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Cloud Migration Challenges & How to Mitigate Them

Last updated on
April 25, 2024


Top 5 risks connected to cloud migration

Before diving into the cloud migration process, you need to prepare for the potential challenges. Among the top risks connected to cloud migration are:

  • Maintaining data security and integrity
  • Service disruptions
  • High migration costs
  • Skill gap
  • Aligning with business strategy

To mitigate these risks, you need to have a well-thought-out migration strategy in place.

You can also:

  • cooperate with an experienced company that provides cloud migration consulting
  • implement robust data governance policies
  • educate your staff
  • monitor and test.


Cloud Migration Challenges & How to Mitigate Them

The importance of software modernization

Technical debt and legacy code are common challenges faced by many organizations. They often result from a combination of legacy systems, reliance on quick-fix solutions, and a mismatch between IT demand and available resources. These issues can lead to an unintentional accumulation of technical debt, hindering agility and innovation.

Our research conducted at Brainhub and outlined in our report "State of Software Modernization 2024" highlights the prevalence of technical debt and legacy code among companies:

“When considering organizational-level impacts, it is estimated that legacy systems cost businesses across the globe $2.6 trillion every year. 70% of IT budgets are consumed by this maintenance requirement alone.”

There are several general strategies and emerging trends that aid in overcoming technical debt and facilitating software modernization. These include leveraging Generative AI, transitioning to Software as a Service (SaaS), and adopting Cloud solutions among others. Platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform offer capabilities to modernize software while addressing cloud migration security challenges.  

Today we’re focusing on exploring cloud migration and its impact on software modernization. Let’s delve into the details, benefits, and challenges of cloud migration.

Benefits of cloud migration

Cloud migration stands out as one of the most dominant and impactful strategies for software modernization. Our founders, Leszek Knoll, and Matt Warcholiński, emphasize that updating legacy software goes beyond mere technical execution: 

“Updating legacy software isn't just a technical task. It is a project involving the company’s goals from top to bottom, even if, at first glance, it seems only to impact the technical layer.”

Cloud migration offers numerous benefits across key areas: business, people leadership, and technology, indeed. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased availability of critical data and services
  • Flexibility and scalability
  • Enhanced security
  • Reduced costs of infrastructure maintenance
  • Simplified management
  • Faster time to market
  • Easier disaster recovery.

So, if you're currently struggling with unpredictable costs, complexity in managing your current environment, scalability challenges during peak usage, high maintenance costs, or accessibility issues, cloud migration might be an excellent solution.

However, despite the evident benefits, technical challenges in cloud migration are not uncommon. This process requires meticulous preparation and a thorough understanding of the potential risks.

Cloud migration challenges

Cloud migration challenges

So what are the top challenges of cloud migration?

1. Data security

Exposing migrated data to threats and vulnerabilities is one of the most significant challenges in cloud migration. This concern is particularly critical in light of regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, or other international standards that organizations must comply with. Especially for entities migrating sensitive data, ensuring the appropriate level of security to prevent leaks and breaches becomes a paramount challenge.

2. Data integrity

The next issue arises from the potential incompatibility of legacy systems with cloud environments. Its interaction with more modern solutions can result in a potential data loss. So, addressing these compatibility issues is crucial during the cloud migration process.

3. Architecture complexity

The significant challenge of data migration often stems from the complexity of existing architecture. Attempting to migrate without careful planning and staging can lead to various issues, such as difficulties in identifying and documenting interdependencies, low application performance after migration, and more. 

4. Downtime

Cloud migration operations can result in service disruptions, potentially leading to significant business losses due to the temporary unavailability of services. This concern is especially critical in e-commerce, where platforms must remain available as they serve as the primary source of income. 

5. High migration costs

While cloud migration typically offers long-term cost-effectiveness, some companies expect an immediate return on investment. However, migration often entails significant upfront costs, and companies may discover that the cloud is initially more expensive than an on-premises data center. Unexpected billings or fees typically stem from inadequate planning and insufficient research on cloud providers and their policies.

To delve deeper into cost management strategies for cloud migration, check out our article: How To Maximize Cloud Cost Savings in 2024.

6. Vendor lock-in

Another challenge is the dependency on the selected vendor, which makes it difficult to switch to a different provider when such a need arises.

7. Skill gap

The next significant challenge in cloud migration is ensuring access to skilled and qualified individuals capable of managing the entire migration process, cloud infrastructure and services. In such cases, it may be necessary to provide existing team members with training or to hire external specialists.

