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Five common cloud migration risks and mitigation

A circle of laptops connected to a cloud symbol.
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Bluebay)

Many businesses are now starting to use cloud computing because it provides them a far more flexible and dependable IT infrastructure that is primarily intended to simplify business operations. 

Simplifying and streamlining business operations helps companies to sell and expand quickly.

However, bringing a business into the cloud is easier said than done.  

There are lots of things to do before your company can reap the benefits of cloud computing. For instance, to estimate the expense, you must first examine your business. The cost of moving a firm to the cloud is not always the same. It sometimes depends on several factors, including its size. 

Aside from that, you must also decide if you need help from a cloud service provider because setting up the cloud infrastructure is quite complex.

Acquiring the assistance of a cloud service provider is not always an option, especially if you have experienced IT members in your company.

So to help you eliminate or at least minimize the problems that you could encounter, here are the risks of setting up cloud infrastructure and how to avoid them.

Bringing a business into the cloud

Before we talk about the risks of migrating to the cloud, let's discuss its benefits first. 

It's true, cloud migration is a complicated process, and many things can go wrong, especially if you don't seek assistance from a cloud service provider. That is why thorough planning and execution are required to ensure the cloud migration's compatibility with your business operations. 

But if done correctly, migrating to the cloud would bring the following benefits to your business:

  • Better speed and flexibility
  • Capability to innovate quickly
  • Reduced resource demand
  • Improved management of growing customer demands
  • Cost savings
  • Provide instant business results
  • Streamline IT
  • Better energy management
  • Cloud expansion 

Achieving those benefits can help your business in a lot of ways. They can even help you overtake your competitors! But keep in mind to avoid rushing business decisions to ensure the success of cloud migration. 

So to help you migrate to the cloud without problems, here are the common risks in cloud migration and how to avoid them. 

Common risks in cloud migration

To successfully move your business into the cloud, here are the top cloud migration risks you should avoid: 

No Concrete Plan in Place

Avoid rushing business decisions. Before you begin moving to the cloud, you must first decide if you will use a single cloud provider or manage numerous cloud platforms.

Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages. If you choose a single cloud provider, you run the potential risk of vendor lock-in. On the other hand, you can build your cloud infrastructure with several cloud providers and balance workloads across multiple cloud platforms. This strategy, however, is more expensive and time-consuming because each provider offers different services and management tools.  

Moreover, you must also determine what you will send to the cloud and what will remain on your local data storage. Take note that not every aspect of your company is viable for migration. For example, you should not store things like financial records or client data in a public cloud. 

Solution: Avoid making quick decisions. You could ask yourself the following questions before you start the migration process:

  • Why should I migrate to the cloud?
  • What advantages do I hope to gain?
  • Do I have sensitive data that must stay on local storage?
  • How many cloud service providers do I require?

These questions will give you a clear picture of how you will construct the cloud infrastructure for your business. 

Cloud Compatibility to Existing Business Systems

One of the main obstacles of migrating to the cloud is the complexity of a business's existing IT infrastructure. It hinders the cloud migration process since companies must recruit personnel with adequate IT capabilities to make the whole architecture "cloud-ready" at the required speed. 

Solution: To configure the system for migration, assemble a team of IT experts to evaluate the legacy design, address performance issues, and produce extensive documentation. 

If you want to build a hybrid program by combining cloud and local systems, you must rebuild your existing IT structure. Doing this will reduce inconsistencies and connectivity problems across various systems.

Loss of Data

Before you begin migrating, create a backup of your data, particularly the files you will be moving. You may face problems such as corrupt, incomplete, or missing files throughout the transfer process. But if you have a backup, you will be able to simply fix any problems by returning the data to its original state.

Don't just create backup files before you start the migration process. Do it regularly because many occurrences can cause data loss, such as power outages or security breaches. 

You can create backup files online and offline. Both of them can be useful whenever there's an unexpected loss of data.

Wasted Cloud Migration Expenses

Cloud providers' pricing models are versatile, but they can be tough to understand, especially if you are new to the subject. According to Gartner researchers Brandon Medford and Craig Lowery, about 70% of cloud expenses go to waste.

Solution: You pay for processing, storage, and data transfer in cloud computing. However, cloud service providers also provide other products and services. So as much as possible, make sure that you will only pay for the services or products you only need for your business. 

Try to reduce your expenses. Find professionals that can assist you if you don't know how to do it.

Security

According to an ITPro Today survey, many firms experience security risks, followed by cost and legacy infrastructure. 

Moving data to the cloud introduces a slew of security concerns, such as compliance violations, contractual breaches, unsecured APIs, provider difficulties, misconfigured servers, malware, external assaults, unintentional errors, insider threats, and so on.

Some companies recognize the security risks and take preventative efforts to mitigate them. However, most of them are still in the early stages of cloud migration. As a result, they are failing to handle security concerns since they lack the necessary expertise.

Solution: Look for cloud service providers with a diverse portfolio of compliance services such as ITAR, DISA, HIPAA, CJIS, FIPS, and so on. It's more likely that they'll spend a lot of money on security to safeguard their customers' data from cyber attacks.

Final thoughts 

We can't question the advantages of cloud migration: flexibility, scalability, automation, collaboration ease, and so on. However, you must be mindful of the dangers associated with cloud migration. They are present at all stages of cloud migration. 

Henry Bell, Head of Product, Vendorland

Henry Bell is the Head of Product at Vendorland. He is a business technologist driving transformative growth through digital technology strategies. Henry is a highly analytical and collaborative problem solver with outstanding cross-functional skills in product leadership, application management, and data analytics.