Reasons Why You’re Having Difficulty Migrating to the Cloud


Migrating to the cloud can be a precarious task. We’ve spoken with countless technologists who cite three primary reasons why cloud migration implementations fail:

  • Lack of preparation and planning
  • Unable to clearly identify business objectives for migrating to the cloud
  • An inability to understand cloud security & compliance

Those three obstacles can completely diminish the chances of a successful cloud implementation. But, what are the other barriers to a successful cloud migration? Here are a few often overlooked, yet equally important reasons why cloud migrations fail.

Weak or Nonexistent Project Management

There is a saying that if you “fail to plan then you will plan to fail.” It is important to plan a whole cloud project lifecycle. For example, you will need to confirm who covers the project, the role each person will have, what will be delivered, when and by whom, and what are the tasks at hand. A solid cloud project management plan will include a project scope, list tasks, and key milestone dates.

Properly Setting Performance Expectations

If your belief is that once you’ve migrated to the cloud your system performance will magically be better, then you may be in for a troubling awakening. Some workloads, such as ERP systems, require much more attention and performance-tuning compared to web and email servers that are easier applications to deploy. It is important to identify which cloud applications you are prepared to migrate prior to making the move to cloud.

Another reason cloud migrations go awry is that expectations are not properly set. For example, if you are expecting to control what was once in place in an on-premise environment to be available in the cloud, you might be disappointed. Setting valid performance expectations is crucial to cloud migration projects.

Failure to Ask Service Provider Probing Questions

One of the biggest issues with cloud migration is not asking your cloud service provider the right questions. Cloud service providers must be able to provide answers on how to comply with suitable industry standards and regulations, such as ISO 2701, 900, HIPAA, DPA, and others. Cloud service providers should have the essential data security and disaster recovery practices and requirements in place to cover your business. How your data is stored, replicated, and recovered are also important questions to cover.

Businesses should also consider who is likely to have contact with your data. The biggest compliance failures typically occur at the hands of personnel that should not have access to data in the first place. You should determine how your personnel and the cloud service provider handles your data migration. The best providers will offer a report of work performed, the migration, and implementation plans. As your business resources change, your service provider should have the ability to modify their services or communications to meet your altering business needs.

No Clear Service Level Agreements

You should request a service level agreement (SLAs) when migrating business applications to the cloud. Study the contract and service level agreement carefully ensuring suitable support and the correct level of service requirements for your company will be provided.  Keep in mind what level of uptime your business will need. Here are some typical questions:

  • Do you require 24/7/365 uptime to maintain your business applications?
  • How long can you wait before an error is investigated and resolved?
  • Are key performance indicators (KPIs) in place to assess the level of service offered?
  • What type of optimization will be provided for your new cloud environment or application?
  • Is the service level agreement appropriate for your business critical applications & services?
  • Is disaster recovery included in your SLAs, or do you pay extra costs?
  • Are you covered for disaster recovery, contract breaches, vulnerability & security breaches?
  • Are backups and recovery assistance included?

Many questions go into planning a cloud migration project. If you want to avoid a cloud migration mishap, make sure you hire or assign a skilled project manager before discussing business necessities with a cloud services provider. If you don’t have one in-house, employ a trusted cloud services partner with expertise in project management. Ensure your cloud project manager is knowledgeable, and their experience includes:

  • Change organization
  • Project lifecycle documentation
  • Vendor and stakeholder management
  • Project reporting, service delivery & documentation
  • Service operations and crisis management
  • IT communications and cloud services backgrounds

Your cloud project manager should guarantee that your business necessities are defined, well-documented, and met with the proposed plan. That person will act on your behalf when communicating with various cloud providers. Prepare your questions, request a statement of work, and arrange what will bring the most value to the business. With attentive project preparation and management, you can have a successful cloud migration. For more information on how to best manage your next cloud migration project, reach out to a Relus Cloud Specialist today!

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