3 cloud migration mistakes companies keep making

Enterprises are getting better at moving applications and data to the cloud, but can't escape a few gotchas


The migration to the cloud is well under way. Everyone thought it would be a sprint, but it’s more like a slow jog that picks up speed each year. That’s the pace preferred by enterprises adopting any new technology, and cloud computing is no exception.

Now that we’re now on our second or third cloud migration projects, I see enterprises making the same mistakes over and over again. Some issues are quickly corrected, while others are killing cloud computing projects altogether.

The first mistake is a lack of understanding of the cost advantages or the TCO (total cost of ownership) once the cloud solution is deployed and operational. Complex metrics are required to determine if the cloud will save money for your organization, but most enterprise IT shops are unwilling to look into the numbers. Moreover, you should have use-based accounting and cloud financial management systems in place to monitor the actual cost impact and value of migrated cloud-based applications.

Second, many enterprises get devops wrong. Devops is hugely valuable, if leveraged properly, with the right tools and approaches. However, many enterprises toss continuous integration, deployment, or whatever is handy at the issue, with no approach to organizational or process changes. They can’t get out sound releases, so the cloud applications don’t meet the expectations of the business.

Finally, you have to get security and governance right. In many respects, those who migrate applications to the cloud don’t think about security and governance, instead pushing the responsibilities to those in IT tasked with strategic architecture and infrastructure. However, the “other” crew thinks governance and security should be on the list for those who migrate the applications. Thus, the problem does not get solved -- until something bad happens.

We’re learning as we go, but the frequency of these errors is becoming a concern. We should be getting smarter as we execute. Let’s focus on making sure that happens.

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