Cloud migration has been a significant trend over the past decade, gaining momentum as organizations realize the benefits of on-tap cloud access. Offering servers and computer services without the need to buy, maintain, or manage any associated labor or hardware has yielded tremendous benefits for many who have opted in, and the rate of migrations to the cloud is at an all-time high.
According to Statista, "The global cloud infrastructure market service spend amounted to $47 billion in the second quarter of 2021. This is $12 billion more than in Q2 2020."
Cloud migration benefits center primarily around increased efficiency. The ideal results of a successful cloud migration yield a more intelligent allocation of resources that allows companies to focus on their core competencies. Within that, successful migrations reduce IT costs, improve the end-user experience and increase scalability and security. Once adopted, cloud computing users can reduce capital expenditures and decrease maintenance and operational costs—ensuring maximum results with minimal expenses.
However, not every migration is successful, and the process can be complex, leading to mistakes that can hinder the journey and incur negative ramifications. There have been shifts in trends and patterns along the way as businesses navigate the four key areas of digital transformation: discovery, assessment, migration, and operations.
Lack of Strategy and Resistance to Change
Cloud has posed a disruptive threat for years, but short-term incentive structures often hamstring big companies, holding them back from the massive long-term transformation possible with the cloud. Some enterprises are anchored by the weight of internal processes and platforms, and others are inhibited by uncertainty and doubt.
There is no cloud shortcut or one-size-fits-all template for businesses. It's all about focusing on the long-term and planning for the future beyond this month, this quarter and this year. It’s not efficient to treat cloud adoption as a quick add-on or easy replacement to current solutions. It’s a journey that must start by IT leaders and their team identifying what they want to do and why it's of value to the organization—and ultimately achieving executive buy-in to make it happen. Not having a clear roadmap with defined goals and objectives can derail the entire migration process and end up costing significantly more in the long run.
A strategy-first philosophy, rather than a "cloud-first" approach, is critical. Businesses need to start their migrations by thinking about what the cloud can do for their operations and how to best integrate it into their approach to leverage its power along with other technologies. As companies go through this analysis, they should come out with a cloud roadmap aligning with their desired objectives.
Cloud: Not Just Another Infrastructure
Throughout this process, it’s critical for businesses to consider how data is stored, protected, accessed, processed and managed to prevent issues during and after migration. Without this step, data can become siloed in the cloud, and in return management of the data is left behind. If the data architecture is incorrect, it will make this process even more difficult. Data owners will be left searching for the information they need, and the investment in the architecture will bear no return.
The most common mistake companies make during cloud transformation is from an infrastructure perspective. Many view operating in the cloud as a matter of moving existing platforms or applications from point A to B, and they will save time and money across their IT budgets. Many executives or others in decision-making roles may believe they can take a “lift-and-shift” approach to the cloud, leaving applications and workloads as they were in their on-prem locations. When companies take this method, the overall costs can and usually do rise significantly, as they have not factored in optimization of these workloads for cloud architecture.