Moving your business to the cloud helps you focus on your customers and bring new offerings to market in hours instead of months. Yet the journey to the cloud is often bumpy, with half of all migration projects failing.(*1)
Migration to the cloud is an important step for businesses
that are looking to advance their digital operations. It
provides much-needed agility and flexibility, enabling an
enterprise to meet the fluctuating demands of the market.
It’s not always a smooth and seamless process. Many risks
are associated with moving to the cloud, which can have a
big impact on an organization’s ability to execute their cloud
Using broad and deep experience in cloud migration,
IBM has identified the top five challenges that can hamper
a successful migration. To ensure a successful, seamless
process, enterprises should undertake five key actions.
Know where to start and how to proceed —
with a strategic approach.
Early in the process, initiatives that deliver business value
should be prioritized.
It is common practice to adopt a wide variety of tools that
perform portfolio analysis—tools that do not gather
information in a consistent format. This method
can make analysis and interpretation incomplete and
inconsistent. Inadequate analysis can hide the true
benefits and risks, which can result in a faulty strategy
that can impact the implementation outcome.
Not all applications are well-suited to run on the cloud.
According to the Forrester Research report, Portfolio
Evaluation is the Key to Migrating Applications to the
Cloud¹, enterprises need to exercise due diligence in
their portfolio analysis to determine the appropriate
target operating model—a combination of public or
private cloud, or on-premise platforms.
Which of your applications are well-suited to the cloud?
Which require redesign and which can be moved as-is
to provide quick return? An analysis of the architecture,
complexity and application implementation can help
The service provider needs to have the right
expertise—and the right technology.
Service providers need to be able to open up legacy
systems to new digital channels, sustain key legacy
applications and improve resilience.
A critical factor in successful cloud migration is the
ability to modernize legacy applications, leveraging
cloud architecture to build microservices and
exposing APIs to allow them to connect better
through platform-based development with their
ecosystem, suppliers or customers.
Sensitive data can be at risk during migration—the right
approach to managing risks is critical.
A major challenge during migration is to understand the
sensitivity of the data and any risk of losing data integrity.
Post migration, organizations must validate their business
processes and ensure that the cloud migration preserved
the integrity of their business value and operations. The
service provider must have validation process expertise
to help manage the risk.
Enterprises need to ensure business operational
continuity and integrity. To do so, organizations must
work with the cloud provider to confirm that as automated
controls are moved to the cloud, they produce the same
outcomes, before and after the migration, without
disrupting business operations.
A methodology that addresses all phases of the
migration—from strategy to implementation—is
essential for success.
The service provider should have a robust and proven
methodology to deliver the complex tasks and skills that
are required to execute cloud migration on a consistent
basis, at a global scale.
The methodology should address the framework for
managing the complex transformational project with
service level agreements that measure milestone-based
progress and results.
Market surveys corroborate the importance of application
portfolio assessment for successful cloud migration.²
0 10 20 30 40 50 60%
Redesigning apps to work properly in the cloud
Disruption to workflow and end-users
Understanding SLA and managing cost
Gaining understanding of dynamic constanty changing
elements potentially associated with cloud computing
Gaining understanding of new technology and vendors
and how relevant they are to my organization
Acquiring new IT skills and IT training
Figure 1: Responses of businesses when asked about the biggest challenges experienced while migrating infrastructure to the cloud.
Security, legacy support and migration complexity continue
to remain top concerns for cloud adoption.³
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80%
Security and compliance concerns
Need to continue supporting old legacy technology
Work required to move exiting infrastructure
Convincing business decisions makers of need/benefit
Concerns over IT managing hetero/multi-vendor environments
Disruption to business/end user performance during implementation
Inability to prove ROI
Lack of skills needed to implemen and manage
Embracing the DevOps culture
Figure 2: Responses of businesses when asked about the five biggest barriers to adoption of cloud technologies.
1. Portfolio Evaluation Is The Key To Migrating Applications To The Cloud.
Forrester Research. March 2016.
2. Challenges for businesses migrating infrastructure to the cloud in
North America 2015. Statista. Accessed March 2017.
3. Main barriers to cloud adoption for businesses in North America 2015.
Statista. Accessed March 2017.