud provider or using a new cloud-based application, it’s important to properly train your staff. Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that employees will be able to figure things out for themselves, and this often leads to frustration and errors.
Any successful digital transformation depends on training, so take the time to train your employees on how to properly use new applications and systems. This will help ensure a smooth transition and reduce the risk of errors.
8. Improper supervision
Close monitoring of your cloud environment is essential to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Many organizations make the mistake of assuming that their existing monitoring tools will be sufficient. However, it is often necessary to modify or create new monitoring scripts and procedures to account for the changes introduced by the migration.
While doing all this, it is important to constantly monitor your backup and disaster recovery plan. You want to be sure that nothing will go wrong and that you have a solid plan in case something does. (Also read: Data Breach Response: 5 Essential Steps to Recovery.)
9. Not making an exit plan
In case something goes wrong during your migration, it’s important to have a rollback plan in place. This will allow you to quickly return to your on-premise environment if needed. While it’s unlikely you’ll need to use your rollback plan, it’s important to have one just in case.
An example where a rollback plan can be a lifesaver is if data is accidentally deleted during the migration process. If you have a rollback plan, you can quickly return to your on-premise environment and restore lost data.
10. Failure to update documentation
Finally, don’t forget to update your documents after migrating to the cloud. This includes things like your network diagram, application inventory, and runbooks. It is important to keep your documentation up to date so that you can quickly and easily troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
Updated documents may include things like your cloud provider’s service level agreement, contact information, and details of any support agreements you may have.
The cloud is the future. Migrating to the cloud can be complex and daunting — but you can ensure a smooth and successful transition by avoiding common mistakes.