Today’s business landscape is changing fast. Remote working has become the new norm for a lot of organisations. And while there are plenty of upsides to this, it also creates a whole host of new IT challenges. You’ve got to keep people productive, data secure, and costs down across multiple locations, tools, and platforms. Not easy.
So, it’s no wonder that more and more businesses are moving to the cloud. It empowers workforces to access data and collaborate from anywhere, while also driving efficiency and reducing costs.
Of course, cloud migration comes with its own challenges. If you’re not prepared for them, it could cause a lot of disruption to your business. But don’t let that put you off – in this blog, we’ll explore the biggest hurdles on the journey to the cloud and how you can overcome them.
1. Keeping Costs Under Control
One of the main drivers of moving to the cloud is the long-term savings. Over 60% of enterprises move to the cloud to save money, and 82% of SMEs reported reduced costs from adopting cloud technology.
But cloud migration requires an initial investment of money and time. There’s the upfront cost of the migration, which will depend on how much data you’re planning to move. Then you must factor in the costs of training staff on the new tech, re-writing data so it’s compatible with cloud architecture, and ongoing maintenance.
It’s also important to remember that cloud migration doesn’t happen overnight. It can be a gradual process that requires weeks, months, or even years of bandwidth and man hours, depending on the maturity of your business and the scope of the migration. And if it's not efficiently managed, migrations can end up taking more time and money than expected. More than half (58%) of UK businesses have said their cloud migration costs were greater than they envisaged.
Effective planning is the key to keeping costs down and projects to schedule. A solid change management plan that clearly defines your business needs, objectives, and timeframes will prepare you to handle the project’s scope and any disruption it might cause.
It can also help to break the migration into more financially manageable chunks. Rather than moving everything over in one go, you can migrate your data in batches over time. This makes the process more flexible and means you don’t have to pay as much up front.
2. Bridging the Skills Gap
Cloud migrations are complex. Many businesses don’t have the internal skills to understand and project manage a cloud migration from start to finish. 34% of UK businesses reported that a lack of internal skills was a significant challenge when moving to the cloud. More alarmingly, cloud skills gaps almost doubled between 2016 and 2019, with 90% of enterprises now saying they have skills gaps in one or more cloud disciplines.
The migration itself requires an experienced pair of hands – and there are also your end-users to consider. They’ll need training to get them up to speed. Otherwise, you risk headaches and inefficiencies further down the line as people struggle to use the new technology.
Partnering with a cloud specialist can help. An experienced cloud provider will support you and your people on your migration journey, providing on-hand expertise to fill skills gaps and helping you get the most out of the cloud. This is an increasingly popular solution – 77% of organisations are planning to work with a managed service provider on their journey to the cloud.
3. Ensuring Your Data Stays Safe
43% of businesses find security to be one of the most significant challenges of cloud migration. And not without good reason. The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, and if you’re undergoing a cloud migration at the time, that figure rises by $267,000.
Ensuring data security should always be a high priority when adopting new technologies. And moving to a managed cloud solution essentially means trusting a third party to keep your data safe. For many companies, that risk might feel too great to be worth making the jump.
However, there’s no reason why security challenges should stop you from taking advantage of the cloud – providing you do your due diligence when choosing a provider. Check their security practices. Where do they store your data? Do they use encryption? Are they compliant with security regulations?
So long as you’re partnering with a trustworthy provider with the right security practices in place, you can migrate with peace of mind.
4. Bringing People On Board
When it comes to adopting cloud, it’s often not the technology that poses the biggest challenge. It’s the people using it.
People struggle with change. And migrating to the cloud naturally leads to a disruption of the systems and processes that they’ve grown comfortable with using. This is less of an issue for fresh-faced start-ups, but if you’re an enterprise with legacy IT, you need to be careful with how you manage the end-user side of cloud migration. If not handled correctly, you could be met with resistance that jeopardises the success of the project.
The key to overcoming this is getting buy-in from the top down. Bring leadership on-board with the changes at the start of the project, so they understand why the migration is happening and the benefits it will bring. They will then drive engagement across the rest of the business, which will help reduce resistance and encourage greater adoption rates.
Work With Trusted Partners to Ensure a Smooth Cloud Migration Journey
Cloud migration is a significant undertaking, but despite the challenges it presents, it’s not an insurmountable one. The success of your migration project hinges on careful planning, effective management, and extensive expertise.
If you’re looking for a technology partner to support you on your journey to the cloud, Intercity can help. We’ll work with you at every step of your cloud migration, from consultation and build to design and management. Book a free cloud audit today to discuss your next steps.