Cloud Migration Fails: 6 Mistakes to Avoid

Migrating to the cloud by both large and small companies is an absolute must and the move should be done sooner than later. That being said, caution is advised. As an IT services provider, we see (and often need to clean up) the mess that can be made when cloud migration isn’t properly planned and implemented. Here are six common cloud migration mistakes to learn from.

1. Selecting the Wrong Partner

The selection of a partner to help with cloud migration is critical. Sometimes the decision boils down to familiarity or low pricing rather than experience. Other times, to save money, the task is given to an internal team whether they are ready for it or not. These choices often lead to mistakes that  increase costs in the long term.

2. Jumping the Gun 

There’s a tendency to move quickly but perhaps not wisely. Many on-premises workloads should be modified before moving them to a cloud. In some cases, it’s best not to move them at all. 

Instead, an application might need to be rewritten and then released in a cloud-native way. Some might even need to be replaced entirely with an SaaS-based alternative. Moving too quickly and deferring the cost to modernize or replacing critical applications might prove to be more expensive than waiting until after migration.

3. Rushing the  Assessments of Your Applications 

Determining which applications  you should  move immediately and which should wait is the most critical phase in a cloud migration project. Different approaches might be needed for the I&O (infrastructure and operations) applications. Failing to fully assess these workloads is a common mistake that hinders success. 

Migration vendors should be asked  to propose an initial cost at project start, then submit a revised statement of work and final price after the application assessment phase is complete. 

4. Failing to Properly Design and Implement a “Landing Zone”

The wrong or inadequate design and implementation of a “landing zone” can increase the costs of security and compliance. The landing zone should include:

  • Defined account structures.
  • Federation to identity directories.
  • Virtual private cloud (VPC) networking.
  • Role-based access control (RBAC) roles and rule sets.
  • Infrastructure for monitoring, security and configuration management. 

The set up of all these environments needs to be carefully  considered well in advance of the migration and included in the scope of work. 

5. Bottlenecks

Many applications are interdependent.  If these applications are moved without realizing their interdependencies, it can lead to incorrect grouping and ordering of application migrations, network performance issues and cascading delays.  Soon your cloud migration is bottlenecked.

Delays like this lead to the migration taking more time than initially allotted and increased costs. I&O leaders must map dependencies as part of the application assessment process to ensure appropriate migration timelines. 

6. Hidden Indirect Costs

The costs of migrating to a cloud should include the “hidden costs,” such as those associated with transforming your organization to operate effectively in the public cloud or the residual costs of using the space previously occupied by the data center. Some of these might be unavoidable, but it is important to consider them as a part of the cloud migration budget.

Also, consider: 

  • The cost of retraining existing teams.
  • The cost of raising  salaries to match cloud market salaries.
  • The cost of changes to organizational structure and operating procedures.
  • The cost to adopt agile DevOps practices across the IT organization. 
  • Losses in productivity due to vacated facilities and hardware,  unused software licenses or unproductive staff.
  • The cost to run duplicate versions of the same system during a migration move-over period.

Migration Success 

Moving to the cloud can be a seamless and cost effective transition if you do so carefully and with an experienced and knowledgeable partner. Need help? Contact us.


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