Cloud Migration – Benefits, Risks and How to Avoid Them
- by Archit Patel
- 13 minutes read
- 7.7k Views
You may find cloud technologies and their practical applications in several business areas. With every passing year, more and more organizations utilize them in their work. The future belongs to these cloud solutions and they are commercially successful.
Cloud migration is the process of moving applications, data, or even the whole enterprise IT infrastructure to the remote server facilities and a virtual environment. The advantages of cloud migration are notable. The cloud architecture enables accepting any workload, and the ease of including new services offers a chance of fast responding to changing business needs.
Due to reliability and security issues, several organizations are still delaying their cloud migration. Otherwise, they may not find it beneficial. Nevertheless, the world is transforming and at present, cloud technologies are requirements.
In this blog, I will discuss why enterprises and businesses should migrate to the cloud, the risks involved in cloud migration, and how to avoid potential risks. Just keep reading!
Key Advantages of Cloud Migration
Here are some advantages that cloud computing offers to businesses:
Moving to the cloud is cost-effective for organizations. Companies can save a lot by cloud migration, particularly in the long run. In comparison with on-premise hardware, you have no upfront investment with the cloud.
Also, the energy expenses for keeping the systems up become affordable. Moreover, you don’t need to pay somebody for maintaining your hardware, because your cloud provider does everything. You just pay for what you utilize and nothing more than that.
You might experience capacity issues while using the on-premise infrastructure. However, using cloud technology, you can get rid of the capacity problems completely. Cloud service providers provide businesses with on-demand capacity utilizing a pay-as-you-go model. Hence, no seasonality or development will threaten for upending your operation.
Previously, businesses used to encounter traffic levels that their present infrastructure could not manage; hence, they had to purchase a new server only. And these servers are not at all cost-effective. However, using the cloud, businesses now can modify the storage, level of computing power, and bandwidth required at any time.
3. Enhanced Security
Enhanced security is one of the advantages of cloud migration. Cloud service providers make sure to maintain the most precise security measures for their clients. From authentic digital protections to high-end physical ones, they prioritize cybersecurity first.
The data centers and some top cloud providers globally safeguard your data. They can employ the brightest and best cybersecurity professionals available. This helps them increase their knowledge of enhancing their security practices continuously and offers a secure space for their client data.
4. More Flexibility for Employees
The cloud helps you allure and retain your staff members, providing them improved flexibility. Many employees want the capacity for traveling and working remotely instead of working from 9 to 5 in the office space. And guess what, they can do that with cloud technology.
As long as your staff members have an active internet connection and a device, they can work using the capacity for enhanced collaboration offered by the cloud. This is freedom for the employees.
5. Advanced Collaboration
Collaboration means competitiveness and efficiency these days. Companies can embrace a lot of technologies for increasing their collaboration, and the cloud is one of such technologies. Since everything is available through the internet, staff members can work together in various states, cities, or nations.
Employees can access files and documents at the same time and update them in real-time. And this capacity of collaborating easily helps boost proficiency. By leveraging cloud technology, you can focus on collaboration more easily for your staff to work together and create better concepts and solutions quicker than before.
6. Disaster Recovery
With cloud technology, businesses can back up their data. Some experts say that cloud backups are more secure than internal backups. Using cloud-based backups, you can store your data safely in high-end data centers run by the tech giants globally. These companies have several teams working 24×7 for securing your data.
When your data is secure, you won’t experience data loss. In case your system gets destroyed due to a natural disaster, a cloud-based backup will assist in your disaster recovery.
Although cloud migration has several advantages, not every business accepts it. Like everything else, the cloud is also imperfect. You should ponder other things also before upgrading your company’s present operation mode and moving them to cloud technology. Now, let’s put some light on the risks engaged in cloud migration!
Major Risks in Cloud Migration and How You Can Avoid Them
Although cloud migration comes with a plethora of benefits, in the race of cloud acceptance, businesses sometimes ignore the risks in cloud migration like extra latency, data loss, security violation, lack of visibility, etc. In case you want to transfer your apps and data safely to the cloud, here are some risks you need to avoid:
1. Incompatibility of the Current Architecture
Many organizations find that the complex nature of their present IT architecture is one of the prime risks they face during cloud migration. It reduces the speed of their migration as they need to find individuals with relevant IT skills, so they can make the whole architecture precise for the cloud at the required speed.
How to Avoid
To make the architecture ready for cloud migration, you need to hire a team of IT experts that will fix tech debt, review the legacy architecture, make comprehensive documentation, and measure interdependent parts.
In case you want to mix private and public clouds with on-premise assets for making a hybrid environment, you should re-design your in-house IT infrastructure for reducing interoperability issues and inconsistencies among several systems.
2. Extra Latency
Extra latency is one of the underrated risks in cloud migration. This can happen when you access databases, apps, and services in the cloud. In case you have apps that need instant responses, delays in some seconds can create major damage to your business. It not just can cause disappointment and frustration but also affect your brand reputation.
How to Avoid
To get rid of latency problems, you should first understand its causes: misconfigured QoS (Quality of Service) and the geographical distance between servers and client devices. Many ways are there to solve latency problems:
- Divide traffic flows
- Optimize and localize the network
- Offload the internet at the end
- Build multi-cloud connectivity
- Connect with ecosystems and business partners for online business or data exchanges.
In case the aforesaid cloud migration strategies are costly for you or do not help, ponder keeping such apps on-premise.
3. Complexity Around Security
According to study, the complexity around security is the major cloud migration risk that maximum companies (57%) encounter followed by pricing and legacy infrastructure.
