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cloud migration services

Cloud Migration: The Unanticipated Delays Faced by Enterprises

Organizations consider migration to the cloud for obvious reasons- its low investment risks and operational benefits of scalability, agility, access, and reliability. However, the enterprises make the mistake of thinking that they can manage the migration process on their own.

Migrating applications to the cloud can be trickier than you anticipate. This only results in frequent interruptions in service, intolerable delays, downtime, and overshooting the allocated budget. These types of projects require expertise and proper preparation. Sadly, very few are successful in completing the projects as originally planned.

Velostrata announced recent research studies, conducted by Dimensional Research. Around 208 IT professionals representing industries of different sizes had participated in the survey. About 75% of them admitted that the migration was not only delayed by over a year and it was becoming difficult to control the budget as well.

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An enterprise could come across when implementing a migration plan many problems. These include

1. Taking longer than anticipated:

This is by far the most common problem businesses face. It has its impact on meeting the scheduled deadline. Reasons could be anything- a senior staff handling the project quitting, facing issues in coding and restructuring of some application, inadequate testing, or some internal application issues needing emergency attention from the in-house experts, which have put the migration process on temporary standstill.

2. Finding it more complex than expected:

About 60 % of the surveyed professionals reported that they did not anticipate the cloud migration to be so complicated. This again is primarily due to lack of expertise and skills. Some failed outright which caused revenue losses and waste of time as well as resources.

3. Incompetency in adjustment:

The leading cloud providers like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud require a different type of proficiency. These cloud giants keep adding new technologies or upgrade frequently making it near to impossible for the in-house experts to cope up with the pressure.

4. It doesn’t work as expected:

This happens always more so with the mid-market businesses. The decision takers made wrong calculations. Either they did not completely understand the new system, expecting things to move faster than possible, or they hoped it would work one way only to find later that they made a wrong estimation.

Read More: Portfolio and Discovery as Drivers of Successful Cloud Migration

5.  Inaccurate estimation of costs:

Overshooting the estimations and budget assessment is another major challenge that was reported by the professionals that had contributed to the survey. The mistake made is incorrectly estimating the cost of service. The calculations go wrong when it comes to expanding over a period of a month or year.

6. People and process:

The biggest challenge sometimes is their employees. The small new companies are all geared up for innovation. The problems come with the old companies that are habituated to the traditional legacy systems and applications. A disinterested project manager can pull down the enthusiasm of the entire team.  Disinterest in the project leads to losing control over everything- the schedule, budget etc. It requires dedication and skills to coordinate and work in harmony.

7. Security strategies

Yet another big challenge is transforming the security posture to the cloud environment.  It will be wrong thinking to assume the cloud provider will manage all the security features. The cybercriminals hover around the internet to look for the smallest loophole and can wreck your complete business. The not so recent D-DoS attacks and the Ransomware attacks are a few experiences organizations will not forget easily.

There could be many more such unforeseen challenges that could be specific to a business or an industry. A welcome news from the Dimensional Research and Velostrata survey is that majority of the participants have appreciated the services of the cloud partners.

While it is clear the big three -Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, dominate the cloud and Google Cloud, choosing the right service partner will play a major role in the migration process to the cloud.

The cloud hosting service providers or managed cloud partners as they are called can assist an organization in choosing the right cloud platform for each of their applications. Multicloud strategy as it is termed can help an organization utilize and build a cloud stack. This will enable them to explore and utilize the service that will work best for their needs. Adopting a multicloud technique will save time and resources in modifying existing applications by using compatible technologies. The partner role in implementing the security in the cloud environment can be more reliable and effective than what an organization could do to manage on their own.

Cloud migration is not a simple task. It needs strategic thinking everywhere right from the time of planning, preparing the staff, which applications are cloud-ready, what needs modifications, what technologies to adopt, and the right costings. The first step is to choose a cloud migration partner service to support their move to the cloud.

