Key Challenges in AWS Migration and How to Address Them

AWS Migration
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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 of them are transitioning to public cloud services such as AWS. However lucrative it may sound, the cloud is no easy 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 not only include the immediate cost of AWS cloud migration but also the long-term financial risks after the migration has taken place. 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 with spending way more than what you had estimated. And you may not be able to understand if the migration was successful from a long-term financial perspective.

Solution: To tackle this challenge, it’s imperative that you invest in a well-thought out migration plan. A robust change management plan can not only help you monitor the expenses involved but also prepare for the disruption caused to your business.

Identify your business objectives, needs and the stage of migration you are into. 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, 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 the cloud migration speed.

Solution: Overcoming demand-supply gap can be a tricky problem for you to solve. You can deploy your existing resources to find cloud experts, or better, 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.

What you need to keep in mind that the cloud technology witnesses rapid changes every now and then. So, if you want your cloud experts to stay relevant, you will have to build an environment of continuous learning and commit to regular training. Then, the training should be in accordance with each employee’s role and responsibilities.

Challenge 3: Security and Compliance

The very idea of handing over your entire data to a public cloud service provider can sound daunting to many organizations. As a matter of fact, 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 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 get those services integrated into your deployment plan, make sure no application moves into the cloud without the specific security measures. For more information, you can go through Amazon’s security guidelines.

Remember, the cloud operates on a shared responsibility model, so in addition to the cloud service provider, the AWS customer should also 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 a large number of applications. To work successfully, you are required to regularly measure how your applications are performing.

Given the nature of the cloud, you may end up generating more log files than you can possibly cope with. Sadly, many of your earlier methods for logging and monitoring data and applications may not stay relevant any longer.

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 so as to ensure all the components of your new cloud environment function remain secure, available and scalable.

Amazon CloudWatch, the monitoring and management service by AWS 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 bring about a successful migration.

Solution: Your higher management is one of the primary factors that affect employee adoption; so it’s essential that you make your CIOs/CTOs understand the needs and objectives behind migration and get them to communicate this to others. Only by supporting and appreciating these changes, they can build a culture of positivity around cloud adoption.

Also, when choosing cloud hosting solutions, focus on tools that are intuitive, user-friendly and easy-to-integrate. 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 a range of unique challenges. However, if we move forward with the right attitude, approach, and strategy, we 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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