The Implications of Cloud Migration and How to Navigate Them
June 13, 2022
The benefits of cloud computing in business have been numerous, and it is benefits such as heightened security and promises of automated compliance that adapt to changing standards that led companies to migrate to the cloud en masse. According to a RapidScale study, 94% of businesses claim security improvements after switching to the cloud – with 91% agreeing it made meeting government compliance standards easier. Providing businesses relief from the cat-and-mouse game of compliance with rapidly evolving security standards almost sounds too good to be true. But is it?
Undertaking a cloud migration is no small feat, and there is an emerging group of dismayed customers that have been exposed, through their migration, to the very same issues they were promised protection from. A Cloud Security Alliance study shows that 90% of CIOs have experienced failed or disrupted data migration projects, with difficulties of moving from on-prem to the cloud being cited as the main pain point. Having repeatedly worked with clients to rectify failed cloud migrations, we're all too familiar with the benefit/risk conundrum of the cloud migration process.
Security, Privacy, and Data Residency
Et Tu, Brute?
It would be unfair to gloss over the biggest risks of cloud migration; security, privacy, and data residency. A lack of in-depth analysis and planning of business-specific factors from cloud service providers often leads to security blind spots and non-compliance with current regulations.
Cloud environments, while benefit-rich, can be prone to data breaches through insufficient access controls, encryption, and data protection measures. Data protection is set to be one of the hottest topics of 2022 after the FBI revealed that cybercrime rates were reported to have skyrocketed 300% since 2020. Risks to data, including misconfigured servers, insecure APIs, insider and external threats, and accidental errors can be avoided simply by picking the right provider for your business needs.
Loss of Control
Trusting a third party with your critical data requires a massive leap of faith – one that not all businesses are willing to risk. On-prem environments provide a heightened level of comfort regarding data protection and ownership.
Entrusting your migration to a provider who does not account for the exact details of your contract and business needs will leave you exposed. All the above risks can be avoided by taking the time to seek out a provider with a proven history of scaling and adapting to meet customer specifications.
Choosing the appropriate architecture for your integration is paramount to a successful migration. It seems simple enough but choosing the wrong strategy and architecture can have terrible consequences for the customer. Serious integration issues arise when architecting to accommodate change and security implementation measures are mishandled from the start.
Cloud Service Provider Lock-in
Lock-ins occur when transferring data, products, or services to another platform is made difficult and expensive, resulting in customers that are dependent on their current cloud solution. Whether it is through excessive transfer fees or by limiting integration with other products, some service providers intentionally lock their clients within restrictive environments. Freedom and flexibility are something that your migration partner must provide. Taking the time to find a team that prioritizes your success over theirs can help you avoid the minefield of risks associated with cloud migration. There is no one-size-fits-all process when shifting from legacy systems to the cloud, and most cloud service providers operate by only following practices loosely to mitigate migration risks.
If you’re undertaking your first migration or attempting to rectify a failed one, here are some best practices to follow when choosing a migration partner.
The Right People, Processes, and Technologies: The outcome of your migration lies solely in the quality of the partner in charge of your migration. Identify a partner that will take the time to understand your business thoroughly and what it means to guide you through a successful cloud migration. A partner with a diverse library of technologies will provide the flexibility and scalability needed to navigate the ever-evolving technological landscape. A combination of the right people, processes, and technologies provides a solid foundation for migration.
Be a Part of the Plan: A reactive approach to cloud migration is problematic, and one way to ensure proactivity is to participate through every step of the planning and design process. A good partner will ensure that you are involved and aware of each step of the migration. Blind spots or communication gaps between customers and partners often lead to poor decision-making on the partner side.
Post-Deployment Operational Efficiencies: Ensure post-deployment quality assurance by selecting a team that offers monthly or quarterly check-ins and testing of your environment. In this way, you can avoid reliance on automated safety and compliance mechanisms, which can pose the risk of slipping into non-compliance.
While the above practices are not completely foolproof, they provide the best starting point for stable and successful cloud migrations.
If you are looking for a team of people that have these best practices as their standard practice, our Product Innovation and Transformation Team (PIT Crew) is the best fit for the job. Our PIT Crew has extensive design, development, deployment, and operational expertise, ensuring frictionless migration readiness assessments, personalized strategies and services, and post-deployment monitoring.
Now that you’re ready to take control of your cloud migration, get in touch with one of our experts using the form below.