IT's top 3 cloud migration errors

The good news is that most companies are now moving to the cloud; the bad news is that many are doing it poorly

A few years ago, only 10 to 20 percent of enterprises had a cloud migration strategy, but nowadays, nearly all do. There are many good reasons to move to the cloud, but for many enterprises, the path to cloud is not paved with gold, nor is it easy to navigate.

Despite all the best-practice information out there, I still see huge mistakes being widely made.

1. Selecting the wrong cloud platforms

Although Amazon Web Services is leading the pack, Google or Microsoft may be a better fit in your case; you need to investigate. For some use cases, such as applications that are I/O-heavy, cloud services like IBM's SoftLayer deserve  consideration given their ability to provide bare-metal features. What's more, you may need several types of clouds and cloud providers to form your ultimate solution.

Lesson: Understand what you need to do, where you're going, and what needs to change, and only then select the cloud platforms.

2. Making bad assumptions around compliance in the cloud

People dealing with personally identifiable information, for example, have some understanding about how they should be securing this data in the cloud. But that understanding is typically wrong.

As a result, the usual cloud path follows one of two extremes. First, too much security, meaning more cost and technology layers. Second, too little security, which means there's almost nothing between hackers and the data. Both are bad.

Lesson: Understand what the requirements are and meet them, rather than overengineer or underengineer the solution.

3. Assuming your staff will work effectively with the cloud platforms

As in any technology shift, some staff members will be able to become proficient, while others will not. 

The core issue is that processes change -- development, operations, and all points in between. So the people who manage these processes typically need to change as well.

In some cases, it's just a matter of training. In others, major surgery is required. The amount of disruption depends on where your staff is now, and where it needs to be.

Lesson: Plan for the fact that some staff members will not transition well to the cloud and that some will need help to get there.

By making fewer mistakes, you'll have a better and more effective cloud migration. So, learn all you can -- then get to work.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.