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Key Migration Strategies for Application Migration to the Cloud

While you may already have a plan for cloud migration there are some important strategies which can make the process simpler. These strategies also ensure that you make this move with a lot of caution and you can successfully attain your ultimate goal. When you undertake cloud migration it is not necessary to shift everything to the new environment. You can always keep some applications running in your local tier III data centers while you move the others to a cloud. This is the popular hybrid model being adopted by enterprises which makes it easy for them to perform migration at a pace which suits them.

Businesses need to chalk out a plan for migration which they can even change as migration progresses. This plan will decide how the businesses wish to shift each of their applications and the order in which the apps will be moved. Complexities of shifting the existing apps will depend on their architectures and licensing arrangements. Below are given the most important cloud migration strategies for applications:

1. Re-hosting: Rehosting refers to the popular lift-and-shift approach which means redeploying apps in the cloud environment and also making the necessary changes to the app host’s configuration. This is by far the easiest and fastest cloud migration strategy but it has its trade-offs too. IaaS based advantages of scalability and elasticity will not be available when you use rehosting strategy. At the same time, there are many automated tools for this purpose which has been popularized by Amazon Cloud Services. There are some client enterprises which choose to learn as they perform the migration and therefore they redeploy manually. Whatever the method you use, when apps are finally running in a cloud, they become simpler to re-architect and optimize. You will find the biggest advantages of rehosting for large scale migrations.

2. Re-platforming: Replatforming refers to running application in the cloud infrastructure. So, you may need to optimize some cloud services in this case to get advantages but you will not have to spend a fortune on changing the application’s core structure. So, developers can actually make use of familiar resources, which include development frameworks, legacy programming languages and caches of a company’s codes. The main drawback of this strategy is the still-evolving PaaS market which fails to offer some of the capabilities that existing platforms can offer to developers.

3. Re-architecting: A third key cloud migration solutions for app migration is re-architecting or refactoring. This entails reimagining how the app has been structured and developed. Businesses may find re-factoring to be useful in order to add new features or for better performance which would otherwise be hard to get in the existing environment. The downside to this approach is loss of legacy codes and loss of familiar developmental frameworks. But at the same time, you can get access to top-notch developer tools through the provider’s platform. For instance, you can get productivity tools offered by the PaaS providers such as app templates or data models which are customizable. Another disadvantage with a PaaS solution is that clients tend to become very dependent on their providers. So, any fallout over prices or policies can be very disruptive for the business. When there is a switch of providers, it would imply giving up most of the client’s re-factored apps.

4. Repurchasing: Refers to giving up of a legacy app or platform and then deploying commercially marketed software as a Service. With this approach you will not need development teams when needs for business functions changes fast. This approach indicates a move into the SaaS platform like Drupal or Salesforce. There are however disadvantages of this strategy too in the form of issues like vendor lock-ins, interoperability problems and inconsistent naming conventions.

5. Retiring: The first step in cloud migration is discovering the whole IT portfolio. For this you may have to perform application metering to see the actual use of the apps which are deployed. It is during this exercise that one will find that nearly 20% of the business IT estate is not being used any more. So, retiring the unused apps becomes necessary as it can have a positive effect on the company’s bottom line. Not only does it help businesses enjoy cost savings as it no longer has to maintain these unused apps; it also allows IT resources to be used elsewhere. Side by side, it also does away with security concerns about these outdated applications.

6. Finally, there is a sixth migration strategy retain which implies “revisit” of refrain from doing anything at that moment. For instance, you may be riding out depreciation and you are not yet prepared to prioritize an app which has been recently upgraded or you may not be keen to shift some apps. In such a situation, you should only seek to migrate those apps which are necessary for the business. As the magnitude of the portfolio keeps changing from on-site to the cloud, you can slowly do away with this strategy.

These are some of the key cloud migration strategies which can make your application migration journey smoother and hassle-free.

Read More at: Why are Agile Development Practices Needed for Smooth Cloud Migrations?