5 Challenges to Cloud Migration and How to Overcome Them

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The world is changing. The digital transformation that began at the turn of the 21st century is in full swing, forcing many small- to medium-sized businesses into a difficult decision: Integrate into a cloud-based ecosystem or continue to operate legacy IT infrastructure, platforms and software? The former offers an exciting opportunity but requires investment, while the latter offers familiarity yet risks obsolescence of infrastructure in the future.

According to a recent McKinsey study, most businesses plan to allocate 80 percent of their IT hosting spend to cloud-based infrastructure by 2024. That figure is staggering and paints a clear picture: Cloud-based infrastructure is the future.

Yet, businesses have valid concerns over a digital transformation of this nature. Such a shift from onsite IT infrastructure, platform or software requires an overhaul in operations, the adoption of a new ecosystem and the embracing of remote collaboration. It’s also not without its financial concern: Another McKinsey study predicts $100 billion in wasted digital migration spend over the next three years.

So, what is the best path for a business? Stay with the status quo or invest in the future? With the right IT partner, it’s possible to embrace the cloud while mitigating the risk. Here, we’ll look at some of the common challenges businesses face but can overcome during a cloud migration.

Recognizing Application Incompatibility

For many small businesses 20 years ago, it was a leap to integrate computing into their operations. Times have changed, but for some small businesses, the software hasn't. Many companies considering cloud computing find that their software applications aren’t compatible with cloud infrastructure. It’s often not as simple as rehosting or “lifting and shifting” onsite applications or workloads to the cloud without modification. The IT solution for this challenge would be to consider upgrading to cloud-native applications.

By migrating to the cloud, businesses create an opportunity to examine their legacy software solutions and choose platforms optimized for their teams: Platforms such as Office 365, Exchange and Google Workspace minimize infrastructure while also opening new cloud-based environments. Paired with cloud-based servers, a business that makes a wise investment in its software unlocks a new level of agility and scalability that was never before possible. It also opens their digital borders to seamless partnerships and collaborations.

Enabling Cloud-Based Collaboration

By opening digital borders, a business can invite new collaborations through seamless integration. According to recent research from Statista, the cloud business and email collaboration global market size is projected to be worth $93 Billion by 2025. We live in a global society, where potential business partnerships are just a Zoom call, an email or a file-share away.

Some CEOs might bristle at the idea of creating new business ventures with partners they've never met in person. Globalization is still a relatively fresh concept for many business owners, and this is digital globalization. However, a strategic cloud-migration strategy will ensure a CEO has all the tools they’ll need to connect. From Integrations and APIs to SharePoint and DevOps, smart IT solutions in a cloud migration will bridge the gap between collaborators.

Internal collaborations are also more critical than ever, as we've learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Where CEOs were once hesitant to allow remote work, the minimum of a hybrid option is now an expectation of staffing. (A Deloitte survey says 68 percent of executives plan to implement hybrid models.) Without the cloud, keeping up with these staffing trends — or even keeping operations running during a global health crisis — would be impossible.

Making Sense of Overwhelming Data

Businesses have been collecting data from customers long before there were computers: think of an early 20th-century cobbler noting their customer's shoe size and style preferences in a leather-bound book. But as data has surpassed oil as the world's most valuable resource, some business owners poised at the precipice of the cloud are asking, “Why?”

As more businesses move to the cloud, so do collaborators, customers, financial transactions, preference indicators, purchasing habits and frequencies — the list goes on. Within data, stories emerge. From those stories, strategies are created. Strategies optimize business. Businesses use all of this to develop business intelligence through the power of data science. Companies can make better decisions by identifying data from existing applications and creating reports, such as when to continue certain revenue streams or pivot to new opportunities.

Data is powerful if you use it. The cloud can unlock that power.

Overcoming the Anxiety of Sensitive Data Exposure and Data Breaches

It’s true that a digital transformation relocates a business’s most valuable asset — data — from the confines of a closed network and places it in the cloud. The anxiety around such a move creates a mental block that some business owners have trouble moving past.

According to another recent Statista survey, 64 percent of respondents named data loss/leakage their biggest cloud security concern. Furthermore, 72 percent of respondents stated that accelerating investments in cloud security is a priority for them.

A better understanding of cloud computing and choosing a knowledgeable IT partner for cloud migration can alleviate that anxiety and help ensure secure data.

Once on the cloud, vigilant security awareness training and phishing simulations help minimize the threat of accidental exposure or hack of data. And machine learning technology combined with real-time monitoring software ensures data is continuously monitored and kept safe, translating into peace of mind around the clock.

Accurately Estimating the Cost of Cloud Migration

Finally, cost can be a challenge for many businesses moving away from legacy IT solutions. But this isn't always based on accurate appraisals and facts. Companies that rush into cloud migration relying on the "lift and shift" approach choose cloud migration strategies that don't align with their business goals or put the project in the hands of a value consultant are setting themselves up for a loss. Gartner predicts that these factors will cause 60 percent of infrastructure and operations leaders to encounter public cloud cost overruns that negatively impact budgets.

Yes, migrating to the cloud can be expensive, but it’s even more costly if you do it haphazardly with an inexperienced IT partner. By working with an IT partner such as a managed services provider (MSP) to develop a roadmap to the cloud before migrating, businesses can ensure their digital transformation is scaled to their needs and industry. They will also know the costs and minimize any surprise costs or even buyer's remorse.

Calance Is Optimized for Your Success

Calance’s comprehensive capabilities and experience provide businesses with unparalleled expertise to plan for and execute a successful migration to the cloud. Calance has vast experience in ensuring companies run smoothly in the cloud with customized, scaled IT solutions focused on long-term business goals and growth. It is a team of dedicated IT experts who act more like partners than consultants.

From infrastructure and operations application integration to migration to data security, Calance has a solution for every need. To explore more on cloud migration, contact our expert team at connect@calance.com or click here.