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8 Common Cloud Migration Mistakes
Jun 4, 2024
Cloud Migration

8 Common Cloud Migration Mistakes That Can Cost Your Business

It’s 2024. Skinny jeans are out, hybrid work is in, and the cloud is a critical component of your business’s IT strategy. 

On paper, planning a cloud migration seems straightforward: identify workloads for migration, select cloud services to move them to, and the approach you’ll use to move the workloads into the cloud services — while also estimating the costs.  

However, successful migration demands meticulous attention to detail, as overlooking key factors will cause your migration strategy to stall or — worse — fail completely. 

Accenture’s survey of 750 senior executives revealed that just 37% had achieved their desired outcomes with cloud activities. Only 30% expressed full confidence that their cloud initiatives would deliver the expected commercial value over time. 

Despite these challenges, careful planning can prevent analysis paralysis and deliver significant returns. A well-planned and executed migration could yield up to a 50% ROI within two to three years

Having said that, this article explores the 8 common pitfalls in cloud-migration planning, particularly those with financial implications. By understanding these risks and implementing preventative measures, you can improve the success rate of your cloud migration strategy. 

1. Lack of Comprehensive Planning 

One of the most common mistakes businesses make is going ahead with cloud migration without a comprehensive plan. Rushing into the migration process without a clear understanding of your current infrastructure, business objectives, and migration goals can lead to delays, cost overruns, and performance issues. 

According to a survey by LogicMonitor, 67% of IT professionals cited lack of preparation and planning as the main reason for cloud migration failures. 

To maximize your cloud migration success, develop a detailed plan that outlines your migration strategy, timeline, resource allocation, and risk management approach. Conduct a thorough assessment of your existing infrastructure to identify workloads that are suitable for migration and prioritize them based on their criticality and complexity. 

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The 6-Step Process to Migrating Legacy Applications to the Cloud Faster 

The 6-Step Process to Migrating Legacy Applications to the Cloud Faster

2. Ignoring Security and Compliance Requirements 

Neglecting security and compliance considerations during the migration process can expose your business to data breaches, compliance violations, and financial penalties. Failure to implement robust security measures can result in unauthorized access, data loss, and reputational damage. 

Here are some of the important steps to avoid unnecessary security implications: 

  • Prioritize security and compliance throughout the migration process.  
  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities.  
  • Implement encryption, access controls, and monitoring tools to protect your data in transit and at rest.  
  • Ensure compliance with industry regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. 

According to an IBM report, the average cost of a data breach is $4.45 million, a 15% increase over the last 3 years, highlighting the importance of implementing strong security measures during cloud migration. 

3. Underestimating Data Transfer Costs 

Many businesses underestimate the cost of transferring data to the cloud, especially if they have large volumes of data or high-speed requirements. This oversight can lead to budget overruns and impact on the overall cost-effectiveness of your migration strategy. 

To avoid these pitfalls, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough analysis of your data transfer requirements and estimate the associated costs. Consider factors such as data volume, transfer speeds, and network bandwidth to accurately forecast your data transfer expenses. 

Explore cost-saving options such as data compression, deduplication, and data migration tools to minimize costs. According to a study by McKinsey, organizations typically spend 20-30% more than they budgeted for cloud migration, with data transfer costs being a significant contributor to the overruns. Proper planning and cost estimation can help ensure a more efficient and cost-effective cloud migration process. 

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4. Lifting and Shifting Applications and Workloads All at Once 

Many businesses choose a lift-and-shift approach, assuming it will cause the least disruption. In this method, applications are “lifted” from their existing environments and “shifted” into the new cloud environment without significant changes to the application architecture, data flow, or security mechanisms. 

While this approach might seem minimally disruptive, it often leads to the common cloud migration challenge of moving too much, too soon. By transferring everything at once, your business risks: 

  • Delayed and Unresponsive Processing Power: Legacy applications might be too large for the cloud environment, leading to performance issues. 
  • Legacy System Downtime: Systems may not function properly outside their current infrastructure, causing downtime. 
  • Outdated Processes: Transferring outdated processes as they are can prolong negative user experiences and reduce the benefits of cloud migration. 
  • Overpaying for Trivial Information: Retrieving unnecessary data from the cloud can lead to excessive costs. 

