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Cloud is the way to go. According to an industry-wide survey, 83 percent of the enterprise workload will shift to the cloud by 2020. Enterprises need to get ready to join the league before they lag behind. While the cloud is made to sound like the next best thing, let’s be real about the challenges it brings. Shifting your entire workload to the cloud isn’t as easy as it may sound. There are challenges that aren’t always technical in nature. There are challenges that are often overlooked during the cloud implementation process and haunt enterprises after the migration is complete. Such challenges are looming risks that can eventually take benefits out of the equation. Unless tackled professionally, cloud migration setbacks can end up costing you in terms of money as well as time.
To be honest, these setbacks are independent of the cloud platform or service you choose even if its Azure. You may be choosing Azure for the reputation and lead it has managed to maintain, but without appropriate Azure training and certifications such as Developing Azure solutions and Azure fundamentals, you might be unable to reap the real benefits of Azure.
So before we further discuss the importance of proper training and implementation, let’s talk about the setbacks associated with cloud migration.
When it comes to cloud migration, organizations often falsely assume that each and every bit of the data will be easy to just lift and shift on the cloud. Unfortunately, not all the applications currently on your system would be that cloud friendly. Some are simply incompatible with the cloud environment. Unfortunately, lack awareness often leads to migration of such apps, which later turns into a major setback. It is important to test all the apps in an environment similar to the one you will be running them on after the migration i.e. Microsoft Azure in this case. It takes a certain amount of Azure expertise to be able to analyze your applications’ architecture for migration feasibility.
One of the major dilemmas of enterprises investing in leading cloud platform such as Azure is the assumption that they are immune to data loss. While Azure is better than most, it is not completely reliable in this aspect, no platform/service ever is. The worst setback is when you face a data loss without having a data recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan can help you dodge a major blow in case of data loss. It is one of the most important aspects covered in Azure certification and training.
Migration downtime can cost billions of dollars. For a small or medium-sized enterprise, the cost of downtime can be deadly. Unfortunately, downtimes are just as common as migration. An hour-long downtime means loss of an hour’s worth of productivity, and in turn, revenues. It is important to make sure the downtime is ideally zero or at least negligible enough to have a noticeable impact. As mentioned above, this setback must be covered in your disaster recovery plan. Proper training is crucial to effective implementation with the least possible downtime.
It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that nearly 90 percent of all cloud migration projects are behind the schedule. Indeed, not surprising considering that most people in charge of overseeing the migration process aren’t able to accurately access the timelines. While it depends largely on the size of applications to be migrated, it can take three to six months. You need a highly trained staff to estimate the timelines as accurately as possible, and also to stick to the schedule as delays are often costlier than assumed.
It is not unusual for organizations to overlook the matter of compliance. It is due to the misconception that an application that was compliant in the previous environment will remain compliant in the cloud as well. For instance, if the legacy application is compliant to HIPAA or GDPR, it needs to be compliant on Azure as well. An in-depth analysis is required to ensure compliance with every applicable regulation. A better understanding of Azure is required to make sure you meet those requirements in the cloud as well.
For years, security remained the main culprit behind slower cloud migration. Enterprises didn’t decide to make the move unless they were certain about the security situation. It is true that platforms like Azure and AWS have played a vital role in making the cloud more secure. However, it all boils down to how those security features are utilized by your staff. Azure or not, lack of application-level protocol can call for major security setbacks. It is important to educate your team regarding the potential security risks involved in migration and to train them in prevention and mitigation of those risks.
Off course, there is a whole list of setbacks that will strike after the migration is complete. One of the major yet terribly overlooked one is the staff’s inability to adopt the new platform. No matter how much you try, there will be changes in the way applications behave or should be interacted with. This is where staff training becomes extremely important. Proper training can help your staff mentally prepare for the change and acquire the skill set necessary to utilize the new platform up to its full potential.
Cloud migration setbacks are bound to occur but Azure has the answer to most of the challenges associated with migration. However, without proper training, your team may not be able to utilize Azure’s ability to ward off such setbacks and fall for the traps anyway. Azure certification can marginally reduce the chances of making mistakes during the migration, and after that. More importantly, training your staff will help you get the most out of your investment in Azure. So, invest in your resources to get a better ROI on your investment in the cloud.
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