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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Key Challenges in AWS Migration and How to Address Them

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AWS Migration: The business landscape is transforming at a hitherto-unseen pace. Organizations are adopting new-age tools and technologies to streamline operations, remove bottlenecks, and enhance productivity.

The cloud has emerged as an enticing solution for many such businesses. With cloud technology becoming mainstream, many are transitioning to public cloud services like AWS. However lucrative it may sound, the cloud is a challenging initiative. Migration to a service like AWS comes with its own set of challenges.

Let’s have a look at some of these challenges.

Challenge 1: Financial Cost

Financial consideration touches almost all aspects of migration. These include the immediate cost of AWS cloud migration and the long-term financial risks after the migration. You have to rewrite application architecture for the cloud, invest in tools needed for migration, pay for bandwidth costs, and train people on the cloud systems.

Then, the issues of latency and downtime that invariably arise during the AWS cloud migration process also cost your business. All this adds up to a sizeable expense.

In the absence of a proper migration strategy, you can end up spending way more than what you had estimated. And you may need help understanding if the migration was successful from a long-term financial perspective.

Solution: To tackle this challenge, you must invest in a well-thought-out migration plan. A robust change management plan can help you monitor the expenses involved and prepare for the disruption caused to your business.

Identify your business objectives, needs, and your migration stage. This will help you assess the potential issues and opportunities you can prepare for.

Challenge 2: Skill Shortage

Of the numerous challenges involved in moving to an AWS cloud, a shortage of requisite resources is quite common. With more and more businesses seeking AWS cloud migration services, the demand for cloud experts has spiked in recent years. This skill gap can have a bearing on cloud migration speed.

Solution: Overcoming the demand-supply gap can be a tricky problem for you to solve. You can deploy your existing resources to find cloud experts or train your internal staff. Because your existing employees are familiar with your current processes and systems, they can contribute significantly once they have the requisite skills.

Besides, hiring new talent requires you to spend time and money. Working with the existing talent saves both, leading to better RoI (return on investment) in the long run.

It would be best if you remembered that cloud technology witnesses rapid changes now and then. So, if you want your cloud experts to stay relevant, you must build an environment of continuous learning and commit to regular training. Then, the training should be under each employee’s role and responsibilities.

Challenge 3: Security and Compliance

Handing your entire data to a public cloud service provider can sound daunting to many organizations. Many companies have avoided moving to the cloud for a long time just because of security concerns.

As per a recent study by LinkedIn, around 49% of the CSOs and CIOs feel the major barrier to cloud adoption is fear of data loss and leakage. In another study by Crowd Research Partners, 9 out of 10 cybersecurity experts are concerned about cloud security, be it data privacy, confidentiality violation, or data leakage.

When applications are shifted to the cloud, there is a major risk of a security vacuum, as the existing security tools and strategies may not work in the cloud environment.

Solution: To ensure security for your data and applications, identify the security and compliance needs of all your applications migrated to the cloud. Figure out AWS services and solutions that offer requisite security measures to these applications.

Once you integrate those services into your deployment plan, ensure no application moves into the cloud without specific security measures. For more information, you can go through Amazon’s security guidelines.

Remember, the cloud operates on a shared responsibility model. In addition to the cloud service provider, the AWS customer should understand their responsibility in securing the data and implementing a service level agreement.

Challenge 4: Log Analysis and Metric Collection

After moving to the AWS cloud, you gain access to an environment where hundreds and thousands of servers run many applications. To work successfully, you must regularly measure how your applications are performing.

Given the nature of the cloud, you may generate more log files than you can cope with. Sadly, many of your earlier methods for logging and monitoring data and applications may only stay relevant for a while.

Solution: To facilitate a successful AWS cloud migration, make sure all the logs from your applications, infrastructure, and S3 Access buckets are centrally stored and monitored to ensure all the components of your new cloud environment function remain secure, available, and scalable.

Amazon CloudWatch, AWS’s monitoring and management service, can help you gain valuable insights for your applications deployed on the AWS cloud.

Challenge 5: Adoption Resistance

People tend to resist change, and cloud migration brings in a lot of disruption and, therefore, is bound to be met with resistance by your staff, be it your IT team or higher management. They will not welcome any change they think will jeopardize their jobs or change their responsibilities dramatically. Fail to manage the human element, and you’ll struggle to achieve a successful migration.

Solution: Your higher management is one of the primary factors affecting employee adoption. Your CIOs/CTOs must understand the needs and objectives behind migration and get them to communicate this to others. Only by supporting and appreciating these changes can they build a positive culture around cloud adoption.

Also, when choosing cloud hosting solutions, focus on intuitive, user-friendly, and easy-to-integrate tools. This will improve the likelihood of your employees wanting to adopt it.

The Final Word

AWS cloud migration is a complex initiative that brings in various unique challenges. However, moving forward with the right attitude, approach, and strategy can prevent the transition from becoming overwhelming. A carefully-crafted step-by-step migration plan can ensure a smoother transition and benefit all the stakeholders.

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