What are the challenges of migrating to the cloud successfully?
The challenges of migrating to the cloud successfully vary according to the nature of each business and its existing IT infrastructure. Typically the challenges fall into three areas—running applications on-premises vs in the cloud, security, and cost—although for some businesses it is not the technology that is challenging, but a lack of people with the right skill sets to execute a cloud migration plan successfully.
Existing Architecture vs. Cloud Architecture
IT architectures have been described as Lego sets. Although the building blocks are essentially the same, there are many variations on how the building blocks can be put together. So, before moving any elements of your IT infrastructure to the cloud, you have to establish which have a compatible architecture and which may need modification to make them suitable for migrating to the cloud. It’s a best practice to take this a step further and ensure apps are not only compatible, but also optimized for their new environment.
On-Prem Security vs. Cloud Security
Regardless of where data is stored and processed, breaches can occur due to human errors, application vulnerabilities, and poor security practices. When data is stored and processed in the cloud, additional risks exist due to issues such as insufficient credential and access management. Before migrating to the cloud, adequate mechanisms need to be put in place in order to protect data both at rest and in transit.
Calculating the Total Cost of Ownership
There are several online tools that can help you compare the cost of running resources in the cloud when compared to running them in an on-prem data center, but these do not necessarily tell the whole story. To calculate the Total Cost of Ownership, you also have to factor in such things as the cost of modifying resources to make them suitable for cloud migration and the cost of enhancing data security.
Addressing Skills Shortages
A further cost you may have to take into account is finding people with the right skill sets to execute a cloud migration plan successfully—or retraining the talent you already have in place. This challenge to cloud migration may not only cost you money, but also time. It is a problem many businesses already migrated to the cloud are experiencing because the demand for cloud skills is greater than the supply.