Businesses worldwide are busy moving their legacy applications to the cloud in the wake of the pandemic. While reducing infrastructure costs and enhancing security remain important reasons for many, it is crucial to assess the individual business environment to understand why cloud migration is important for you.
Cloud migration needs to be seamless and simple for it to be effective. Cloud adoption has tangible benefits as over 70% of companies have already moved some of their workloads to the public cloud, as confirmed by Gartner1. Yet, it predicts that 60% of infrastructure and operations leaders may experience cost overruns by 2024 that may end up hurting their on-premises budgets.
As per a Cloud Security Alliance report2, 90% of CIOs have experienced failure or disruption in data migration projects caused by complexities encountered while migrating from on-premises environments to the cloud. Only 35% of the survey respondents met their migration deadlines. The 2019 Fortinet study reveals 74% of the companies moved their applications back to on-premises on failing to attain desired returns.
This brings us to the most pertinent questions – why do these migrations fail, and what can you do to ensure a successful cloud migration? And most importantly, why is cloud migration an essential endeavor for organizations?
Advantage Cloud – Why migration from legacy systems to cloud is important for an organization
There are several benefits of migrating to the cloud as it gives businesses much-needed flexibility and scalability. The Coca-Cola Company achieved 40% operational savings while reducing maintenance costs and improving performance by migrating to the cloud.
Cloud-native startups are already collecting data from their customers and markets to accordingly align their offerings and implement product updates in the production stage.
SaaS is preferred by many who wish to add or delete features based on customer feedback. Subscription-based models that allow marketing teams to have more enriching interactions with end-users and implement changes across marketing, sales & pricing, and customer support functions are proving to be extremely valuable.
According to Gartner, end-user spending on cloud services will grow at a CAGR of 21.7% taking it from $396 billion in 2021 to $482 billion in 2022. Explains Brandon Medford, senior principal analyst at Gartner, “Organizations are advancing their timelines on digital business initiatives and racing to the cloud in an effort to modernize environments, improve system reliability, support hybrid work models and address other new realities compelled by the pandemic.”
To meet retail’s new mandates, the largest grocery chain in the U.S. Kroger, recently unveiled a privacy-compliant collaborative cloud that offers a granular view of customer behavior.
Planning for successful cloud migrations
Cloud migration calls for a lot of planning to ensure a positive business and operation impact.
When Netflix decided to go all-in on the cloud, most were unaware of the existence of the cloud. But it had problems that needed immediate attention, and thus came its famous Simian Army that unleashed the Chaos Monkey. It is a software tool developed by Netflix engineers to simulate failures of cloud instances and test the resiliency and recoverability of their Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Proper planning is the key to successful migrations and should consider various aspects from the present and future perspectives. Remember, you need to build the cloud for the future, anticipating growth and new business models. A simple ‘lift and shift’ may work for some while others may need a complete overhaul of application architectures through re-architecting. To avoid downtime and performance degradation, you need to understand cloud migration best practices.
But before you start anything, you need to ask the right questions. Why do you want to move to the cloud, and what do you expect? Is your workforce ready for this transition? What migration strategies will work for your business?
Here are a few mistakes you must avoid at all costs to ensure smooth cloud migration.
Failing to understand organization networks and infrastructure
Every solution provider will offer unique attributes making it highly overwhelming for businesses to choose solutions based on their business and data needs. Lack of proper understanding causes breaks in the systems, and some data may be left behind. This can disrupt functions and lead to additional costs and frustrations.
For instance, Sime Darby Industrial Sdn Bhd (SDISB) faced scalability and security issues due to config limitations in their Cloud infrastructure. Periodic lags and downtime arising from these misconfigurations caused major disruptions driving up costs for the company. A personalized, end-to-end solution by a partner was needed to help SDISB improve its Cloud e-commerce site performance.
Trying to migrate everything in one go
While migrating data and workflows, simply prioritizing a ‘life and shift’ approach to move workloads without modifying or analyzing them may not be the best move. You may have to rewrite and re-release applications in a cloud-native manner or replace them based on a proper assessment. Workloads need to be assessed first before initiating a migration project.
