Many businesses decide to migrate to the cloud because of the promised benefits of scalability, elasticity, and above all - cost efficiencies. Unfortunately, too many organisations embark on a migration without fully understanding the complexities of cloud and how to exploit the opportunities.
Our team sees many companies struggling to get the promised return on investment due to mistakes made during migration. Below, we'll explain the most common mistakes being made during migration and how you can avoid them.
3 benefits you get out of a cloud migration
1. Elasticity - meet demand at any moment
Most businesses go through periods of high demand or have natural peaks in traffic. For example, e-commerce brands will get surges of traffic during sales or product launches, banks experience higher traffic at lunchtime and in the evening, and government agencies like the ATO will have more visitors during tax time.
Having your business on the cloud allows you to meet demand and provide the best possible experience for your customers. Quick load times and great online experiences mean that you'll be able to convert a higher number of customers.
2. Scalability - grow without limits
Businesses naturally grow, and with it they need more computing power and storage. Having your business on the cloud allows you to scale your resources quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively in a way that on-premises systems don't allow.
3. Cost-efficiency - get more bang for your buck
Elasticity and scalability lead to businesses spending less money on their IT infrastructure. Being able to grow without purchasing more costly physical servers or PCs means fewer costs, and increasing customer satisfaction and sales results in higher revenue.
Common mistakes in cloud migrations
The complexity of cloud means that many organisations are apt to make mistakes simply because it requires a lot of experience to undertake and manage the project correctly. Cloud is an ever-evolving platform and environment, and even seasoned professionals find something new to learn with each project.
After successfully completing dozens of migration projects, our team has come to see some common mistakes being made in migrations. These include:
Lack of stakeholder engagement
The business perspectives are often overlooked in the drive to get on to cloud. Organisations can lose sight of the business strategy, the requirement for organisational change and adaption, and requirements for governance.
To ensure a successful migration, the business case for moving to the cloud needs to be kept front and centre. Additionally, it needs to be a team effort: users need to understand how to adapt and adopt cloud best practice and gain the benefits of single sign-on and remote access; and IT needs to ensure that systems are still compliant and demonstrably so.
Lack of planning prior to migration
Often organisations have willing and capable technical staff that believe they can handle a migration to cloud with in-house resources. They have already migrated the on-prem systems through various iterations - how different can cloud be?
The most common mistake is not planning, designing, and configuring the cloud environment before you commence any migration. You need to plan out the complete platform, security, and operations picture in advance. Retro-fitting user management, security and right-sizing resources after a migration is time consuming and costly.
The complexity of these tasks means that experience and expertise in migration is needed - something that not many in-house teams have.
Not following the Well-Architected Framework
A poor migration journey leads to issues and challenges in one or more of the Well-Architected Framework Pillars. These provide you with the best practices to ensure a robust, efficient, secure, and optimised cloud platform and environment.
In the case of one NSW government agency, issues in the Security pillar meant that user functionality (both front- and back-end) was compromised as the Development team spent too much time patching security gaps and not enough on releasing improvements.
So what can be done to improve your cloud migration results?
How can you avoid making migration mistakes?
While it can be tempting to start a migration project on your own, either because you're pressed for time and don't have the budget for outside help, making mistakes on your migration ends up being costlier than getting it right from the start.
This is why we encourage you to find a cloud partner to help you on your journey. The flexibility of cloud also reflects in the many services partners provide - whether it's consulting at the beginning of your journey, executing the whole migration project, or providing ongoing cloud management support. There are many ways that cloud partners can fit in your budget.
When you search for a partner, you should be looking for the following traits:
Collaborative - the right partner will work closely with you to understand your unique business needs and tailor a solution for that, rather than trying to sell you a service in the first meeting.
Experienced - cloud partners vary in the services they provide, so you'll want to make sure that the partner you choose has enough expertise in the part of your project you need help on.
Proactive - is your partner staying up to date with the latest developments in cloud? Do they share their knowledge with their audience? Are they active within their communities? These all demonstrate the organisation's willingness and capability to stay at the forefront of their field.
A good migration sets you up for success
Making sure that your migration starts, continues, and finishes right on the first go lets you save on costs, reduce delays, and get more efficiency and performance out of both your systems and your team. And this all starts with the right support.
PolarSeven is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with deep expertise in helping you deliver the right outcomes on cloud through a successful cloud migration - covering every part of the journey, from planning to execution and ongoing management.
If you would like to know more on how we can help you migrate to the cloud, you can book a free consultation or call back, and our cloud professionals can discuss your unique circumstances and offer advice and solutions that will work for you.