Migrating Data to the Cloud – it’s a mammoth task!

Image of a cloud with a loading indicator suggesting a slow speed for data migration

Posted on Thursday, February 4, 2016

Adopting cloud services is ridiculously simple - any user armed with a credit card can open a subscription and begin using the hosted infrastructure or software. Everything is designed to make it as simple as possible to get started.

But when it comes to migrating line of business applications and services to the cloud, the process is much more complicated.

Don’t be fooled by simplicity

Cloud services hide the underlying infrastructure by design, with the intention of reducing the management and administration overheads for their clients. When trying to replicate your own infrastructure on a hosted platform, most of the existing complications are transferred too – unless your business devotes additional time and resources to redesigning systems and processes to improve efficiency.

Recovering control of corporate systems

One of the biggest challenges the CTO and CIO face is clawing back centralised control of corporate systems. Virtually every enterprise has a shadow IT problem, with employees using cloud-based platforms to carry out various work-related tasks. Most of these ‘shadow IT’ provisions have not been sanctioned or approved.

As well as moving known data offsite, a proper cloud implementation will need to recover these unofficial data sets and re-integrate them. This is a complex and time-consuming process that may require frequent and significant changes to the core solution.

External bandwidth

Moving data into cloud platforms is heavily dependent on bandwidth. Even if your business can seed data to the cloud, there will always need to be some synchronization to ensure that come switch-over time, everything is up-to-date.

Synchronization needs to be managed carefully to avoid negatively impacting operations during deployment, particularly by consuming excessive bandwidth. But balancing the demands of current systems with the need to complete the transition is a careful balancing act between accurate scheduling and political power-plays to keep stakeholders engaged with the project.

Experience is key

Cloud migration is not as simple as copying files from the local datacenter into a cloud platform. The hosted infrastructure needs to have properly constructed stacks capable of integrating your legacy applications – an extremely difficult task for IT staff who lack experience and training in the area of cloud migration.

Tellingly, over a third of IT leaders report problems with poorly constructed stacks impacting productivity. Which just goes to show how important an experienced third party support provider is to your cloud ambitions.

If you are considering a data migration project, learn more about how CDS can help – get in touch today.