October 16, 2016
Cloud deployment is no longer optional for most companies. Given globalization, remote teams, etc., moving to the cloud is just a requirement for business to get done. That migration, however, from in-house servers and system to cloud-based, is not without its pitfalls and dangers. In fact, at least 70 percent of enterprises who have migrated to the cloud admit that they made errors and had to change and modify their plans and designs. Here are some common errors that you can plan for in advance and avoid.
Thinking It Is Simple
Migrating is not a simple DIY task, as many services would have you believe. You’re migrating a data system, not a piece of software, and data systems are complex. There should be testing all along the way when it comes to cloud deployment, and fixes can then be put in place as you go. Trying to do it in one fell swoop rather than in stages.
Thinking You Don’t Need Help
No matter how much expertise your IT department may possess, if cloud migration is a new exercise, experienced help should be enlisted. Migrating will cost, and getting that expert help should be built into the budget for the activity. Unfortunately, cloud providers often over-simplify the process to clients, and that “lulls” clients into false confidence.
Believing that Migration Is only an IT change
IT migration focus may tend to ignore the total business migration. Prior to the move, the business must determine the services it does and does not need, and a plan has to be developed that goes beyond just the automation process.
Not Involving Users in Cloud Service Decision
If staff members do not like the cloud service that has been adopted, they will not use it. In fact, they will continue to use the web-based solutions that were in place before the migration, and this will destroy continuity within the organization and undermine the effort for full collaboration.
Not Investigating the Infrastructure Enough
Cloud providers differ. Important question must be asked – how is traffic segmented? How is segmentation managed? What are the guarantees on speed? What is the level of security? How is access controlled? (and many others). You have to have reliability, security, and seamless user experiences.
Not Planning for Cloud Hardware Issues
The cloud is, at its core, an architecture of data centers with hardware. What happens when there is a failure in cloud deployment? You must plan in advance for failure, even perhaps by using more than one cloud provider.
Putting All Eggs in One Basket
Do not believe that the cloud provider you initially choose is the one you will remain with. In fact, many companies change cloud providers more than once. Have other options in your back pocket – options that you have already explored and that will meet your needs.
Budget Is Too Small
Companies do tend to underestimate the costs of cloud migration, especially when data has to be modified and experts must be called in to help. While it may be easy and low budget to put a lot of data in a public cloud environment, it may not be cost-effective or the best solution in the long run. Many companies, in fact, are finding that it is much better to implement a private cloud strategy.
Not Having a Disaster Recovery Plan
Data centers of cloud providers can crash. What is the recovery plan or redundancy features of your provider? Cloud providers, like NetSuite, usually have backup data stored in another location. You should have your own as well. Having back-up on your own system is certainly part of the solution; however, having another off-site location, one that is not connected to your cloud provider is a good idea. A breach of your cloud provider may well hit all of its systems, including its backups.
Failure to Monitor
Migrating to the cloud and then believing that the provider will tend to issues is naïve. Continual and frequent testing in cloud deployment, as well as communicating with your provider. Performance must be tested and, if services are awry in any small way, they must be fixed.
Not Having a Long-Term Strategy
Things change; businesses evolve. If a current cloud provider is not able to meet the demands of significant growth, then a company will have to migrate again. Better to plan in advance by exploring and choosing a provider that can allow seamless scaling.
The whole process may be complex, costly and require much planning.However, there is no good excuse for not migrating. The key will be preparedness before that migration ever begins.
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