Over the last few years, cloud migration has become a top priority for many companies thanks to its agility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Although the cloud offers significant benefits to many businesses near and far, common mistakes during the selection, migration, and implementation process can have serious negative ramifications.
In a recent report by Harvard Business Review that surveyed more than 400 IT executives around the globe, over 80 percent reported an increase in cloud usage while 40 percent credited cloud implementation for increased revenue. However, not all understand how to prevent those errors or fix them before they happen.
1.Not Comparing Cloud Services
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when preparing to migrate to the cloud is thinking that all cloud offers are created equal, and any old solution will do. Just like any other service or product your business uses, each cloud provider has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. For a successful migration and long-term use, it is essential to compare various services to find the right one for your company’s individual needs. Public clouds, for instance, are ideal if you already work with a specific vendor, as migrating to their cloud will be relatively seamless. A full-package cloud storage solution like BackBlaze, however, will offer more flexibility, but you may find yourself limited in terms of scalability.
Before researching cloud providers, be sure to take a full inventory of your company’s current IT infrastructure, current usage, and projected needs. You should also write out a list that includes any must-haves in a cloud provider and be clear on what you expect from a vendor.
2.Tossing Out Old IT Hardware
Once your company has completed a successful cloud migration, you may think the only thing left to do is toss out your data center equipment. However, whether you are thinking of recycling it yourself or paying someone else to come and take it away, it is the wrong choice. According to Frank Muscarello, CEO of MarkITx, there is a “$312 billion secondary market for used IT gear.” Rather than throwing out your old equipment, consider a hardware exchange and attempt to recoup some cash that can be put towards other IT projects or services.
3.Migrating Everything to the Cloud
Believe it or not, the cloud is not the ideal solution for everything and not all of your business apps should be migrated. Before switching everything over, you will need to determine which apps are best suited for the cloud. Deciding which apps to migrate will vary greatly by industry, obviously. For instance, businesses in the health care industry will need to consider the effect migrating to the cloud has on their ability to comply with strict government requirements and maintain total security of confidential personal information. Be sure you have a full and clear understanding of the security services provided by the cloud vendor of your choice.
Keep in mind, it is also important to understand how the apps you migrate to the cloud will perform in this new environment. For example, when you run apps in-house, they have access to your company’s full computing power and may be able to perform more efficiently. When running in the cloud, your apps will be sharing computing power with other apps hosted on those same servers. This may limit their efficiency or cause other issues. Before migrating, make sure any apps you plan to switch over have been optimized to run as effectively and efficiently as possible on the cloud.
4.Not Having Cloud Experts On-Site
When you migrate to the cloud, whichever vendor you choose will be backed by a fully qualified and experienced team of experts. But that does not mean you shouldn’t have anyone in your own office who is proficient with cloud technology as well. Regardless of the size of your company, whether it has 10 employees or 1,000, it is important to have someone (or a team) on staff that can make sure the new platform is delivering as promised.
This also means you have someone in-house who can manage and optimize your cloud strategy, ensuring you are getting the most out of your new solution. Although you will have access to customer service, having someone on-site means less waiting around if something goes wrong. Do not let the prospect of creating such a team deter you. Offering your team new tools to work with that will ease their job is effective across all departments, from success of your sales to the efficiency of your IT department.
5.Forgetting About Geography
Some companies run apps in just one singular geographic location, while others, like consumer-focused apps, may run worldwide. You may find that you want to block certain apps from running in certain locations for security or regulatory purposes. Before migrating your apps, consider the cloud architecture, any significant ramifications of running your apps in other regions, and speak with your provider about meeting your needs both locally and abroad.
While it can be tempting to jump into cloud migration head first, doing so can lead to big problems down the line. Take the time to assess and understand your company’s needs and do your due diligence in finding the solution that best fits your business’s growing needs.