Transferring data to the cloud brings many security risks, such as insider threats, accidental errors, external attacks, malware, misconfigured servers, problems on the side of the cloud provider, insecure APIs, contractual violations, compliance breaches, etc.
A few companies already know these risks and take some precautions for avoiding them. However, still many companies fail to do that. And as a result, they struggle for fixing security problems because they are not enough skilled to do that.
As per report, 92% of respondents say they should improve cloud security skills, whereas 84% confirmed they require adding employees for bridging the gap. Just 27% of respondents had confidence in their capacity of identifying every cloud security alert.
How to Avoid
Leading cloud service providers like AWS and Azure offer security. They make sure to protect your physical assets from unauthorized access. Maximum cloud vendors have a great portfolio of compliance services incorporating FIPS, CJIS, HIPAA, DISA, ITAR, etc. They spend much on security for safeguarding client data from cyber threats.
Moreover, they provide exclusive solutions to keep your client data secure while migrating to the cloud. Nevertheless, you should hire an experienced security team and some trained DevOps engineers who can make the required configurations and give assurance about the long-term data security in the cloud:
- Allow multi-factor authentication
- Encrypt data assets in migration and at rest
- Establish user access policies
- Configure a firewall
- Train others on the ways of maintaining security in the cloud
- Execute required controls
- Set individual workloads apart for reducing every damage that could happen because of an attacker
4. Inadequacy of Visibility and Control
Visibility in the public cloud is one of the major risks in migrating to the cloud. It impacts to network and app functionality. In case you depend on your on-premise data centers, take complete control over your resources incorporating data centers, networks, and physical hosts.
However, when moving to external cloud services the responsibility for a few policies shifts to cloud service providers based on the service type. As an outcome, the organization needs visibility into public cloud workloads.
As per a current survey by Dimensional Research, 95% of responding companies say visibility issues have caused network or app performance problems. And as per 38% of respondents, inadequate visibility is the main factor in app outages, while 31% claim it in network outages.
How to Avoid
Now several tools can help you in the app and network performance monitoring. Third-party security vendors and cloud service providers provide many solutions for that. Here are a few demands for efficient monitoring tools:
- Automatic response to some kinds of threats and alerts
- A steep learning curve
- Scopes for configuring various types of alerts
- Strong analytics
- A monitoring solution must integrate simply with other solutions
- Fundamental monitoring capacities with no requirement for manual configuration
5. Wasted Cloud Costs
Cloud providers’ pricing models are flexible; however, sometimes hard to understand particularly in case you are a newbie in this field. According to the estimation of Gartner analysts Craig Lowery and Brandon Medford, as much as 70% of cloud costs get wasted.
You need to pay for compute, data transfer and storage in cloud computing. And every cloud vendor provides several storage services, instance types, and transfer choices based on your price needs, use case, and performance expectations.
Finding the right one can be difficult. Organizations that fail to find out what they require generally waste their prices because they don’t utilize the chances they get.
How to Avoid
You should optimize your cloud costs. In case you are unaware of doing it, hire experts to help you. Some common cloud cost optimization practices are as follows:
- Use discounts
- Erase underused instances
- Increase spot instances for serverless and stuff that do not need high availability
- Administer your workloads
- Spend on reserved instances
- Take benefit of autoscaling
- Check whether hosting in another region could lower costs
- Fix alerts to cross pre-decided spend thresholds
- Shift irregularly accessed storage to more inexpensive tiers
6. No Proper Cloud Migration Strategy
You should decide whether you choose a cloud provider or deal with many cloud platforms. Every strategy has some advantages and disadvantages. If you choose a cloud provider, you may face the risk of vendor lock-in. Besides, you can work with multiple cloud providers and balance workloads among many cloud platforms.
However, it is costlier and more complex as every provider offers various tools and services for cloud management, but it provides freedom also. As per McAfee’s Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, 78% of companies are presently utilizing both Azure and AWS for avoiding basic risks in cloud migration.
Moreover, you need to determine what you will migrate to the cloud and what you will leave on the on-premise datacenters. In case you choose a hybrid technique, plan according to that. Not all parts of your infrastructure are perfect for migration. Don’t keep client’s data, financial records in the public cloud.
In case you have sensitive data, store them on the on-premise data centers, and utilize a public cloud platform for flexibility, compute strength, scalability, and connectivity.
How to Avoid
Don’t get hyped and rush into shifting your workloads quickly to a cloud platform even if somebody recommends it. What is beneficial for an organization can become destructive for your business. Without proper planning and a rock-solid cloud migration strategy, you may end up with system failures and huge expenses.
7. Data Loss
Before migrating to the cloud, ensure to back up all your data, particularly the files that you will move. During the cloud migration procedure, you may experience some problems like missing, incomplete, or corrupted files. And in case you have backed up all your data, you can easily rectify the errors by restoring the data to its previous condition.
How to Avoid
Anything from a security violation to a power outage at a data center may lead to data loss. So, if you store the backups of databases in the cloud or on a server, you can restore all the data fast.
Moreover, in case you utilize many cloud providers, you don’t have to be worried regarding the sudden failure of the service of a specific provider. You always can distribute an independent replica of your app on the infrastructure of another provider.
Make sure to configure the migrated data’s backup to save lots of time and money. Don’t forget to backup your old system so you can find every missing file if required.
Every organization concentrates on cost optimization, incorporating its IT segment also. The abatement in the operating expenses of the organization is the prime advantage of cloud migration. Nevertheless, numerous organizations still avoid this migration procedure as it sometimes appears time-consuming, challenging, and risky for them.
Although cloud migration needs some effort and resources, avoiding this process could be a disadvantage for your organization if in comparison with your competitors. Hire an experienced organization that can help you execute an effective, secure, and successful cloud migration.