Top Cloud Migration Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Switching tools, apps, and data over to the cloud can bring big money savings and flexibility benefits. But migrating from old on-site systems often trips companies up. Issues like technical compatibility, security risks, and business disruptions are common.

The good news? With smart planning and getting help from migration pros, organizations can steer around these obstacles to fully leverage the cloud. This article will look at ways companies can tackle the most common challenges that come with moving to the cloud.

What’s Motivating Businesses to Migrate to the Cloud These Days?

Before jumping into the migration challenges, let’s quickly recap what’s driving companies to the cloud:

Lower Costs – No huge upfront investments required in on-site data centers. You pay only for the cloud resources used each month.

Flexibility to Scale – Cloud storage and computing expands instantly to meet your needs, avoiding overprovisioning costs.

Improved Resilience – Vital data stays protected through the cloud’s built-in backup across regions. If one region fails, apps and data failover to another automatically.

New Capabilities – Emerging technologies like IoT sensors, AI, serverless computing become easily accessible to build competitive advantage.

According to IDC, over 90% of companies now use some form of cloud services. This momentum keeps accelerating as the benefits become clearer.

Common Migration Obstacles Companies Run Into

While the cloud offers advantages, getting there involves overcoming hurdles like:

Old Incompatible Systems – Legacy on-site systems with technical constraints are tough to migrate to newer cloud architectures.

Integrating Existing Tools – Carefully connecting new cloud apps or infrastructure with current on-site systems is complex but critical.

Preserving Security and Compliance – Making sure protections and compliance controls stay consistent before, during, and after migration.

Preventing Data Loss – Failures during migration can corrupt datasets or cause data to go missing altogether.

Minimizing Disruption – Downtime and issues during migration can directly hurt business operations and revenue. Not good.

Controlling Cloud Costs – Suboptimal use of cloud resources or leaving unused assets running quickly drives expenses up.

Smart Ways Companies Can Overcome These Migration Obstacles

Using strategies like the following, organizations can steer around migration obstacles:

  • Evaluating current legacy systems and data flows first to uncover risks and compatibility challenges.
  • Upgrading old platforms to become cloud-ready if needed before attempting migration.
  • Reviewing security controls and compliance policies so they transition smoothly.
  • Training staff on new cloud tools and processes so the learning curve isn’t steep.
  • Testing backup and restoration of data repeatedly to ensure recoverability.
  • Closely monitoring utilization of cloud resources and costs. Right-sizing as usage patterns evolve.

When Bringing in Migration Experts Is the Wise Move

For many companies, getting help from managed service providers (MSPs) or professional migration services makes good sense when:

  • In-house cloud skills and experience are minimal. Migrating is tricky without expertise.
  • Moving large complex systems with lots of interconnected apps and databases.
  • Dealing with mission-critical systems where downtime is unacceptable.
  • IT staff members are overwhelmed just keeping the lights on day-to-day. Hard to take on a migration too.
  • Heavy integration required across on-site and cloud environments.

What Does the Future Hold for Cloud Migrations?

Here are a few trends impacting upcoming migration best practices:

Adopting Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Setups – Migrations will need to span both on-site and multiple cloud vendors’ environments.

Automation to Simplify Migrations – New tools will help automate migration testing, data transfers, workload portability and more.

Outsourcing to Migration Specialists – Allowing managed service partners to handle migrations for you will become more common.

The key is recognizing common migration pitfalls but knowing proven strategies and help from experts can get you past them.

Key Takeaways on Navigating to the Cloud

Migrating systems to the cloud enables accessing new technologies but also involves challenges. Knowing what to expect and getting help smooths the ride. Top takeaways:

  • Cloud migrations often hit predictable snags around legacy systems, security, downtime, costs and complexity.
  • Take proactive steps to evaluate and upgrade on-site environments based on risks. Test extensively.
  • Emerging automation tools are streamlining migrations and reducing disruptions.
  • IT services partners with proven experience bring the skills needed for smooth executions.
  • While rarely quick and direct, done right, cloud migrations enable huge new business opportunities.

With open eyes, proper planning, and expert guidance, companies can steer around obstacles to seize the cloud’s potential. The benefits are worth it!


What are red flags of a risky migration plan?

No assessment of legacy systems. Lacking security review. No analysis of potential downtime impact. Minimal testing.

How long do typical cloud migrations take to fully complete?

Anywhere from weeks for small apps to potentially years for major enterprise-wide migrations.

What business disruption should companies expect during migrations?

Disruptions should be minimal with careful cutover planning. Some adjustment period will be required as users get up to speed.

Can migrations be reversed if major unexpected issues appear?

Reversing major migrations is extremely difficult and costly. Comprehensive testing and gradual rollouts reduce the need to reverse course.

How much do professional cloud migration services cost on average?

Costs vary a lot based on scope, complexity, environment size, and provider. But the costs are often outweighed by long-term cloud benefits.

Picture of Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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