Common Issues When Migrating to the Cloud
Digitization needs with-in organizations could bring in new opportunities and challenges as how data gets processed and where its stored to. From enabling competitive business needs, cloud-based data is vital for the continued success of any modern organization. But if you've been in business for a while and have a on-premise presence , you need to be careful when moving it into the cloud. If your cloud migration strategy is poorly defined, you could open yourself to security risks, data loss, productivity issues and other problems.
Thankfully, a bit of preparation goes a long way and can help you ensure a successful, reliable shift to the cloud. Let's explore some cloud migration benefits and its challenges.
Why Migrate to the Cloud?
Cloud migration might require some work, but it is well worth it. When businesses move to the cloud, they reap a wide range of benefits related to improvements in data handling. Advantages of the cloud include:
- Reduced costs: For many organizations, the cost of cloud service is much lower than that of on-premise data storage. This is because you can outsource cloud data to third-party service providers who take on the responsibility for maintaining and upgrading expensive infrastructure and equipment, like servers. Businesses don't need to account for these high capital costs and instead focus on other aspects key to your business growth.
- Improved flexibility: Since there is no equipment to buy or manage, you can easily adjust cloud services to match business demands. With the flexibility that cloud provides, business can appropriately up or down the process and storage allocations depending upon the business demand, for example during the holiday season the infrastructure and processing abilities be increased momentarily to meet the demand and bring it down as the season wraps-up. You don't overpay for services you don't need or get left scrambling when you want them.
- Scalability: Similarly, if you need more capacity, upgrading your subscription plan with the cloud provider is all that's required, and you can take total advantage of the elasticity to access more services almost immediately. On the contrary in-house solutions might require costly equipment acquisition and a time-consuming setup process.
- Strong security: Cloud service providers focus solely on delivering information quickly and securely. They have teams of cybersecurity experts dedicated to building a secure data environment. They continuously monitor for problems and make adjustments to keep pace with industry developments. If managed in-house you would need to spend a significant amount to get the same level of care, which would call for consistent equipment upgrades and hiring a well-trained teams.
- Collaboration: The cloud makes it incredibly easy for employees to collaborate and use accurate information. They can easily access the same data from anywhere and make adjustments in real-time. This minimizes un-necessary data duplication, as well helps nurture a behavior to write once and read many times over.
- Resiliency: Cloud-based data offers a contingency plan, keeping your information in a secondary location and heavily protected from natural disasters and theft. Service providers invest heavily into building data redundancies while safeguarding their clients' information and providing access to it even if one server fails.
Whatever your overarching business goals entail, the cloud can often help you get there. It creates a powerful backdrop for modernizing and streamlining essential business functions and improving capabilities.
Common Cloud Computing Migration Mistakes
Moving your data from on-site storage to a cloud solution occurs through cloud migrations. If this process doesn't happen correctly, you will likely experience issues as a botched cloud migration creates a shaky foundation and could cause various problems in the future. Here are some common data migration issues into the cloud.
1. A Lack of Strategy
If your data migration plan lacks clarity, it won't help you achieve your business goals. By creating your strategy from the onset of cloud adoption, you can minimize this common issue in migrating to the cloud. Without clear business goals, your cloud migration strategy might feel disjointed and misaligned with your ultimate goal. It also makes the process of migrating much more stressful.
Not having a good strategy can also contribute to cloud sprawl, in which the different components of your cloud infrastructure become decentralized. You may lose track of your resources and miss out on one of the biggest benefits of the cloud — centralization. These data silos also increase costs when instances can't be appropriately attributed. Accountability disappears, and the cloud environment becomes hard to manage.
2. No Data Testing
Data testing is vital to cloud migration, yet many businesses overlook it. Data comes in many forms and relies on various technologies, especially when comparing on-premise and cloud solutions. Before moving any information from one system to another, it needs to be assessed for compatibility and quality. This analysis helps ensure the migration process:
- Involves as little downtime as possible.
- Keeps the data intact.
- Maintains data security.
- Offers full functionality after the migration is completed.
Ignoring data testing can result in problems in any of these areas, such as lost data or broken applications, which each can be costly. Downtime and inaccessible or damaged data can significantly impact productivity and revenue, while security risks can pose problems for your reputation and compliance. Hiccups in the completed system can also affect productivity and turn migration into a bumpy, frustrating road. Ideally, post migration your application's functionality driven behavior shouldn't be different from legacy system's functionality.
By testing data thoroughly, you can take corrective action ahead of time to avoid these cloud computing migration issues. It also allows you to optimize your data for the specific system you'll be using.
3. Poorly Trained Staff
Another common data migration issue in cloud computing is neglecting to train your staff. Your IT processes will look very different from on-premise processes, so your teams must be prepared. They should be well-trained on the new system before it ever goes into effect. Without training, you could be facing a slow or error-filled migration.
In addition to technical training, you'll want to ensure your staff members are on the same page regarding business goals. Share your cohesive strategy across the company and answer any questions to avoid confusion.
