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Top Cloud Migration Challenges and How to Face Them

Embarking on a cloud migration journey may seem intimidating, but meticulous planning and strategic decision-making make way for a seamless transition.

Russ Kennedy, Nasuni

December 26, 2023

4 Min Read
Top Cloud Migration Challenges and How to Face Them

In the ever-changing realm of cloud technology, migrating to the cloud presents its fair share of challenges. Whether it is retaining proper security and access controls to keep data secure or ensuring the transition is as seamless as possible for users and applications, the prospect of this change can be daunting to IT managers and decision-makers. 

These challenges can keep businesses from making the jump to the cloud or force them to stick with outdated on-premises vendors. Despite hesitancies, the statistics provide a compelling narrative. By 2026, it is estimated that 45% of all enterprise IT budgets will be spent on the cloud, and 61% of businesses plan to optimize cloud costs in the next year.  

Navigating the transformation requires expertise and strategy, but with the right knowledge, the path to success in the cloud and digital transformation is feasible. So, what exactly are the top challenges in migrating to the cloud and how can you face these fears head-on? 

Cloud Vendor Lock-in

The issue of cloud vendor lock-in stands as a formidable challenge. When businesses find themselves tied to their initial choice due to steep switching costs, the ability to explore better alternatives is limited. According to a 2022 Statista survey, 47% of respondents highlighted the importance of avoiding cloud vendor lock-in.

Related:IT Leaders Turning to Distributed Cloud for Efficiency, Security

Cloud vendor lock-in not only restricts vendors’ ability to adapt but can also lead to unsustainable situations. For instance, staff members may not be able to perform to the height of their abilities due to a lack of adequate resources. Moreover, changing to a different vendor could cause an interruption to business and operations, incurring high costs and risks for the company. 

To keep from arriving at this difficult situation, businesses must prioritize flexibility and choice when selecting cloud vendors. By opting for providers offering adaptable solutions, businesses can avoid the shackles of vendor lock-in, ensuring their freedom to evolve with the dynamic technological landscape.

The Fear of Migration

The prospect of migrating data from one platform to another, especially concerning security and access control, can cause IT managers fear and stress.

This process demands careful planning due to the numerous steps involved, including evaluating target storage solutions, application reviews, and ensuring data security. Migration requires meticulous planning, which can be time-consuming. IT managers may have to temporarily pause other critical tasks during a migration.

Related:Amazon CTO Talks Cloud, Creative Architecture, and Cost

A study conducted by Gartner revealed that 83% of data migration projects either fail or exceed their budgets and schedules. Beyond the time commitment, IT managers also risk data loss or change, which could lead to a potential job risk for managers if such losses occur often.  

To address these concerns, it's important to thoroughly evaluate potential vendors, prioritizing the retention of access controls during the migration process. Opting for providers experienced in safeguarding data ensures a smooth and secure transition to the cloud. By making carefully vetted choices, businesses can confidently embrace the cloud's potential while protecting their sensitive information, assuring IT managers of a secure digital transformation. 

The Cost of Cloud

Hidden costs in cloud services can catch businesses off guard due to the vendors’ complex pricing models. While they may not be purposefully hiding these expenses, additional fees for accessing data frequently, using a backup service, or having infrastructure in the cloud can be masked in vendors’ pricing models. 

Consequently, these additional expenses can be hard for companies to keep track of, hindering their ability to project costs accurately. Unforeseen costs can significantly impact budgets, emphasizing the challenge of accurately estimating expenses. The lack of transparent pricing along with the ever-changing nature of cloud usage can leave companies vulnerable to financial turmoil and operational disruptions. 

Gartner reported that many businesses overspend due to inadequate cost management practices in the cloud. Enterprises should examine the broader financial landscape when transitioning to the cloud. By understanding the costs associated with cloud consumption, both up-front and hidden costs, businesses can make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and overall business strategy.

Forward-Thinking Approach

While embarking on a successful cloud migration journey may seem intimidating, meticulous planning and strategic decision-making make way for a seamless transition. At its core, choosing the right cloud vendor is the foundational step.

Finding the best fit involves a thorough assessment of potential vendors and comparing their offerings and costs to the specific needs and technical requirements of your business. A forward-thinking approach to vendor selection not only meets immediate needs but also anticipates future challenges. 

 Russ Kennedy is the Chief Product Officer at Nasuni. Russ is a well-known and highly regarded storage industry executive, with more than 25 years of experience developing software and hardware solutions to address exponential data growth. Before Nasuni, Russ directed product strategy at private cloud object storage pioneer Cleversafe through its $1.3 billion acquisition by IBM.

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