10 Common Cloud Migration Failures and How to Prevent Them

cloud migration failures

Migrating to the cloud has become a top priority for businesses looking to modernise their IT infrastructure. However, despite its benefits, cloud migration can also be a daunting task filled with potential pitfalls and challenges. 

In this article, we will discuss 10 common cloud migration failures that businesses often encounter when making the transition from on-premises solutions to cloud services, and provide tips on how to avoid them. 

10 Common Cloud Migration Mistakes That Businesses Make

Understanding the common mistakes and challenges associated with cloud migration is the first step towards a successful transition. These missteps often stem from a lack of proper planning, unrealistic expectations, or simply rushing the process. Let’s delve into the details of these cloud migration mistakes to gain insights into why cloud migrations fail so often and how to sidestep these pitfalls.

1. Lack of Proper Planning 

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when migrating to the cloud is not having a proper plan in place. We get it – there are so many benefits to operating in a cloud environment, and you want to take advantage of them as soon as possible! But cloud migration is a long-term project, and without a clear roadmap, you may end up with unexpected costs, delays, or even failure if you go into the migration process without enough forethought and planning. 

2. Trying to Rush the Process  

Cloud migration can be a time-consuming process, and many businesses make the mistake of trying to rush it. This often happens when a business is under pressure to move quickly due to outdated infrastructure or other external factors. However, rushing the process can lead to corners being cut and important steps being missed, increasing the risk of failure. It’s important to take the time to plan and execute your cloud migration properly to avoid cloud migration failures. 

3. Migrating Everything at Once  

Some businesses make the mistake of trying to move all their on-premises systems and apps to the cloud in one go. While this approach can work for some companies, more often than not it simply becomes overwhelming, time-consuming, and prone to errors. It’s important to take all factors into consideration when planning your cloud migration, and prioritise the systems and apps are critical for your business operations and will benefit the most from being based in the cloud. 

4. Having Unrealistic Expectations 

Businesses often have high expectations when it comes to cloud migration, expecting immediate results and cost savings. But the reality is that a successful cloud migration takes time and effort, and there are often going to be initial costs involved in setting up the infrastructure and training your humans in the best ways to use cloud services productively. 

5. Not Considering All Costs 

Many businesses focus on the cost of hardware and software when considering cloud migration, but forget to take into account the additional costs of data transfer, training, and potential downtime during the migration process. It’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of all expenses involved in order to make informed decisions and ensure a smooth transition. This is where that proper planning that I mentioned earlier can be a critical asset. It can help you to develop targets, set a clear budget, and stick to it. 

6. Thinking You Need to Use Just One Partner 

While it may seem easier to stick with one cloud partner for all your needs, this could actually limit your options. In fact, this is a big cloud migration misstep that so many companies make. They find a single partner (even if it’s not the right one for their needs), and rely on them for everything when it comes to their cloud services, tying themselves into long-term contracts rather than finding the best cloud service provider for a particular need. It’s worth exploring different cloud service partners and finding the ones that best suit your specific goals, and can offer competitive pricing. This will give you more flexibility and may even save you money in the long run. 

7. Overlooking the Human Element 

Many businesses focus on the technical aspects of cloud migration, but forget to consider how it will affect their employees. It’s important to involve your team in the planning and decision-making process, as they will be the ones using these new cloud services on a daily basis. If you don’t have buy-in from the humans within your business, the inevitable result is going to be low adoption, and money being spent on cloud solutions that ends up going to waste, as nobody takes advantage of the enhanced collaboration and productivity that cloud tools can offer. By taking your team members’ input into account, you can ensure a smooth transition and avoid any potential resistance or confusion. 