How to Avoid the Biggest Mistakes Made in Cloud Migration Strategies
A Cloud migration strategy should be simple and smooth to help you get to the cloud faster. It requires careful planning, but it shouldn't prevent you from improving business operations. Although the issues we discussed plague many businesses conducting cloud migrations, you can avoid them by taking the proper steps.
1. Develop a Clear and Concise Strategy
Before making decisions about your cloud solution, hammer out your strategy. Consider your reasons for moving to the cloud and what your short- and long-term overarching business goals entail. Some tasks that should be on your to-do list include:
- Identifying your decision-makers: Decide who will spearhead the migration and make decisions. This person or team should have the authority and know-how to make technical decisions that align with your goals.
- Choosing your level of cloud integration: Will you be making drastic changes to your business applications or taking a "lift and shift" approach that merely adjusts how your data is stored? If you're looking for an extensive technical overhaul, optimizing your applications for cloud-based data is excellent for modernization, but simply moving data to the cloud is a good start, too. This choice will make a significant difference in what technologies you use.
- Determining your key performance indicators (KPIs): You'll want to track the efficacy of your cloud system, so establishing KPIs is critical. You might consider aspects like response times, error rates, disk performance and customer engagement rates.
- Outlining your plan: Create a specific migration plan with clear, concrete steps. Determine whether you will take an all-at-once or phased approach. Some smaller organizations without much data can deal with the downtime of moving data in one go, but larger companies are often better suited to phased data migration. In this approach, you can avoid downtime by keeping the old system functional until the new one is ready to launch.
2. Test Your Data Beforehand
Take the time to test your data. This step is vital for avoiding problems during and after migration. It will help you maintain predictability and a quick process.
Data testing can involve technical data reconciliation (TDR) and functional data reconciliation (FDR). These processes test the data by taking snapshots before and after migration. With FDR, you can build scenarios according to what you'll do with the application and test them with every record of the system. With TDR, you can compare bulk datasets during the migration process. This algorithm performs sanity checks on key attributes. The process can be automated, repeated and saved for future migration efforts.
During data migration, the following tasks are completed:
- Determining the scope of the data to be migrated: This step identifies what data will be included and what data needs to be altered to suit the new system.
- Mapping data: Data also needs to be organized by type and mapped out with the new application, ensuring there are no null fields in the new system.
- Run test cases and scenarios: Running test cases and scenarios helps ensure functionality.
During testing, you may identify poor-quality data. Cleaning it up before migration can help optimize your new system.
3. Focus on Security
Prioritize security from the start of your cloud migration. Identify the risks to your organization, such as particularly sensitive data that might be vulnerable during the migration. Vet your cloud provider and other service providers thoroughly to ensure their capability for maintaining data security. The demands of your new system should be embedded in your business processes. This might look like implementing new security processes, adjusting configurations or setting up monitoring systems. Your IT team must understand the new environment and be able to implement the appropriate security tools.
Training is also essential outside of the IT department. Employees may need to adjust their processes with a new application, and strong login security is critical for cloud-based data. Everyone with access to the data should be well-trained in spotting phishing attempts and following best practices for creating and protecting passwords.
A significant component of avoiding cloud migration security issues will include governance both within the organization and outside of it. Adjust your processes as necessary to accommodate data handling requirements and provisioning. Employees and partners should only gain access to the information they need to do their jobs. Be certain you can ensure governance without moving data or conducting manual processes. Your cloud provider should offer multiple security features, like encryption at rest and during transport logs for system, network and application events. Other features that can improve security include multi-factor authentication and single sign-on.
Take Control of Your Cloud Migration
Setting yourself up for success is necessary for any cloud migration plan. At RightData, we're dedicated to getting you there. We offer two products for testing your data and setting up the data migration pipeline.
RightData tool, or RDt, is a no-code solution to data testing that helps with data migration and many other testing scenarios. It works with various data sources and can help validate, reconcile, compare and analyze your information to help ensure a successful migration. By highlighting production issues, RDt can prevent compliance and credibility issues and helps maintain uptime during the migration. Automate your internal data audit process and make the switch to the cloud as smooth as possible.
Dextrus is another tool we offer. It brings everything together and supports the rest of the data migration process. With Dextrus, you get data warehousing, wrangling and automation to streamline and enhance the entire path. From the moment you start validating your data to going live with your new system, Dextrus can help. Some capabilities you'll find include:
- Connecting data points.
- Gathering insights.
- Profiling data.
- Preparing the data for migration.
- Validating and reconciling data between the source and target databases after migration.
With RDt and Dextrus, you can be prepared and avoid the most damaging pitfalls of cloud migration mistakes. Optimize your cloud migration strategy with capable resources that can make the process simple, fast and cost-effective.
Request Your Demo Today
With smooth data migration, you can eliminate any anxieties about moving to the cloud. Take advantage of everything cloud-based data has to offer without risking your data. RightData's commitment to quality makes data testing and preparation simple and automated. Our tools can help you process even large backlogs of data and sensitive information to ensure it stays secure and intact during the move to the cloud.
If you plan on switching to cloud-based data, ensure you're prepared for common data migration issues in cloud computing. To learn more about RDt and Dextrus, reach out to us to request your demo today!