Clear Skies Ahead: How to Avoid the Top 5 Cloud Migration Pitfalls and Ensure a Successful Journey

In a HIS Markit survey, 74% of companies moved back applications hosted in the cloud to their infrastructure after being disappointed with cloud returns. A key takeaway from this study is that moving to the cloud is one thing, but leveraging it effectively is entirely different.

Once enterprises have decided to move their operations to the Cloud, it’s super important to come up with a really solid plan for how they are going to make the transition. The planning stage is actually more important than the actual move because it sets you up for a successful shift while saving you time, money, and resources. If you don’t take the time to create a good plan, or if you don’t stick to it, you could run into some serious problems that could really hurt your chances of having a successful migration. 

So, here’s the lowdown on five common mistakes enterprises should avoid to make sure the cloud migration is as smooth as possible.

1. Lack of good partners and cloud expertise: So, if you’re planning to migrate to the Cloud, it can be really helpful to work with an experienced cloud migration partner. But, you shouldn’t just pick someone based on your gut feeling. Instead, you should look at things like references, statistics, and prior service level agreements (SLAs) to make a decision. While many cloud service providers offer their own cloud migration services, they may not meet all of your specific needs, and you could end up overspending.

A good cloud migration partner can help you establish the right migration approach, identify which workloads should be migrated first, seamlessly integrate your existing systems into the cloud, and ensure that your migration is successful. When choosing a partner, there are a few key things to consider, such as:

  • Making sure that the migration process is end-to-end secure by organizing, prioritizing, and managing workloads.
  • Determining the most effective migration strategy, whether it’s a single cloud, hybrid cloud, or multi-cloud approach.
  • Selecting the right migration method, such as Re-Hosting, Re-Platforming, Re-Architecting, Re-Purchasing, Retiring, or Retaining.
  • Monitoring, auditing, and optimizing the process to ensure a successful migration.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that it’s important to choose a partner who doesn’t have a vendor lock-in clause, which could limit your options in the future.

2. Lack of complete understanding of the network, infrastructure, and data: Understanding the critical and non-critical assets in the Cloud is crucial for organizations that are migrating to it. It’s also important to have a detailed map of the existing infrastructure and network to secure any potential exposures during migration. This approach is necessary for several reasons, including:

  • Improving compatibility and ensuring a smooth migration between heterogeneous systems.
  • Avoiding the risk of selecting the wrong cloud provider, which can do more harm than good, especially if the data ecosystem is not properly understood.
  • Preventing system failures that can result from the migration of data and other assets without a thorough understanding.
  • Avoiding any glitches during the migration process, which can lead to data loss, additional costs, and frustration.
  • Discovering, cataloging, and tagging data to ensure a seamless migration without any risks.

By taking these steps, organizations can ensure a successful and secure migration to the Cloud.

3. Migrating all data at once: Moving all your data and applications to the Cloud can be a pretty big job for any organization, and depending on the amount and complexity of the data, it can take months or even years to complete. If you try to do it all at once, you could end up causing serious infrastructure problems that could result in the loss of critical data. Not testing the system or improving the data migration process can lead to extended periods of downtime, which can be a major headache for your organization.

Another problem with the “lift and shift” approach is that it doesn’t really allow you to identify sensitive data and secure it during the transfer process. This can lead to trust issues with your cloud providers and other partners, which can ultimately derail your migration strategy.

One way to avoid these issues is to migrate incrementally. This allows you to better understand your needs and determine if your cloud provider can meet them. Start with migrating minor, less critical data and then move on to more sensitive/PII data. If you transfer business-critical and sensitive data first, any breaches in the infrastructure could result in the loss of important data.

4. Failure to plan for risks and security: Businesses often realize the need for security and risk planning only after it’s too late, as they rely solely on the Cloud provider’s security system. However, owners of data and systems must take personal responsibility for protecting their important data and applications. Therefore, precautionary steps should be taken in anticipation of potential events before migrating to the cloud, regardless of how unlikely they may be. The following are some ways to ensure that essential information and property are sufficiently secured:

  • Thoroughly assess potential risks and exposures.
  • Develop risk mitigation strategies and quick fixes in the event of a breach.
  • Have a clear understanding of responsibilities in case of a data breach.
  • Establish a single point of contact for the entire data migration process.
  • Provide cloud training to employees to ensure data protection and risk management, given the high number of insider breaches.
  • Bridge any gaps in the system with best security practices.
  • Plan for risks and security before executing the migration to save on cloud costs and time in case of any failures.

By implementing these measures, businesses can proactively safeguard their data and systems from potential threats and ensure a successful and secure migration to the Cloud.

5. Underutilization of the available tools for seamless cloud migration: Moving to the cloud is not a one-time event, but rather a journey that requires proper guidance. While having an in-house specialist is preferable, it’s important to note that extensive knowledge and skills are required to ensure a successful migration. Fortunately, there are several alternatives available for assisting with the process, such as third-party tools or those suggested by cloud providers. Collaborating with a proficient vendor remains one of the most reliable options to guarantee seamless data migration and to take advantage of all cloud capabilities.

Exciting news for those considering Microsoft Azure as their cloud service provider! Azure is now offering a zero license cost for their cloud migration service. This is made possible through Microsoft’s Azure File Migration Program, which has partnered with Data Dynamics’ StorageX to simplify the process of migrating data to the cloud, making it a more cost-effective and convenient option. With the Azure File Migration Program, businesses can easily migrate applications and workloads with large numbers of files, unstructured data, and object storage data into Azure, all for free. To learn more about this program and how Data Dynamics can help you on your cloud journey, be sure to visit our website or contact us at, or click here to schedule a meeting.

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