To mitigate these risks, it’s crucial to adopt a more strategic migration approach. Start by moving non-critical applications to the cloud first. This gradual transition allows you to gain insights into how your legacy systems perform in the new environment.  

With this approach, you can streamline user journeys, manage connectivity costs, and reduce downtime more effectively. 

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5. Failing to Apply Robust Testing 

Neglecting to thoroughly test your new cloud system before migrating can lead to significant and avoidable mistakes. This is particularly critical when using live services with your front office team.  

Major issues can result in: 

  • Business Downtime: Launching your system too soon can prevent you from meeting user and customer expectations, causing interruptions. 
  • Loss of Revenue: If products and services become unavailable online, it can directly impact on your sales. 
  • Data Loss: A cloud platform outage, even for 12 hours, can result in half a day’s worth of data being lost, costing significant money to retrieve. 
  • Reputational Damage: If customers cannot use your service, they are more likely to switch to a competitor. 

To avoid these blunders, it’s crucial to undertake in-depth testing at all levels. This ensures that the application functions correctly both structurally and operationally. 

For determining whether your staging platform is successful, identify exactly what you need to test. This includes assessing how the application runs, user accessibility, and the overall structure. Only after successful testing should the application be migrated to a live platform. 

6. Overlooking Cloud Cost Management 

Neglecting to manage cloud costs can lead to budget overruns and affect the overall cost-effectiveness of your migration strategy. Failing to monitor and optimize cloud costs can result in underutilized resources, inefficient spending, and challenges in forecasting future expenses. 

To avoid these issues, implement robust cloud cost management practices. Use tools to monitor and optimize your spending, identify cost-saving opportunities, and forecast future expenses. Implement budgeting, tagging, and governance policies to control costs and ensure cost-effectiveness. 

Flexera’s 2024 State of the Cloud report indicates that 35% of organizations consider managing cloud spend a top challenge, highlighting the importance of effective cost management strategies. Proper management can help you stay within budget and maximize the benefits of your cloud migration. 

7. Neglecting Training and Change Management 

Overlooking training and change management can hinder user adoption and create resistance to cloud migration within your organization. Failing to prepare your team for the changes introduced by cloud migration can lead to productivity losses, errors, and inefficiencies. 

According to a study by McKinsey, organizations that prioritize training and change management during cloud migration are more likely to achieve their desired outcomes and realize the full benefits of cloud adoption. 

Provide comprehensive training to your IT team and end-users to familiarize them with the cloud environment and new processes. Communicate the benefits of cloud migration and address any concerns or resistance proactively. Implement change management processes to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud. 

8. Flying Solo on Your Cloud Migration Project 

Moving to the cloud can be overwhelming for your organization, especially if you’re new to this technology. It can also lead to cloud paralysis due to lack of support.  

But here’s the good news: you can ask for help!  

Many organizations choose to partner with a cloud expert in this situation. The cloud expert will understand how your current infrastructure works. Additionally, the right cloud partner will listen to what your business needs are and recommend which applications are worth refactoring vs containerization. When you’re on a budget, they’ll find the least costly solution that fits your needs.  

In short, we’ll help guide you through the big decisions that will shape your future in the cloud and – ultimately – your success.  

Does that sound a bit crazy? Well… it is! That’s what we do, and we’re always looking for new partners if you need one! 

Wrapping Up 

Cloud migration is a multi-faceted process that requires thoughtful planning, execution, and continuous management.  

Common errors can result in increased costs and security risks. Technical debt is lurking around every corner and the only way to fight it is with knowledge.  

Utilize Infrastructure as a Code (IaC) from day one to accelerate your migration and future growth, and remember that you are never alone.  

TechBlocks can help you migrate and modernize your current infrastructure, build cloud-native applications, leverage data for insights, and implement DevOps practices across your organization.  

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Contact us today to learn how TechBlocks can set you up for success on the cloud!