8. Cloud adoption resistance

As cloud migration is a significant change, particularly for organizations accustomed to legacy applications and systems, it may take time for employees to adapt to the new working environment. Resistance to change may require fostering a new working culture and facilitating the transition process.

9. Long-term commitment

Cloud migration processes can also pose challenges in terms of duration and complexity. Migrations typically occur in multiple stages, with thorough testing and validation conducted between each phase. It's common for organizations to underestimate the scope of the task, making it difficult to allocate the necessary time and resources to complete the project and prioritize it over other tasks.

10. Aligning with business strategy

Last but not least, cloud migration should be aligned with the overall business strategy. After all, the purpose of migration is to support the business objectives. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that these objectives are known beforehand.

How to prepare for cloud migration?

Although cloud migration challenges may seem overwhelming after reading about them, there's no need to worry. There are hundreds of examples of successful data migrations. The key is to be aware of them, adequately prepared, and equipped with the right cloud migration framework.

There are several ways to mitigate cloud migration challenges:

1. Prepare a cloud migration strategy

Cloud strategy quote

The lack of the right strategy is one of the main reasons for the failure of cloud migration projects. Every migration process should then start with the right plan, which includes:

  • Identifying business objectives
  • Understanding business strategic goals
  • Assessing current infrastructure and skills
  • Analyzing technical interdependencies
  • Deciding on the type of data that needs to be migrated
  • Choosing security strategies
  • Downtime preventing and management strategies
  • Preparing timing and schedule
  • Selecting methods to measure the success of cloud migration.

Having a comprehensive plan helps to select the required cloud services, assess the data volume and resources needed to complete the cloud migration, and manage costs effectively. It also ensures the best possible alignment with business priorities.

Since cloud migration is a complex process, if you need support in preparing or reviewing your strategy, feel free to contact us at Brainhub or check out our Cloud Migration Strategy Guide.

2. Select the right cloud provider

There are numerous cloud providers in the market, and selecting the right one can significantly impact the success of cloud migration. Therefore, before initiating the migration process, it's essential to evaluate various providers based on factors such as quality, security, costs, support offerings, and other critical elements tailored to your specific needs.

3. Monitoring and testing

During the execution of migration, it's crucial to monitor each phase. This ensures data loss prevention and that all applications, systems, and components function as expected. Additionally, it's essential to verify the successful implementation of all planned security measures and evaluate whether the migration met both business and technical objectives.

4. Data governance

Another effective practice to mitigate cloud migration challenges is implementing robust data governance policies. Many providers offer data governance solutions, so it's crucial to evaluate them during the selection process. Clear policies outlining how data is used, stored, processed, and shared strengthen safety measures significantly. 

5. Staff education

Modernization efforts often provoke concerns about redundancies, job losses, and other emotionally charged topics. Establishing open and honest communication within the company can help mitigate the risk of negative reactions to change. To ensure staff compliance with policies, it's essential to communicate the importance and purpose of cloud migration, its goals, benefits, and associated value. Fostering a new culture accelerates cloud adoption, mitigates cloud migration security challenges, ensures data quality and regulatory compliance, and enhances data lifecycle management effectiveness. 

Additionally, collecting feedback and involving employees in the change process by measuring how cloud migration affects their daily work can encourage further active participation and support the transition.

To learn more about the factors supporting cloud migration and system modernization processes, check out or report "State of Software Modernization 2024".

Let’s start your cloud migration

As experts in IT migrations and managing infrastructure, we believe that security or technical challenges in cloud migration shouldn't stop you from reaping the benefits of software modernization. Embracing cloud migration can profoundly impact your business, delivering great results overall.

At Brainhub, we have extensive experience in cloud migrations. If you're looking to delegate the migration process to experts, don't hesitate to contact our professionals for further advice and guidance.

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Every year, Brainhub helps 750,000+ founders, leaders and software engineers make smart tech decisions. We earn that trust by openly sharing our insights based on practical software engineering experience.


Olga Gierszal
IT Outsourcing Market Analyst & Software Engineering Editor

Software development enthusiast with 6 years of professional experience in the tech industry. Experienced in outsourcing and nearshoring market analysis. Our expert in presenting tech, business, and digital topics in an accessible way.

Leszek Knoll
CEO (Chief Engineering Officer)

With over 12 years of professional experience in the tech industry. Technology passionate, geek, and the co-founder of Brainhub. Combines his tech expertise with business knowledge.

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