Besides, every storage and solution will have its own merits and limitations that need to be evaluated, and the right backup strategies would play a critical role. Organizations like OVHcloud, Europe’s largest cloud provider, had already taught us a lesson in data backup the hard way when its data center suffered a catastrophic fire. Those who had purchased the backup and disaster-recovery services offered by the company were able to resume operations while others suffered.
The right migration partner can play a crucial role here. A proof-of-concept or minimal viable cloud is recommended to get a realistic view of the migration. This will eliminate the threat of losing essential data or causing breaks or breaches arising from inefficient migration.
Not having the right migration partner
The migration partner you choose will largely determine the success of your cloud migration. Rather than choosing them based on familiarity or low pricing, you should focus on their experience. A partner with certified experts across Cloud Vendor solutions will provide you with a design that is right for your business rather than pushing a specific technology. Handing the migration project to internal teams may be feasible only if the team has relevant prior experience and expertise.
You may ask your migration partner for a cost proposal along with the necessary recommendations following proper assessment of your data and infrastructure to commence the project on the right foot.
Failing to map dependencies
Incomplete application assessment also leads to encountering dependency bottlenecks later. You need to discover and account for the interdependencies between on-premises systems early on to ensure there are no hiccups along the way. Failure to do so would lead to incorrect grouping and order of application migrations, eventually leading to burgeoning costs and cascading delays. It will also lead to perennial performance issues and cause your migration costs to go off the rails.
Failing to factor in hidden costs
You need to pay close attention to transformation costs that may involve upskilling, increased salaries for cloud management roles, changes in organizational structure, operating procedures, new practices, etc.
Adobe found this out the hard way in 2018 when its engineers realized that a single computing job on Microsoft Azure was racking up charges of $80,000 per day. A week later, this had accumulated to a bill of more than half a million dollars.
No matter what the cost, budgeting must include indirect project costs to ensure the organization operates optimally without any financial stress.
Added care required to move legacy applications safely onto the cloud
It’s easier to safely move legacy applications to the cloud once you analyze the complexities involved in different types of data and apps. For instance, moving your corporate email service to a public cloud SaaS service is pretty straightforward. What’s challenging to migrate is an application that was developed years ago. The fact that your entire business relies on it can only make it even more difficult.
There could be bespoke applications developed in-house, but the new cloud offerings cannot align with these customizations. A classic case is Autodesk’s SaaS offering that runs just one version of the software and is not compatible with customized applications or third-party add-ins. What’s more, businesses that have unique ERP applications often struggle with cloud solutions that cannot accept such personalized versions. Organizations can avoid this turmoil by choosing one of these options to ensure safe and swift migrations.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) wherein applications can be moved as is or with minor tweaks to operate from the service provider’s infrastructure.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offers a secure database or development environment for organizations to install and manage their customized applications or code.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) wherein all responsibilities are managed by the service provider to offer a tailored service to organizations for cost efficiency, scalability, and flexibility.
The right migration partner will help you with suitable cloud solutions and strategies and even offer customized ones to ensure migration success. The infamous data scraping breach or the breach that cost Facebook huge losses, including a $5 billion penalty, have taught us essential lessons in cloud security.
No matter which migration partner you choose, make sure they adopt a security-first approach. After all, security cannot be an afterthought and is the only way to reduce the attack surface and the breaches arising from it. Ensure you regularly maintain the patches and updates, configure cloud-native solutions correctly, and secure the network for vulnerability management and incident response.
Simplify your Cloud migration journey with Trigent
Our domain experts at Trigent assess your portfolio and business needs to determine the pain points and ways to address them. As a cloud migration specialist, we blend unique methodologies with purpose-built assessment tools to decide the right migration strategy for your business. Accordingly, we devise a detailed transformation roadmap prioritizing apps to be migrated and treatments to migrate to the cloud using best practices seamlessly.