Everyone has either migrated to the cloud or is in the process of migrating to the cloud. The cloud holds out the promise of cost savings as well as scalability, reliability, and agility. Some of the challenges of cloud migration present themselves prior to a migration effort. But other cloud migration challenges appear on day two, during that critical phase after a successful migration is complete.
Organizations want to drive down costs while fostering business growth at the same time. When costs are reduced, funds and other resources are freed up, enabling organizations to channel them to other priorities that increase profits and drive further growth if and when met. Moving to the cloud provides enterprises the opportunity to enjoy both cost savings and business growth.
But organizations also want to make data-driven decisions once migration to the cloud is complete. They want to create data-driven environments within every part of the enterprise. Several surveys reveal this to be the case time and time again. Becoming truly data-driven means embracing new technologies, new approaches, new analytics, and new tools. This is why IT teams are leveraging cloud-based databases, data lake environments, and the like.
Here’s the thing: Data-driven tools can be just as useful for cloud migration challenges as for any other type of business challenge.
Challenges After Cloud Migration
The cloud migration journey is not a singular event. It is really more of an iterative and incremental process. Enterprises sometimes approach cloud migration as though it happens once. But in a sense, it keeps happening. The cloud migration challenges that appear once the migration is complete need to keep being smoothed out.
Challenge #1: Expectations
Often, after a successful migration, enterprises are shocked at the effort it takes to manage a cloud infrastructure and cloud processes. Not to mention, their unrealistic ROI expectations aren’t met. When asked when they expect to get a return on their cloud migration investment, almost two thirds answered within months, if not weeks or days.
However, it can often take longer than this. Cloud migration ROI can be slower, and it takes ongoing effort. It can be tricky to set enterprise-level expectations, but enterprises need to keep expectations realistic. They need to accept that you won’t really get the hang of being in the cloud until after a couple of cycles. Only then will you really start reaping the benefits.
Challenge #2: Costs
Here’s another one of the big Day 2 cloud migration challenges. Cost is often the primary reason enterprises wanted to get to the cloud in the first place. However, once enterprises get into the cloud, they find that managing their cloud spend is a major problem. This is a challenge from IT’s view. How do they restrict usage without limiting business needs?
Many enterprises ended up having bill shock because they weren’t expecting cloud costs to be this high. They find themselves overshooting their cloud budgets.
One effective measure, albeit contentious, in controlling cloud spend without hampering access to cloud resources is implementing a chargeback policy. This is when departments are charged for the technology and resources they consumed within a specific time period.
It’s quite effective because departments are held accountable for their usage of cloud services. The move also gives IT administrators insights as to how cloud resources are being utilized. However, it is controversial as the majority of business departments are not billed for their use of company resources and utilities.
When people first hear about the advantages of the cloud, they assume that consolidating data and phasing out hardware will be all upside in terms of expenditure. But actually, after a migration, costs can often creep up. You may have efficiencies, but enjoying these efficiencies require resources. Resources mean money. So, people in your organization go into a war-and-peace situation, debating how to manage costs. Who gets it? Who doesn’t? Who can consume it? Which products, efforts, and projects can have priority and thus use some of those resources?
What organizations need to do is use different tools, optimization efforts, and products within the environment to match and help keep those costs down with visibility and insight.
Challenge #3: Complexity
There are hundreds of tools, services databases, and other things that organizations can adopt once they’re in the cloud. The product landscape within data platforms is vast. On Day Two, Enterprises need to immediately assign resources and expertise to ascertain how they can best equip themselves in their new technological environment. They need to figure out how to keep waste under control.
Another complex aspect of running business processes in the cloud is wastage in cloud spending. Factors such as idle or unused resources, oversized infrastructures, and centralization of resources contribute to cloud waste.
In 2019 alone, losses attributed to cloud waste amounted to $14.1 billion. To prevent these losses, organizations have to accurately estimate their resource requirements and add extra capacity, instead of buying resources by the bulk. Proactively monitoring or spinning down unused cloud environments also help cut down wastage. Leveraging AI-powered cloud optimization tools is perfect for users that maintain several environments. These tools will automatically scale their cloud infrastructures as workloads fluctuate.
Challenge #4: Change Management
Shifting to the cloud requires a lot of change. Organizations that resist this change will, in fact, experience a different set of new and unexpected challenges. You can have those changes either forced upon you, or you can embrace them. Either way, operating in the cloud means you’re going to have to make changes regardless. The cloud computing space is evolving. The better you realize that and embrace those changes, the better your organization is in the long run.
A 2013 study by Rackspace Hosting reflected this line of thought. 88% out of 1,300 business respondents said moving to the cloud saved them money while 56% affirmed it boosted their profits. With the right strategy and the right tools, moving to the cloud can be the best thing that has ever happened to any business enterprise. All they need to do is survive the cloud migration challenges of Day 2 and figure out how to transition from ‘migration’ to ‘operation’ while navigating the bumps and phases in between.