When you make an update on your Facebook page you are making use of cloud computing. When you do an online cash transfer, once again it is cloud computing at work. Every business wants to take advantage of this 24/7 connectivity to improve operational efficiency and also cut down on IT costs. However, shifting your infrastructure to an external environment must take into account the challenges of cloud computing. Else you will be in for a bumpy ride that will not smoothen out any time soon.
Challenges of Cloud Computing Migration
Migrating an application to the cloud or even migrating from one cloud service provider to another can be complicated. Operating systems, networking architecture and storage systems will differ from one environment to another. If your migration story must be completed with as few problems as possible it is essential to know the challenges you are up against.
1. Not having a well-defined cloud migration strategy
Conducting an initial and thorough assessment is essential whether you are hiring a cloud migration services partner or using your in-house team. This is particularly important when you are migrating from legacy systems. Some of the challenges to address can be compliance regulations, legacy hurdles and data dependencies. Some data centers might be more difficult to migrate than others and you will want to keep the business downtime to the least possible.
ITech India advises our business clients to consider a phased cloud migration strategy. It is best to migrate in phases, starting with processes that are lower down on the mission-critical list. The teething problems can be sorted out at this stage so that more critical processes can be implemented at no risk.
2. Failure to ensure security and compliance
Data security is one of the biggest challenges of cloud computing. When migrating data to the cloud you are essentially expecting your provider to have security practices in place that will protect your data. Ask the questions regarding the encryption placed on data going and coming and where it will be stored. Security threats are becoming more sophisticated and it is essential to evaluate cloud providers that can customize security and have breach security notifications in place. GDPR regulation compliance is essential. However, security needs to be a responsibility of the business as well. It is important to work with an implementation partner vendor who can provide additional security features over those that are provided by the platform.
3. The cost of cloud migration
The cloud is cost-effective in the long run but the financial cost upfront for migrating business processes is understandably quite high. Many businesses look at the biggest cost centers involved such as network, compute and storage costs of the platform provider. No hardware is involved and depending on the amount of data moved, businesses only pay for what they use in a subscription model. This, along with the development work involved in migration is what most businesses calculate as the final cost. Financial costs can go up if migration is from legacy systems where data is incompatible with the cloud. Another overlooked cost is that of training employees to use the new technology.
4. Operational downtime
Business downtime during switch over is the biggest challenge of cloud computing and it stops organizations from taking the step to become more agile. Gartner’s report in 2014 found that network downtime translates to a loss of $5,600 each minute. This is another reason to start with simpler processes and work up to the more complex operations and thus minimize any downtime.
One way to avoid downtime for operations that run round the clock is to go for live migration. Businesses that implement this cloud migration strategy, move a running application from one host to another without disconnecting the client or the application. It uses a pre-copy approach from source to destination without stopping the execution of the running application.
5. Vendor lock-in
Cloud migration services must minimize the risk of vendor lock-in. Once you start your cloud migration it is the wrong time to realize that the cloud service provider does not meet your needs. It is important to also have the flexibility to move to another provider if the need arises. Due diligence is the first step when evaluating CSPs, ensure you have thoroughly documented your cloud goals and that evaluate providers who can match it.
Set down your exit plan and the potential cost even before you start your implementation strategy. And finally, to allow for migration between one provider to another, your application components should be loosely linked with the cloud application components by using RESTAPIs, HTTP, JSON etc.
Tech India provides software solutions to its global partners since 2003. We specialize in custom software development, app development and re-engineering. Contact us today if you are ready for an effective cloud migration strategy for your business.