8 Common Cloud Migration Challenges to Watch Out For

In 2020, 61% of businesses migrated to the cloud. Now, in 2023, 94% of businesses are using cloud solutions in some capacity. There’s a good reason for this trend. Cloud-based data is much easier to access, store, and is generally more secure by comparison. Yet, there are cloud migration challenges that can put a damper on all this excitement.

In fact, 70% of attempted cloud migrations fail the first time. Many businesses need to take a couple shots at it before they get it right. Of course, this is time-consuming, and not entirely necessary. Mitigating cloud migration challenges isn’t difficult with the right strategies in place.

With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at 8 common cloud migration challenges to keep in mind before you start your next cloud project. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to face your biggest cloud challenges head on and, hopefully, you won’t need to try your migration again to get it right.

“The cloud is a hot topic. That’s making a lot of people rush in without thinking about it first. That’s a mistake. Instead, you need to take the time to plan it out right to avoid trouble down the line.” –  Charles Bender, Chief Executive Officer, Attentus Technologies


1. Service Interruptions

Migrating to the cloud may cause some system performance slowdowns in your network. This is simply because there is a lot of traffic flow involved in a data migration. The problem is that such slowdowns can impact both productivity and customer satisfaction.

To deal with this issue, try migrating in stages. Don’t lift-and-shift all your data in one go. Instead, break your data down into segments and prioritize which ones to move first. You may also want to consider performing migrations outside of peak working hours.

2. Cost Overruns

Cost savings are one of cloud computing’s big promises. While this is true in the long-term, unexpected cost overruns during the migration process aren’t unheard of.

With various services, data transfer fees, and scalability options, costs can escalate if not monitored. Additionally, failing to right-size your cloud resources or not turning off unused services can lead to unnecessary expenses.

The solution to this is planning. Prepare for the unexpected. Make sure you set a small amount aside in your cloud budget to deal with the unexpected. However, it is still best to have the extra backup budget and not use it. Make sure you have a clear vision of your needs before you get started to avoid unexpected added costs.

3. Application Compatibility

Compatibility challenges can arise when applications that were originally designed for on-premises legacy systems don’t align with the new cloud environment. Differences in platform requirements, software dependencies, or outdated application code are the usual culprits.

Before migrating, assess your applications for cloud compatibility. Update any outdated software and consider refactoring applications that aren’t cloud-ready. If necessary, seek expertise in cloud-native development to redesign or adapt your applications. Alternatively, you may want to consider sunsetting certain legacy applications.

4. Data Synchronization

Data synchronization issues can occur when there’s an update lag between the data source and the cloud destination. Your source information can change anytime. An employee isn’t going to delay an address change just because you’re mid migration. This can lead to information discrepancies and make it challenging to maintain data integrity and accuracy.

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To avoid this, schedule regular sync intervals, even during migration. Factor these updates into your overall cloud migration schedule. You will need to continue this practice if you intend to take a hybrid cloud approach.

5. Data Security

Data can be particularly vulnerable during transit. That’s because data moving across networks is prone to interception. Bad actors can hijack the transmission stream to read and steal data as it flows from source to destination.

You can protect yourself from this situation by using proper encryption methods. Encrypted data can’t be read by human eyes unless that human has the right encryption key. This way, even if a hacker tries to intercept your data stream, they won’t be able to do anything with what they find.

6. Scope Creep

Scope creep often sneaks in when there’s a lack of clear project boundaries, inadequate communication among stakeholders, or when new requirements are introduced mid migration. It’s tempting to add “just one more feature” or make “one small change,” but these can accumulate and derail your project.

To keep scope creep at bay, establish a clear and detailed migration plan from the get-go. Ensure all stakeholders agree on the project’s scope, objectives, and deliverables at the start so no one gets a sudden surprise. Any later unplanned changes should undergo a rigorous evaluation process that considers impact on time, cost, and resources before they get the ok.

7. Lack of Resources

Not everyone has enough in-house experts to run a successful cloud migration. Meanwhile, others may have in-house cloud experts who end up biting off more than they can chew if upper management underestimates the complexity of the project.

Both situations can be avoided with a managed cloud partner. You can get the expertise you need or add extra hands for your team to make moving to the cloud easier for everyone. Better yet, many partners are willing to stick with you post-migration. This helps keep your cloud infrastructure in top shape for the long term.

8. Performance Issues

Transitioning to the cloud promises enhanced performance and scalability. However, suboptimal cloud configurations, network latency, or even choosing a cloud service that doesn’t align with your demands can cause it to break that promise post-migration.

Make sure everything is well configured before you launch. It’s much easier to fix a poor configuration before going live than after. Still, you should regularly monitor and adjust configurations to match your workload demands as needed. The cloud is scalable, but you need to keep your eyes out to ensure that it’s doing what it needs to do as your business grows.

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Ensure a Smooth Cloud Migration Process With Help From Experts

Before you get too ahead of yourself, consider consulting cloud data experts from Attentus Technologies. Our team has over 20 years of experience helping companies manage cloud projects just like yours.

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