This blog examines the most common cloud migration challenges that businesses faced and explores what organizations can do to prepare for the almost inevitable change.

The digital transformation market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.7% from 2019, to $3,294 billion by 2025 (Research and Markets). 87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a company priority and yet only 40% of organizations have brought digital initiatives to scale (Gartner).

Let’s think about this for a moment……what is holding an enterprise organization back from taking the next step towards digital transformation? Do the challenges of cloud migration feel insurmountable? While cloud migration brings many proven benefits, such as increased performance and cost efficiencies, improved collaboration, scalability and flexibility as the company grows, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Perhaps caution is overriding need when it comes to modernization. One of the best ways to address the fear of how and when is for enterprise organizations to get prepared.

And the starting point of their ‘future ready’ strategy would be to consider the most common business challenges and the potential solutions to address them:

1. Cost

Let’s be honest, cloud migration will require financial investments, and in your organization, this might be the predominant challenge. Your organization may have already invested upfront in on-premise servers and technology, giving you better visibility of your IT budget, and migrating to the cloud may feel like an unnecessary extra cost. 

However, it’s important to offset the cost of migration with the ongoing costs associated with maintaining an on-premise IT infrastructure, and consider future projections of company growth. Since on-premise servers are owned by the organization, providing physical storage, power supplies, maintenance, warranties, in-house technical expertise all come at a price. In addition, if the organization upsizes additional servers will be required, or it if downsizes the allocated IT budget may no longer be sustainable. 

Cloud migration provides the flexibility to increase or decrease server capacity as required, so you only pay for what you need, and maintenance and upgrades become the sole responsibility of your cloud provider, not your IT department. The infrastructure and hardware costs are included in the monthly / quarterly subscription, giving you better control over your IT budget. Taking everything into consideration, 79% of IT Professionals experience cost savings as a result of using a cloud approach (Trend Report: Why Businesses are Moving to the Cloud).

2. Data Security

Moving from on-premise to the cloud could feel like abandoning privacy and control over your data. In fact, in a 2020 survey of cybersecurity and IT Professionals, 75% of respondents stated they were ‘very concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about cloud security (2020 Cloud Security Report). 

With strict HIPAA and GDPR regulations around sensitive healthcare data, and penalties for non-compliance, it’s no wonder enterprise organizations take this challenge extremely seriously and question “Is my data safe in the cloud?”. Cloud technology has come a long way in recent years, and cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), have developed solutions with customers’ data security front and centre, employing the very latest in cybersecurity software using cutting-edge technology.

It is essential that the cloud provider you choose to partner with understands your concerns or reservations, and includes features that meet your business needs. As part of your cloud migration preparedness, there are three simple questions you can ask a cloud vendor:

  1. How will you keep my data safe i.e. how are data security threats mitigated?
  2. How will you support me in meeting my regulatory compliances?
  3. If something goes wrong, will you provide the necessary IT expertise?

In-house preparation is also key to minimizing data security risks. For example, as part of your cloud strategy you should include a review of cybersecurity employee training, adopting multi-factor authentication, session time-outs or employ role-based levels of access. Your cloud vendor should be able to advise your organization on best practices to allay concerns over data security, so time spent selecting the right provider for you is time well spent.

Read how we built a one of its kind patient care platform for Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories, leveraging 100% security and compliance, as per the regulatory standards.

3. Technical Expertise

Another key barrier to cloud migration is the lack of in-house expertise to develop cloud-native applications. Around 78% public sector organizations lack the resources required to make cloud migration a reality, and it’s not surprising when you consider the rapid evolution in cloud technologies. As more and more organizations look to make the move to the cloud, migration experts are in higher demand, so successfully employing and retaining in-house experts with the required skills can hinder the transformational journey.

To overcome this challenge, organizations must be prepared to outsource the cloud migration process to a cloud vendor, but again, choose your vendor wisely. You should seek a specialist vendor which has many years’ proven experience in, and deep understanding of, your particular industry, and which works collaboratively with your Project Team and Subject Matter Experts for as seamless a transition as possible. As part of your long-term cloud strategy, developing an internal culture of continuous learning in this field will help to retain and recognise top talent, as employees learn and master the skills needed for the future.

SourceFuse, being an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, holds deep domain expertise and 16 years of experience when it comes to Cloud Migration and Modernization.

4. Downtime

Organizations and enterprise businesses operate in a world where they need access to their data 24/7 and any interruption is unimaginable; when technology fails, disaster recovery plans get put into action, but potentially the business suffers. On-premise servers may feel like a more ‘controllable’ environment and migrating to the cloud could be perceived as being ‘outside your control’. Despite this, on-premise servicing and upgrading systems is still a requirement, which inevitably introduces a certain amount of unavoidable downtime.

To overcome the fear of downtime, consider the top cloud provider, AWS, which accounts for 31% of the cloud market (AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share 2021): It is their mission to ensure a reliable, continuous service. As you prepare for cloud migration, you should ensure you have a reliable internet connection (ISP), review your back-up and disaster recovery plans, ensure your data is encrypted, and use robust cybersecurity. One false assumption that organizations make is that all cloud environments are the same, so as you assess your choice of cloud vendor, challenge them on whether they provide 24/7 support, what their guaranteed uptimes are, and how upgrades are managed to avoid any disruption.

5. Change Averse

It is human nature to resist change, and sometimes one of the biggest challenges to overcome is people, whether that’s employees or senior leadership. The psychological perception of cloud migration may feel overwhelming: the disruption, the training, new systems, new processes – the list goes on. All of these factors could foster negativity within an organization and damage the overall success of your project and make for a bumpy transition.

Overcoming this challenge starts at the top of any enterprise organization, with leadership buy-in. When the business leaders actively communicate the excitement and positive benefits of such an undertaking, the buzz will ripple throughout the organization and everyone will be ‘future ready’. Very often, resistance to change is about not understanding the ‘why’; therefore, presenting the purpose and value behind the cloud migration will get the whole organization behind it. 

Read how SourceFuse enabled BluHorn – A media buying Saas US-based organization to gain 93% performance efficiency.

The Bottom Line

It might be one, some or all of these challenges that prevent  organizations or enterprise businesses from taking the next step towards digitization and cloud migration. However, keep in mind that moving to the cloud isn’t necessarily the end goal; when you lay the foundation of digital modernization, you plan for future scalability, resilience and agility.

The key is preparation: establish your objectives and goals, identify potential issues and how these will be addressed, create a solid change management plan to minimize disruption to daily workflows, and communicate these plans throughout the organization, so that everyone – top to bottom – will be ‘future ready’ and keen to get started.

Read our next blog in the series to know how SourceFuse can help you get started with your digital journey. (Becoming Digital-Future Ready with SourceFuse)