10 Mistakes to Avoid When Migrating Data Centers to the Cloud

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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Migrating Data Centers to the Cloud

Moving an enterprise's data center assets to a cloud computing platform requires plenty of careful planning. Here are the top 10 mistakes to avoid when thinking about migrating to the cloud.

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Lack of a Strong Business Case

When considering a migration to the cloud, initiatives stem from two compelling reasons: You have to go or you want to go. Each requires a different level of commitment across the organization, driven by timelines and senses of urgency. What will the cost benefit be? Will you gain greater skills? These are questions that contribute to an organization's cloud business case.

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Failing to Get Buy-In from an Organization's Top Leaders

If there is a clear business case for migrating to the cloud, your CEO and board will find it easier to agree with your proposition, but if there is not, you likely will have to fight harder for their buy-in. So you need to be clear on why and how the company will make the migration and determine who are the "cloud champions"—the leaders in the organization who realize the benefits of operating in the cloud and will fight for the change.

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Failing to Prepare the Organization's Culture for the Move

An organization's CIO is not the only person affected by a migration to the cloud. Failure to prepare the entire company can result in hesitations from various teams and departments. Operating in the cloud—whether with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure Cloud or others—requires some study and thoughtful preparation by employees across the entire organization.

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Failure to Include App Owners at an Early Stage

App owners need to be prepared for a cloud migration project. Even if organizations are using tools for discovery, the picture isn't complete without a human touch. App owners need to be consulted during initial planning and discovery, and they need to be prepared for their part in the project, including user acceptance testing and downtime. App owners must provide the migration teams with other important data, such as Service Level Agreements and regular maintenance-window schedules.

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Not Exploring All of Your Options

Whether you are rebuilding or rehosting your data during a cloud migration, both routes have their advantages, and there is no right or wrong answer. Once a thorough discovery is complete, some applications may require only a "lift and shift" while others will need to be rewritten entirely. Don't discount either path to the cloud and do your research.

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Waiting to Move Individual Applications

While your team is coordinating a plan to move heavier applications to the cloud, there is no reason to delay moving smaller, less sensitive ones. Some applications require more planning and resources, so the time it takes to transition those is longer. But that shouldn't mean your entire cloud migration should be delayed. Don't hesitate on the applications you can move to the cloud first.

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Failing to Include Security Precautions in Your Planning

With so many emerging threats facing enterprises, security has never been more important. It's necessary to take the proper precautions and not rush through the process. A successful cloud migration is done thoughtfully and without skipping steps, especially when it comes to security.

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Not Training Your Staff Correctly to Do Their Job in the Cloud

Skills shortages are a major roadblock for many organizations that are deciding whether to move to the cloud. To properly train IT employees, start by giving them projects that show the business benefit of being in the cloud and giving them time to learn. There also are training programs offered through providers such as AWS. Providing hands-on experience will help in exciting employees about the migration.

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Not Monitoring Costs Post Migration

The bill can surprise you if you're not aware of the costs associated with migrating enterprise applications. This type of migration is more detailed and time-consuming, so you have to account for continued maintenance and support—even after applications have moved to the cloud.

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Making the Assumption That Cloud Will Be Cheaper

When debating a migration to the cloud, don't fool yourself into thinking you are going to save tons of money. Storing data on-premises can be less expensive, but when you factor in time to implementation, tax implications, overall flexibility, ongoing costs, reliability and security, cloud is a clear winner.

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10 Takeaways From My Tryout of the Google Home Smart Appliance

Google Home, a smart-home appliance released this fall, is the company’s answer to Amazon’s popular Echo. But can it keep up with Amazon's device? As an Echo owner, I decided to put that question to the test. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been putting Google Home through the paces. I’ve tried out its many skills, connected Google Home to smart-home services such as Philips Hue and tested how it performed with several entertainment apps, including Pandora. Although the device generally performed well, justifying its price tag, it had certain shortcomings that simply can’t be overlooked. For now, Google Home is no Amazon Echo replacement, but it has promise. With the right enhancements and more third-party support, Google could have a hit on its hands in the future. Take a look at this eWEEK slide show to learn more about my impressions of Google Home and how it compares to some of the...
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