Cloud migration is a complex process. The more complex the migration, the greater chance of failure. Gartner reports that the vast majority of cloud migrations involving ERP systems fail. Gartner also states that 19 out of 20 private cloud implementations leave something to be desired.
All of this leads to the inevitable question: why do so many cloud migrations fail? Here are some of the key reasons.
1. A lack of purpose and strategy
While it is critical that your company involve itself in a digital transformation, you should not migrate to the cloud simply because everyone else is doing it. Following the crowd for no established reason was ill advised by your mom when you were young and it holds true for cloud migrations as well. A cloud migration is a lofty endeavor that involves a great amount of planning, commitment and resources. You need an established reason to justify this major undertaking. Some companies cite cost savings as the only justification. While CAPEX savings is an initial allure for moving to the cloud, the recognized advantages to cloud computing have moved far beyond simple monetary benefits. Companies are implementing cloud migrations as part of well-conceived strategic initiatives that map to calculated advantages. A journey without purpose is usually destined to fail. Ensure your cloud project properly aligns with the objects of your business and its stakeholders.
2. Inadequate planning
The classic adage of Abraham Lincoln concerning the importance of planning quotes him as saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” The quote may be cliché, but it fits. Planning is everything. Getting from point A to point B usually requires a plan of some sort of conceived plan. In the case of a cloud migration, the transition involves far more than moving resources from one location to another. Cloud computing operates according to different protocols than traditional networking and utilizes dissimilar technologies such as the transition from SAN storage to cloud storage. That is why cloud migration planning first starts with a thorough assessment of your current environment. You have to know what you have in order to move it properly. You also have to consider things like security and redundancy as these critical facets will be impacted by a new architecture. The need to right size your cloud environment is critical since it is financed under an OPEX model. The overprovisioning of resources can quickly lead to significant costly overruns and budget challenges when you have to pay for everything you use.
3. Overlooking application dependencies
Migration would be easy if it only involved your applications. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It’s about more than just your apps. The plethora of supportive services and dependencies complicate the process. Your application environment is a connected mesh of interdependencies. Without its supportive ecosphere, an application will not operate correctly. Service dependency mapping is crucial and is no small undertaking. Dependency mapping goes far beyond the mere inventorying of resources or affinity grouping. For enterprises with 500 servers or greater, the time required to manually map out complete application environments is daunting. Such a massive undertaking can dowse enthusiasm for a lofty migration process before it gets going. Large organizations must utilize automated tools to complete complex mapping outlines.
4. Trying to move everything
What’s one of the first things people do when they decide to move to another state? They either have a garage sale or carry carloads of items to the local Goodwill Center. That’s because not everything is worth moving. Some stuff needs to be left behind. Unless imperative, there is no reason to migrate out-of-date software that is no longer supported and serves as a security vulnerability or contributor to downtime risk. Just like those boxes in the attic that have not been opened in over a decade, there are applications and storage silos that you can afford to part with. Legacy applications and technologies that have worn out their welcome in traditional IT environments most certainly will need to go through a modernization process to be suitable for cloud architectures.
5. Unrealistic Time Tables
Your on-premises network was not created overnight, so don’t have unrealistic expectations for your cloud migration. While there are certainly benefits to accelerating your digital transformation and attaining the potential competitive advantages over your industry peers, simply rushing into a project with guns blazing will get you nowhere. A report by Velostrata back in 2017 showed that , 62% of respondents said that their migration projects were harder than expected or that they failed, and 55% said that they went over budget. Conceiving a well thought out plan that breaks the entire process into palatable phases that are easier to manage is the way to go. In the same way that software programming has evolved to an agile approach in which application development is broken down into micro initiatives that are perpetually tested, the operability of each migrated application needs to be confirmed and thoroughly tested along the way. In some cases, applications will have to be replatformed in order to accommodate their new cloud environments.
6. Lift-and-Shift doesn’t work for everything
Just because your service or workloads runs on one platform, doesn’t mean the same configuration in a virtual environment will work in the cloud. This often gets people into trouble in the form of cloud cost over-runs and application inefficiencies. Jason Bloomberg wrote about one such migration experience, “At the center of this ill-fated initiative was a migration from a mishmash of legacy apps to a modern suite of applications.” On-premises workloads are not out-of-the-box optimized for cloud architectures or cost. This method often leads to migration failure in which you are back at square one of your migration planning journey as you look to refactor your applications or workloads to be cloud-native and optimized for your target cloud platform.
Ensure your cloud migration is successful
Don’t fail with your cloud migration. Make sure your organization is setup for success. No matter how complex your business environment is, iQCloud provides you with the data and insights to plan your migration strategy with a migration tool that enables you to identify potential pitfalls before you begin.