Businesses should avoid these common mistakes when migrating to the cloud

November 26, 2014

A set of best practices for cloud computing adoption in the enterprise is starting to coalesce as the business world’s large-scale migration continues onward. Early adopters made plenty of mistakes as they moved their operations into the cloud, and the later users were able to take note of them and make their own transitions smoother.

That said, the process is far from an exact science. Bringing cloud computing into the enterprise and integrating it into operations is still a massive project fraught with hazards and obstacles. Despite the dangers, the benefits of the cloud are worth it and most businesses know it. Avoiding the common pitfalls of cloud adoption is key for businesses that want to tap this technology’s vast potential.

Don’t forget about the soft costs
Forbes reported that one of the most common mistakes cloud adopters make is forgetting about soft costs, making the calculation of critical metrics like ROI and TCO impossible. Managers should make an itemized budget that includes the cost of the cloud app as well as internal costs, such as payroll for the staff that manages the cloud portfolio.

Prepare for changes to the company culture
The BYOD workplace is just one of the impacts that cloud computing is having outside of  the strictly technological considerations. CloudTweaks noted that IT departments will have to understand that employees will be using their own devices to access the network wherever and whenever they want. They will have to be proactive in making sure the users are well trained in security measures as well as monitoring the hygiene of the network.

Have the security and legal discussions early on
One of the most critical mistakes an enterprise can make is not having a strong grasp of the regulatory structure surrounding the governance of their data. Forbes wrote that if a company needs to be HIPAA compliant, it’s best to plan around it at the early stages. Many businesses have moved their data to the public cloud, only to realize they were noncompliant – after they paid, of course.

Look for scalability and flexibility
One of the major advantages the cloud has over on-premise IT infrastructure is that it can easily adapt to internal and external changes in the business environment. CloudTweaks stated that businesses should look for vendors that allow them to scale their storage and capability up or down as needed. Adopters should avoid vendors that lock them into long term contracts or restrict scalability.