8. Not Testing Your New Environment 

Testing is an essential part of any successful cloud migration. Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of not testing their new environment thoroughly enough before going live. This can lead to unexpected issues and downtime, which can be costly for a business. It’s important to thoroughly test all aspects of your new cloud environment, from data transfer and app functionality, to security measures and user access. And because you and your teams are likely to be using an environment that is unfamiliar, making it more difficult to pinpoint errors quickly, it’s crucial to have a contingency plan in place in case any issues arise during the testing phase. This will make sure that you maintain optimum business continuity, without critical services falling over and impacting your operations. 

9. Not Having A Data Migration Plan 

Data is at the core of any business, and one of the biggest challenges in cloud migration is transferring data seamlessly from on-premise systems to the cloud. Many businesses make the mistake of not thinking ahead when it comes to their data, and moving it across to the cloud without considering how it’s going to be managed once it’s there. This can result in data loss, corruption, irrelevant or outdated information being migrated, incompatibility issues, and potential security and compliance issues coming to light. It’s essential to carefully plan and test your data migration to ensure that all critical information is successfully transferred and remains intact. This includes considering the security of your data during transfer and storage, taking into account regulations like South Africa’s POPI Act and the EU’s GDPR, and ensuring minimal disruption to business operations. 

10. Not Using the Right Partner 

Choosing the right partner to assist you in your cloud migration journey is crucial. Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that all cloud service providers are the same and opt for a one-size-fits-all approach. But your business has its own unique needs and goals, and not every cloud provider will be able to meet them effectively. It’s essential to research and find a partner with experience in your industry and the necessary expertise to guide you through a successful migration. A reputable partner will also have a thorough understanding of security, data protection, and compliance requirements, and hoards of successful migrations under their belt, ensuring that your business remains protected during and after the migration process. 

How To Prevent Cloud Migration Failure

Now that you have a better understanding of why cloud migration faces challenges, it’s critical to understand that these mistakes are not inevitable.  

When you plan your cloud migration thoroughly, when you make smart decisions, and when you work with the right technology partner cloud migration failures can be avoided, and you can see your operations thriving backed by effective cloud solutions. 

With that in mind, let’s delve into practical strategies that can safeguard your business from common cloud migration failures. Incorporating these tactics will not only streamline your migration process but ensure a robust, secure, and efficient move to the cloud. 

The Right Infrastructure 

One of the key factors in a successful cloud migration is choosing the right infrastructure for your cloud hosting. Your current on-premises environment may not necessarily translate well to a cloud environment, so it’s crucial to assess your infrastructure and make necessary adjustments before starting on your cloud migration journey. 

Conducting a thorough IT assessment, or a Solid Systems Review as we like to call it, of your infrastructure will help you to identify potential bottlenecks, security vulnerabilities or any other issues that could hinder the success of your cloud migration. This will also help you to make informed decisions about which of your operations are best suited for the cloud, ensuring your business reaps maximum benefits from the move. 

Adjusting Your Apps 

Another one of the common cloud migration failures that we often come across is businesses  assuming that all their apps will run seamlessly in a cloud environment. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Some apps may require additional configurations, updates or optimisations to function optimally in the cloud, while others may need to be replaced entirely. 

Before starting your cloud migration, it’s essential to evaluate all your apps and determine which ones can be easily moved and which ones need adjustments or replacement. This will save you time, effort and resources in the long run by avoiding potential disruptions once your transition is well underway, and your operations are already in the cloud. 

Getting Buy In From Your Humans 

The success of a cloud migration not only relies on the technical aspects, but it also depends heavily on your team’s buy-in and dedication. Lack of adoption is one of the most significant challenges businesses face when implementing any new technology, and cloud solutions are no exception. 

To prevent this cloud migration failure, it’s crucial to involve your employees in the planning and decision-making process from the beginning. This will help them understand the need for cloud migration and how it will benefit both the business and their individual roles. From there, putting proper training mechanisms and support in place will ensure a smoother transition and see your humans embracing cloud services and using them to their full advantage. 

Prioritising Security 

Security is a top concern for businesses migrating to the cloud, but it’s also one of the most commonly overlooked aspects. Many companies assume that cloud service providers take care of all security measures, but that’s not always the case. 

