Cloud migration: What are the challenges and how to solve them?

A wealth of benefits can be gained from cloud migration, but organisations remain hesitant to make the leap as they face significant challenges while planning their cloud journeys. We explore the barriers our customers often encounter throughout their cloud migration plans and share insights on how you can ease your path to the cloud. 

Where do we begin with cloud migration?

As you start your cloud migration, you may face many questions, such as: Which cloud provider should we work with? Do we lift and shift or re-factor applications? How much cloud storage will I need for all my data? Do I or my team know enough about cloud to tackle it ourselves? How secure is the cloud?  

With those questions comes inevitably more questions and more research, delaying your cloud migration plans. Your organisation is not alone – although 84% of IT decision-makers say that their business has a clear vision for transformation, only 42% have a plan, with 11% having no idea where to start.  

Brightsolid has worked on cloud migration projects with over 150 organisations in the UK and we recommend before jumping into the cloud, you should:  

  • Take the time to analyse your organisation’s cloud readiness fully, your current infrastructure, including your applications and data, your internal resources and capabilities, the financial implications of moving to the cloud, and your goals and aspirations, now and in the future. This helps you prioritise and ensure that cloud plans align with your requirements and capabilities.  
  • Create a roadmap that all decision-makers can buy into while ensuring alignment and control are in place so everyone can succeed and reach their goals. The cloud has expanded technology decisions beyond the IT team, and a broader set of internal stakeholders may see the value in the cloud.  

Once you have assessed your infrastructure, resources, goals and motivations, a cloud migration plan can be built to address your requirements with your infrastructure in mind. This can guide and help prioritise tasks and actions as you migrate to the cloud. 

Four cloud migration challenges

1. Lack of stakeholder buy-in and engagement

Many key stakeholders may not fully understand the value of cloud . Hence, the first step is identifying each stakeholder’s motivations and objectives to gather insight into the drivers to get their buy-in for cloud. At the same time, it’s essential to address any concerns and highlight the potential risks so everyone is fully informed of potential cloud migration challenges that may affect their areas of expertise. Sharing these insights will help ease concerns around cloud and get buy-in as your cloud migration project progresses.  

2. The investment into your current infrastructure

Significant investment into your existing IT environment can often be a barrier to cloud. Infrastructure, including your servers, applications, data, and the teams who manage it, is integral to your organisation’s operation, so any proposed changes require careful consideration before moving forward.  

Moreover, many applications and systems have been purpose-built and adhere to industry standards and best practices. This results in a more significant challenge as organisations consider what to do about their monolithic systems – whether to ‘lift and shift’ or completely replace them. However, lifting and shifting applications may not be the easiest route as, according to Gartner, 85% of existing core IT applications (ERP, legacy mainframe, etc.) were not designed with ‘cloud’ in mind and are often highly customised and large systems, which can make them incompatible with cloud platforms, presenting another challenge. 

Leadership teams should consider the financial and operational impact of migrating legacy infrastructure to the cloud and highlight these implications as part of their cloud roadmap. Carefully examine each application and system, ascertain its ‘role’ in your processes and decide which migration strategy to take to ensure you get the most value out of your cloud infrastructure – either lift or shift or a complete replacement to a cloud-based solution. As a result of this evaluation, your organisation may consider a hybrid cloud approach, giving you the best of both worlds.  

3. The expertise to manage cloud projects

Cloud projects are hugely technical and complex, and having the right skills and competencies is important before starting any cloud migration projects.  

Gartner discovered that IT executives see the talent shortage as the largest barrier to deploying emerging technologies. Although significant budgets have been assigned to cloud projects, a scarcity of IT skills and experience makes it difficult to move forward with cloud migration.   

To ensure that your cloud projects move forward, consider working with Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like Brightsolid, who have the knowledge and experience to design, build and manage secure and scalable cloud environments that help you meet your business ambitions.  

Many MSPs have strong relationships with key cloud service providers, with some working with multiple providers. As a result, they often have access to and can deliver on the latest innovations or strengthen cybersecurity postures through consistent updates to the cloud.   

A significant part of working with MSPs is that they have the skills and capabilities to deliver on cloud projects – make sure to choose a provider with the experience of working within the industry you operate in to help meet standards and ease compliance. 

4. Is the cloud secure? 

As organisations must migrate large amounts of sensitive data to store within their chosen cloud platform, data loss, leakage, and data privacy and confidentiality are top concerns. They can lead to delays in migrating to cloud. Ultimately, organisations are responsible for keeping their data secure within cloud environments. However, they may not have the knowledge or skills to implement strong security guidelines to protect their cloud infrastructure. 

Although security in the cloud has a poor reputation, cloud providers invest millions in features and capabilities that can help protect cloud platforms. These are constantly updated to address the latest cyber security threats, helping to safeguard your cloud infrastructure.  

Embedding security practices from the cloud’s foundations is important as these security guardrails can help to protect your organisation, align with industry standards and best practices, and ease compliance. Brightsolid’s Cloud Foundations can help to protect your data and assets by delivering a cloud infrastructure with pre-configured networks, security, access, and compliance guardrails, which enables you to kickstart your cloud migration securely. 

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