Cloud Is Not Always Cheaper
by June 5, 2017

Filed under: Cloud Computing

There was certainly a period of skepticism for cloud computing, but at this point companies have almost universally adopted some form of cloud computing.

Without a doubt, cost efficiency is one of the most frequently cited motivations for cloud migration. But be careful—there’s danger in blindly trusting the cost-savings promises that come with moves to SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS.

Don’t get us wrong. The cloud is a great way to streamline storage and operational costs. However, there are a few unexpected problems you might run into that could eliminate the cost savings you’re expecting.

5 Cloud Migration Challenges That Could Derail Cost Savings

Moving to the cloud is about more than just saving money. You can maximize hardware and resource utilization, increase resilience, gain performance management advantages, increase IT productivity and more.

But even when you have a long list of cloud migration benefits, saving with lower cloud costs are likely a major focus. Avoid these five migration mistakes that can make the cloud just as expensive as your traditional infrastructure.

1. Lack of Visibility Into Existing Infrastructure: When you don’t have a complete understanding of your existing servers and configurations, it will be almost impossible to accurately assess cloud migration costs. This isn’t just a simple lift-and-shift process. The better job you do mapping the existing infrastructure, the more effective communication you can have with the CFO—which will help you see just how much money you stand to save during and after migrating to cloud.

2. Failing to Analyze and Test Applications: Not all applications are created equal. It would be great if we could just migrate everything to the cloud and call it a day, but that’s not possible. You have to analyze and test all of your applications to see which are best-suited to stay on premises, which you’ll replace altogether and which can move smoothly into the cloud. Trying to migrate the wrong applications will only result in higher costs as the process drags on.

3. Not Accounting for Training Costs: An IT staff full of experienced pros is great for a traditional, on-premises infrastructure—but the cloud will have a learning curve for these veterans. If you calculate cloud cost savings without accounting for training, you might fail to meet expectations. And if you don’t address the need for training at all, your cost savings could be eliminated altogether due to inefficient operations.

4. Applying Legacy Thinking to Cloud Migrations: The whole point of your cloud migration is to distance yourself from the legacy hardware and applications that are expensive and limit scalability. Moving to the cloud means IT users no longer have to wait for approval when spinning up a server. If you maintain the gatekeeper mentality even after cloud migration, you’ll never see the productivity benefits and operational efficiencies that contribute to cost savings. Modernizing with cloud migrations requires modern IT processes as well.

5. Losing Track of Usage Fees: Cloud services SLAs include clear guidelines. And yet, some companies are hit with what seem like hidden fees when the first bill comes through. When your IT team is new to cloud management and doesn’t have the right tools in place to track usage, costs might climb higher than expected.

These are just a few of the challenges that come along with cloud migrations. They can have significant impacts on cloud cost efficiency, which is why public cloud providers like Microsoft are releasing new tools that can help ensure smooth migrations.

To achieve the cost benefits of cloud computing, you have to make sure you have a solid migration plan in place. Download our free guide, 5 Steps of Moving Apps to the Cloud, to find out how you can avoid unexpected cloud costs.