“Cloud computing is now shorthand for how companies turn amazing ideas into winning software” – Dave Bartoletti
A huge number of companies, both large and small, are rapidly shifting to cloud computing from the traditional hardware IT infrastructure. According to the IDG cloud computing survey, 73 percent of organizations have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud, and 17 percent plan to do so within the next year.
Cloud services offer the benefit of flexibility of paying only for the resources that you actually use, saving you from extra costs. Cloud environments, in general, are scalable, reliable and highly available, prompting both enterprise-level businesses as well as up and coming start-ups to take advantage of moving to the cloud.
While the benefits that cloud computing brings to the table make it a lucrative option for all businesses, knowing the common pitfalls when migrating to the cloud is of significant advantage. The knowledge of the common errors and mistakes businesses make while moving to the cloud is critical for avoiding the same mistakes.
Here are the four common mistakes you need to avoid while shifting your business to the cloud.
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1. Taking The All Or None Approach
Not all business applications turn out to be viable candidates for cloud migration. Shifting all your existing infrastructure and services to the cloud, all at once, is a common cloud migration mistake that businesses commit. This strategy rarely yields results.
Some apps may have a complex code structure while others may be running on legacy technology stacks, thus, posing maintainability issues and making them unfit candidates for migration to the cloud.
When beginning the shift, it is always advisable to dip your fingers in the cloud rather than taking a headfirst dive. Start with moving the applications that have a low impact on early migration to minimize any potential negative impact.
If you are planning to shift a legacy application to the cloud, you cannot expect significant cost savings by implementing a simple lift and shift. You have to conduct a detailed analysis and figure out what applications and data need to be shifted to the cloud and which can be left as-is.
2. Not Conducting Business Analysis Before Making The Shift To Cloud
Unless you have a thought-out and well-documented use-case for migrating to the cloud, you are not going to reap the full benefits that cloud computing offers. Whether you are planning to build a cloud-hosted application or are looking to move your existing applications to the cloud, you need to conduct a business analysis to streamline the process.
What are the business benefits of migrating to the cloud? For example, if you want your apps to run faster or cheaper, how do you optimize your existing applications to ensure the same?
Every aspect of cloud migration, from the resources and tools you plan to use, to the cloud service provider you are going to choose, needs to be well thought out from the business perspective.
Not all cloud providers are cut out of the same mould. Moreover, every cloud platform has a distinct set of features and solves a different set of problems. You need to consider whether the provider that you choose is suited to meet your application demands while meeting the scalability and flexibility requirements, along with adhering to the compliance norms, if any.
When it comes to picking a cloud service provider, jumping in without conducting a thorough analysis at your end can end up being a huge mistake. Gather the data, dive into analysis mode, understand the requirements first, and then make the move to the cloud.
3. Overlooking the Security Aspects
While the cloud service providers provide a layer of security, if the application itself has flaws, it is prone to security threats. If you show a weak front while migrating, any potential leak can cost you a lot.
This is even more important when you are dealing with sensitive data as in the case of financial or healthcare data. If your data consists of personal health-related information, HIPAA compliant hosting is a must when shifting data to the cloud.
The implications of a security breach in case of financial data are severe. Security risks include data breaches, hijacking of accounts, unauthorized access, and abuse of information. Encryption of data and rigorous security testing is a must when taking the cloud approach.
Overlooking cloud security is a cardinal error. It is always best to go through the service level agreement (SLA) that you are going to sign with the cloud provider to delve into the security provisions the vendor is going to provide and the steps that you need to take to ensure application security in the cloud on your part.
4. Not Designing for Failure
Being a pessimist pays off when designing and migrating to the cloud. Just like the traditional IT architecture, cloud servers are prone to downtime as well. The best workaround, in this case, is to design for failure.
Amazon mentions it in the cloud architecture best practices that you need to “design for failure and nothing will fail.” Designing for failure involves setting up safety nets to ensure that any outage that occurs results in minimal harm possible.
Designing the architecture with a failure mindset results in the incorporation of a fault-tolerant architecture that is cloud-optimized. The recovery strategies would be in-built into the design itself, ensuring minimal loss and optimal output even in the chance occurrence that the cloud architecture faces downtime.
The decision to move the data and applications to the cloud needs to be communicated throughout the organization. Moreover, adequate contingency planning and employee training need to be in place to ensure a seamless migration.
Migrating to the cloud needs adequate planning, strategizing, and foresight to successfully implement the move. Having a clear vision of what you plan to achieve through it, visualizing the steps and streamlining the implementation ensures the success of cloud adoption.
Note: This a guest post from Rahul Varshneya of Arkenea. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Ace Cloud Hosting.
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