Cloud migrations involve moving sensitive data to a third-party provider, which can expose it to potential risks if proper security protocols are not in place. Before migrating your data, it’s crucial to assess your security needs and requirements and ensure that your chosen cloud partner meets them. On top of making sure your technology partner is well prepared and equipped to meet your security needs, you’ll want to implement your own robust security measures within your on-premises infrastructure to prevent any data breaches or cyber attacks while the data is in transit. 

Managing Operational Expenditure 

One of the most significant advantages of cloud services is their cost-effectiveness. However, many businesses fail to properly manage their operational expenditure during a cloud migration, leading to unexpected expenses and potential financial strain. 

To avoid this cloud migration mistake, it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of your current IT expenses and how they will change with the transition to the cloud. It’s also crucial to continuously track and monitor your cloud usage and costs to identify any potential areas for optimisation and cost savings. Working with an experienced technology partner, like Solid Systems, can also help you navigate the complexities of cloud billing and optimise your operational expenditure. 

How Solid Systems Can Help

Migrating to the cloud offers numerous benefits for businesses, but it’s not without its challenges. Avoiding these common cloud migration failures requires careful planning, realistic expectations, proper testing, and the right technology partner. 

At Solid Systems, we have over 20 years of experience helping businesses successfully adopt cloud and IT services. Our skilled and certified team of IT Pros help companies like yours to smoothly transition to the cloud without any hiccups, and work with you to understand your unique needs and challenges and make sure that you’re implementing the right cloud solutions to meet them head-on. 

If you’re ready to embrace all of the benefits that cloud services have to offer, or are looking for cloud consulting experts to guide you, schedule a free consultation with our Sales team and take the first step towards your cloud journey.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes cloud migration failure?

Cloud migration failure often stems from a multitude of factors such as insufficient planning, unrealistic expectations, lack of thorough testing, and inadequate or non-strategic partner choices. Further complications can arise from failing to consider all costs involved, rushing the migration process, or neglecting the human element of change management. If you’re wanting to transition your operations into the cloud, having a comprehensive understanding of these and other potential cloud migration failures can be vital to your success. 

What is the biggest cloud migration mistake that you can make?

The most significant cloud migration mistake businesses often make is underestimating the complexity of the task and rushing the process. Migration isn’t simply about moving from point A to point B; it requires meticulous planning, diligent execution, and adequate testing to ensure smooth operation in the new environment. A rushed approach can lead to missed costs, overlooked security measures, and a failure to fully optimise apps for your cloud environment. This is one of those cloud migration failures can be costly in terms of time, resources, and potential operational downtime. 

How many cloud migrations fail?

While exact figures may vary, studies suggest that a significant number of cloud migrations fall short of expectations. According to a 2020 report by Accenture, as many as 65% of businesses reported that their cloud migration projects were failing to deliver the expected benefits, in terms of cost efficiency, speed, and business capability. Frustratingly, this is often due to avoidable errors made during the migration process. This emphasizes the importance of careful planning, execution, and management when embarking on a cloud migration journey. 

What are the challenges with cloud migration?

Cloud migration can be fraught with complexities and challenges. Some of the most common cloud migration failures that businesses experience stem from: 

  • Lack of proper planning,  
  • Thinking you need to migrate everything at once,  
  • Having unrealistic expectations, 
  • Not taking all costs into consideration, 
  • Thinking you need to use just one cloud partner for everything, 
  • Overlooking the human element, 
  • Not testing your new environment thoroughly enough, 
  • Trying to rush the migration process, 
  • Not putting a data migration plan in place, and 
  • Not using the right partner for your cloud migration. 
Daniel Avinir

Daniel Avinir

Head of Client Success at Solid Systems | Virtual CIO I have a love and passion for people, their minds, technology, and nature.I believe in empowering people to work in increasingly flexible and productive ways, helping them unlock the collaboration potential and leading the cultural & technological change of our time.

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