Increasingly, CIOs are finding reasons to move most of their companies’ enterprise software to the cloud.

However, this effort is not without its challenges. Today, we’re sharing the top cloud migration challenges for CIOs so you can start preparing for them before you even select new software.

The Future of Cloud Computing​

Analysts predict that enterprise IT spending on cloud computing will overtake traditional IT spending by 2025. For future-focused CIOs, this means it’s time to get down to business. This year alone, more than 57% of application software spending was directed toward cloud technologies, a number that’s expected to jump to nearly 67% over the next two years.

Much of this shift is attributed to the 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic., companies were forced to adopt new, virtual business models to keep their doors open and their employees on the payroll. As a result, they accelerated their cloud adoptions, even if they were slated for years down the road.

The cloud allows organizations to achieve greater flexibility and agility. It also offers the convenience of on-demand connectivity and pay-as-you-go pricing.

Yet, while this is a path that most businesses have started to take, it hasn’t always been easy. Let’s take look at some of the issues you may encounter, and how to resolve them.

1. Maintaining Cost Control

Without a proper restraint system in place, cloud-related costs can quickly spin out of control. This is especially the case when departments outside of IT weigh in. Their changes and adjustments can add to the overall cloud budget.

This is unappealing for any project, but it’s especially discouraging for organizations migrating to the cloud. This technology is supposed to save you money over legacy systems, so the idea of losing money can prevent some companies from pursuing it in the first place.

To resolve this issue, consider creating a cloud governance program. Establish protocols that dictate how you’ll manage the project, and the types of limits that you’ll put in place to prevent costs from rising unnecessarily.

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2. Managing Security and Compliance

By opening their operations up to the cloud, organizations automatically become vulnerable to cybersecurity risks. This is an issue that IT leaders have struggled with since the technology was first introduced. As the cloud continues to grow more complex, it’s even more of a concern today.

Now, CIOs must develop a way to protect their company’s confidential data and applications. To do so, they’re migrating their files to secure access providers that can also offer additional security protocols, such as zero-trust service models. While they may keep some systems running on-premises or in a private cloud, they’re using the public cloud for most of their services, including:

• Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
• Customer relationship management (CRM)
• Project management
• Billing
• Web-based platforms

Once your cloud ERP systems are in place, establish a plan to continuously monitor them for security violations. In addition to scanning your entire cloud footprint, link the results to a centralized security management system.

One common approach is to distribute security scorecards to each team. Allow them to monitor how well their data is being protected, and review the results on a quarterly basis.

3. Keeping the Project Within Scope

One of the most common cloud migration challenges is keeping a firm grip on the project scope. As with any enterprise-wide implementation, scope creep is common. One department has an idea for how the cloud could transform their operations and before long, everyone wants to weigh in.

On one hand, this makes your project more expensive. It also makes it more time-consuming and complex. You don’t want to wind up too far into a project that has grown beyond the original parameters you set for it. Create procedures to dictate how your project team will limit change requests once the project ramps up.

4. Navigating Staffing Shortages

As we all continue to navigate this new, post-pandemic economy, the Great Resignation, which began in early 2021, shows no signs of slowing down. Moving into 2023, one report shows that 49% of U.S. workers are unhappy and currently looking for another job.

This is challenging for any organization to maneuver, but it makes IT work even more challenging. This job requires a specific skill set that’s often difficult to fill. Now, finding qualified, certified, and experienced employees to manage a cloud migration is exceedingly difficult.

It’s important for employers to look for ways to attract and retain workers who have detailed knowledge of various cloud-related aspects, including:

• Service platforms
• Cloud architecture
• Programming languages
Cloud analytics
• Application programming interfaces (APIs)
• Data migration
• Cloud security

Managing a cloud environment isn’t the same as managing an on-premises one. As CIOs think ahead to what their future cloud strategy will look like, they should focus on building a team with a diverse skill set.

5. Achieving Leadership Alignment

While there are technical issues that could increase your cloud mitigation risks, the “people” side of the transformation can be equally challenging.

Part of the problem lies in convincing your workforce that this project is necessary and beneficial. If they’ve grown accustomed to doing all of their work in on-premises legacy systems, the idea of change can be daunting. Organizational change management (OCM) is key to helping them navigate this transition and accept the new platform.

In addition, it’s also essential to make sure the entire C-suite is on board. The mindset of your leadership team can directly affect the outcome of your project.

If they prioritize the migration and are on board to support it, it will go much smoother. To get there, present the benefits the cloud can provide the organization, especially in terms of cost savings and performance improvements.

Navigate These Cloud Migration Challenges for CIOs

Over the next few years, more organizations will start shifting to the cloud. If you haven’t already put plans in place to adopt a cloud-based strategy at your own company, this may be a step to consider taking.

While these are some of the most common cloud migration challenges for CIOs, they don’t have to derail your efforts. By taking proactive steps to prevent them, you can achieve project success.

Our consultants can work with you to create a roadmap to cloud adoption, including essential steps such as OCM. Contact us below to learn more and get started.

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