As many companies rush to take advantage of adopting cloud processes for their businesses, it’s easy to overlook all risks and challenges that come with cloud migration.
When a business considers its very first cloud migration, the vast amount of factors that need to be taken into account can be a bit overwhelming. It’s true to say that cloud environments are reliable and scalable, however, there are just so many other considerations that should be driving your decision to migrate or not to.
In this post, we’ll be closely looking at exactly 6 risks and benefits that a business should consider as it contemplates its move to the cloud.
In simple terms, cloud migration can be defined as a process of moving your data and applications from a local server to a certain cloud server. Organizations from various industries and geographical regions eagerly move their IT departments into the cloud to reap some of the great benefits offered by it, such as security and flexibility among many others.
In fact, in 2019, Gartner has forecasted a staggering 28% increase in revenue for 2022 in cloud migration, as per the image below. According to its survey, “more than a third of organizations see cloud investments as a top-three investing priority, which is impacting market offerings.”
Has your business ever experienced capacity issues while using your on-site infrastructure? For the sake of an example, maybe you’ve successfully run a Christmas season sale that brought in too many more customers than your servers could handle? In scenarios like these, cloud technology is the ultimate problem solver.
Levels of bandwidth, storage and computing power needed for a company to smoothly run its operations can be easily adjusted at any point of time while using the pay-as-you-go model offered by many cloud providers. This means high traffic associated with seasonal growth won’t likely affect your IT operations.
This is very different from what businesses did in the past when their IT infrastructures couldn’t handle the high traffic. In instances like these, the only option was to buy new servers to resolve the issue. Now imagine if traffic levels dip low, soon after purchases of those new servers. That would result in organizations having massive wastages of cloud space on their newly purchased super-expensive hardware. And that’s what we call a recipe for a disaster!
It must come as no surprise that one of the many advantages of moving to the cloud is in fact, better, improved security. Naturally, cloud service providers have the strictest security practices in place for their clients, to ensure no data is compromised. It’s usually a combination of sophisticated physical and digital safeguards that are being used. In addition to that, leading cloud providers such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have the ability to utilize the brightest minds out there to leverage their cybersecurity practices and measures.
That being said, there will still be a need for you to exercise appropriate security policies at your end, like keeping your sensitive information secure from third parties and regularly renewing your password combinations, among others.
When talking about cloud technologies, how can one not mention reduced costs associated with them?!
Seriously, though. A big benefit that a lot of companies have in their mind as one of the leading reasons for their cloud migration is, unsurprisingly, significant savings. That especially happens when businesses migrate for the long term.
Here are some reasons for this:
- No upfront capital investments
- Various pay-as-you-go models
- A plethora of incentivized discounts offered by bigger cloud providers (e.g. Google)
- No hardware maintenance expenses
Now let’s hop into some of the most common risks associated with cloud migration.
This is actually a very common and much-discussed risk that can even diminish some of the benefits that result from cloud migration. Vendor lock-in is, simply speaking, the inability of a company to make a smooth transition from its current cloud provider to a competitor. There are many reasons for this. Significant costs, legalities, and technical difficulties such as a need for a total reformatting of data during transition, are just some of them.
But despite all this, the fear of vendor lock-in shouldn’t keep you up at night. There are certain strategies and practices that a company might consider having in place before its transition to another cloud provider.
Some of these are:
- Discuss and negotiate entry and exit strategies with your current vendor well in advance
- Take note of all auto-renewal dates for your contracts
- Always have a backup vendor in mind
Speed is obviously an important factor when it comes to successful business operations.
It sometimes happens that some larger organizations have certain applications or database that requires them to have greater horsepower. In cases like these, migrating might not be such a good option, as the cloud might simply not be able to accommodate the company’s need for speed.
Luckily, this issue can be easily overcome in most cases. A majority of cloud providers offer an opportunity to “test drive” their services before the actual migration occurs. This way, an organization can ensure that the cloud works well for their business environment.
For a larger number of businesses deployed on the cloud though, this threat does not pose any issues at all.
Latency is a fancy term to describe a delay period that occurs right after a client request is made and just before the response is provided by the cloud. Latency rates significantly affect the usability of applications and devices. In a cloud environment, high latency can result in massive delays (think of areas such as video-conferencing, telephone systems, and other collaborative applications), which in turn can hurt a company’s sales and reputation.
There are different measures that can be put in place to control latency. Moving your office closer to the service provider and properly identifying areas of latency early on, are just some of them.
There is no doubt that cloud migration brings in multiple benefits in terms of security, scalability, and costs, among many others. However, the risks and challenges should also be carefully considered before such a move. Remember, cloud migration is a complex and time-consuming process. Therefore, various strategies need to be implemented well in advance to address some of the challenges that may arise.
The importance of getting a trusted vendor is critical to successful cloud migration. Therefore diligently invest your time into researching various cloud providers and always double-check claims made by each.
Remember, having the right team with the right expertise can help your business achieve the best outcome in this process.
It might not be an easy journey, so following the best practices and having the right knowledge at your fingertips definitely helps.
Are you thinking about migrating your infrastructure and applications to the cloud? Here at Clouve, our team of experts will help you plan and find the best options for your cloud migration. Chat with us today!