Prior to 2020, cloud adoption was a long-game, sometimes sluggish process. The pandemic forced many companies to quickly pivot to cloud migration. The combination of a shift in consumer behavior to almost exclusively online purchasing and the impracticality of on-premise solutions meant distributed teams shifted quickly to cloud environments.
Even while pushing through unanticipated challenges, most companies encountered some obstacles that can be avoided while pursuing a cloud adoption strategy:
Balancing Back End and Front End Technology: One of the obstacles companies face in a cloud migration is trying to determine how to prioritize the implementation of back end infrastructure, which includes compute, information architecture, data access and storage, security, and resource availability. This must be done without compromising advances in front end technology, which is broadly the end user experience.
In the past, companies took a slow approach to cloud adoption, working stages to improve infrastructure before debuting a new front end user interface. This has changed, with both sides working in tandem at a rapid pace. This more aggressive pace allows companies to achieve some benefits earlier but may introduce additional costs on the front end, even as the total cost of ownership is lower.
A “Lift and Shift” Mindset: It is all too tempting for companies to focus on creating exact, cloud-based replicas of their on-premise environments without taking time to consider the benefits they might realize with cloud-native services, like reduced maintenance or performance improvements. Companies bring their inefficiencies right into the cloud, rather than looking at the cloud migration process as a way to consider an improved architecture.
Waiting Too Long to Make Data Accessible: Until a company’s production data is accessible in the cloud, it’s not useful. Data engineering and data science teams should be involved with determining the data sets that are most useful, engage in data migration, and then allow them to do hands-on work with the data. The risk is that production workloads are stagnant, remaining on-premises because of data gravity.
Taking a Smoother Route
There are innumerable obstacles that can get in the way of a smooth cloud adoption strategy, but there are steps you can take to mitigate challenges:
Centralize Data: Avoid decentralized and poorly-documented data solutions by focusing on core data sets for common use cases and adopting a centralizing strategy. It won’t solve everything, but it allows companies to address challenges and bottlenecks to equip everyone to move forward.
Encourage Investment Early: Cloud adoption is often in motion for months or years before users are invited to jump in. Design your cloud migration for end users and involve key stakeholders in early stages to get feedback on how the process can be adjusted or improved.
Be Workflow Focused: Identify the core data and smallest set of tools that will allow teams to engage in the majority of their work. Then gather feedback and set goals for improvements, performance, and scalability.
Encountering obstacles in cloud adoption is to be expected, but that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid most of them. Contact us at IT Broker.com to get the insight and guidance you need for a smooth cloud migration.