As businesses continue to embrace digital & cloud transformation, cloud migration has become a priority for many organisations. Cloud migration involves moving an organisation’s data, applications and other IT resources to the cloud to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, including cost savings, scalability, and agility. However, cloud migration is not without its challenges, and organizations need to be aware of the factors that can de-rail cloud migration projects.
At Cloud Lift Services, we work with hundreds of organisations & their cloud migration projects. Lift project managers have identified the top 10 factors (ordered by frequency of their occurrence) that can derail projects:
- Not enough Cloud platform expertise – One of the most significant challenges that organisations face during cloud migration is a lack of in-house cloud platform expertise. Many organisations do not have the required expertise to make critical decisions about cloud architecture, deployment models, security, and compliance. This can result in poor decision-making and can cause delays in the cloud migration project.
- Lack of coordination with upstream & downstream system owners – Cloud migration requires coordination with downstream and upstream application and technology owners. This includes partners and vendors who need to be involved to rewire existing systems for cloud presence. Lack of coordination can lead to mis-aligned prioritisation, misunderstandings, and delays in cloud migration.
- Lack of coordination with business owners – Cloud migration requires downtime for the move. And business owners don’t like downtime! Especially if they are unaware of what’s in it for them. Business owners need to be informed about the downtime required, and it should be planned to minimize disruption to the business. Lack of coordination with business owners can result in last minute changes, insufficient testing, etc., that can all impact business operations.
- Insufficient understanding of security implications – Moving to the cloud can introduce new security risks if not managed appropriately. Organisations need to establish clear ownership upfront, have a clear understanding of the security implications of moving to the cloud and implement appropriate security measures (including identity and access management (IAM), encryption, and network security) to mitigate these risks. Lack of understanding of security implications can result in data breaches and other security incidents.
- Late involvement of stakeholders – Cloud migration requires early involvement of all stakeholders in the planning phase. This includes business owners, IT teams, security teams, and other stakeholders. Early involvement can help avoid expectation mismatches, ensure required commitment & prioritisation across the organisation, identify potential issues early on and proactively manage risks / issues.
- Not enough bandwidth for the initial move – Cloud migration involves moving data from on-premises to the cloud. Organisations need to plan for sufficient network bandwidth needed for the initial move of data to the cloud. Not planning for enough network bandwidth can result in slow data transfer, which can impact the migration project’s plan, approach & timeline.
- Lack of planning for application dependencies – Many applications have dependencies on other applications or services. Organisations need to identify and plan for these dependencies to ensure that applications continue to function correctly after migration to the cloud.
- Lack of testing and validation – Cloud migration requires testing and validation to ensure that applications and services are functioning correctly after migration. This includes thorough testing for functionality, integrations & performance. Lack of testing and validation can result in application downtime and other issues.
- Lack of thorough understanding of the existing IT infrastructure – Cloud migration requires a clear understanding of the organisation’s existing IT infrastructure. Organisations have systems that have been in existence for years, many of which have gone through several updates with little documentation (in many cases). Owners need to assess their existing IT infrastructure to identify potential dependencies & issues that may impact the migration project.
- Lack of ongoing support and management – Cloud migration is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Organisations need to have ongoing support structures, processes & people for their cloud environment in place before migrations to ensure any support needs are addressed promptly.
In conclusion, cloud migration can provide significant benefits for organisations. However, it is essential to be aware of the factors that can de-rail projects. By addressing the above commonly occurring risks, you can ensure a smoother Lift to the cloud.
The following Lift project managers, who have managed 350+ cloud migration projects amongst them, have provided their inputs into this article: Aditya Khare, Divya Murdeshwar, Harish Venkiteswaran, Parag Agrawal, Praveen Ravikumar, Vinayak Narayanaswamy, Gaurav K Buddhadev, PMP, Prince 2 and Oracle Cloud Certified and Ashish Kashalkar.
The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.