Cloud migration challenges

While cloud adoption comes with numerous benefits, it poses a handful of challenges too that businesses need to be aware of. In this blog, we look at key challenges businesses are likely to face during the cloud adoption process, and how they can tackle them. 

In the previous blogs, we had spoken extensively about what cloud migration is, and how it helps businesses. While cost savings, efficient operations, higher data security, and effective data analytics processes form the top of the list, there’s one more chief reason why cloud adoption has scaled in the last two years.  

Cloud is remote, and data from cloud, with the proper identity and access management services in place, can be accessed by employees from remote locations. This presents as a boon, especially post pandemic, when businesses are adopting a hybrid work model, and employees are working from various locations. 

In 2022, 50% of the world’s corporate data has already been moved to the cloud. And, spending on public cloud sales is set to reach over US $480 billion by the end of 2022. 

While we are stating the obvious when we say cloud is the way forward, what’s less talked about are the challenges associated with cloud adoption. While we had briefly discussed it in our blog on risks and benefits of cloud adoption, we’ll look at these points in more detail here.  

Challenges in Cloud Adoption That Businesses Must Be Aware of: 

Today, businesses are rushing to adopt cloud solutions because of the many benefits it offers. Having said that, businesses can most certainly reap these benefits provided they have the right strategy and steps in place before they begin the transition. In other words, not following a planned cloud adoption approach can pose certain risks and challenges for businesses.  

  1. Near-term increase in spends 

While in the long run, cloud promises to be cost-effective and efficient in terms of saving on infrastructure, admin and maintenance, in the short term, during the adoption process, it requires businesses to spend significant amounts in not just migrating data, but in also training personnel to learn to use the cloud infrastructure. Some common early costs associated with cloud adoption are; 

  1. Spending to increase compatibility  

Spending on making data and applications more compatible with the cloud. For example, in an earlier blog on best practices for cloud adoption, we had explored the three types of cloud migration; lift & shift, refactor or rebuild approach, and the replace approach.  

In the second and third approach, adoption requires businesses to modernise their data and applications to suit the cloud provider’s platform. Or, in the replace approach, businesses need to replace their functionalities to suit the SaaS platform, which can result in increased spends. 

  1. Security risks during migration 

While the cloud provider’s platform is equipped with proper security and data restoration measures in place, during the migration process, data will be exposed to risk of theft, loss and malware attacks. Businesses need to have the right team in place to carry out the migration with proper security measures in place to avoid or minimise the risk.  

  1. Change management 

No doubt, cloud, especially the more intuitive and highly automated version, is easy to adopt. Nonetheless, getting employees accustomed to cloud operations requires training, which can become an added cost for businesses. 

A Merit expert adds, “Businesses need to account for intermittent costs associated with integration with non-cloud applications, spending on additional security measures, downtime etc. Hence, having a well-documented cloud strategy and migration roadmap is super important.”  

Deftly Tackling Resistance to Change 

In 2020, Exasol had released a report which revealed that although 73% of employees across organisations were open to a data-driven approach, 65% of them showed resistance to cloud adoption. The main reasons being, lack of communication from management on the benefits of cloud adoption, and simply, resistance to change.  

Despite its many benefits, moving to the cloud is a significant change and process for businesses. They need to invest in resources to train employees to transition into cloud applications, and learn to integrate it into their daily workflow seamlessly. There are steps businesses can take to ease employees into adopting cloud; 

  • There needs to be management buy-in. The management needs to understand the benefits of cloud adoption, which in turn can be communicated to every last employee. Making them aware of how cloud can help the business, and in daily processes can ease the transition into adopting a new software or approach.  
  • Identity cloud solutions that are more intuitive and automated, so that the learning and adoption will be easier 
  • Sign up for cloud solutions that easily integrate with the current tech stack so that employees can adapt to the cloud more effortlessly, and the change is minimal 

Addressing the Skills Gap in Cloud Computing 

No doubt, businesses across size and geolocation are showing an increasing interest in moving to the cloud. But, like we said earlier, cloud adoption can be a momentous process, and it requires the right team to come together to make the transition efficiently and securely. However, the demand for cloud adoption has come a little too soon, and too fast, thanks to the lockdowns, which means today, we are left with a high demand for cloud migration experts, and fewer talent available to implement it.  

In 2022, Cloudreach released a report which revealed that 70% of IT leaders saw the cloud skills gap as a significant concern, and 46% among them noted that this gap slowed down their transition or posed an existential crisis to their company. 

This brings us to the question – how can businesses address this skills gap?  

  • Internally, they can train and upskill experienced and fresher employees in cloud computing skills 
  • Businesses can partner with universities to run training academies that help churn more personnel who are equipped with cloud skills  
  • Equip developers with the skills to not just maintain and support software applications, but to build new, more intuitive and agile cloud applications that can help businesses stand out and perform better 

Merit’s Expertise in Cloud Migration Efforts  

Merit works with a broad range of clients and industry sectors, designing and building bespoke applications and data platforms combining software engineering, AI/ML, and data analytics.  

We migrate legacy systems with re-architecture and by refactoring them to contemporary technologies on modern cloud ecosystems. Our software engineers build resilient and scalable solutions with cloud services ranging from simple internal software systems to large-scale enterprise applications.  

Our agile approach drives every stage of the customer journey; from planning to design development and implementation, delivering impactful and cost-effective digital transformations.  

To know more, visit: 

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