In today’s fast-paced world, companies are searching for the quickest, most cost-effective and secure way to grow. One area that is accelerating growth is the adoption of the cloud. According to Gartner, more than 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025. Gartner also estimates that over 95% of digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms. This is up dramatically from just 30% in 2021.

Not only are enterprises using the cloud to reduce IT costs, improve security, consolidate data centers, and accelerate company growth, they’re using it as the foundation to empower the new world of remote and hybrid work. Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) and virtual desktops have helped transform how employees work with ubiquitous and secure access to their business apps and data anywhere, any time.

But migrating to the cloud can present some challenges and pitfalls if you don’t chart your journey carefully. Consider these tips to make your cloud migration more seamless and take heed of the top mistakes to avoid.

Take time to plan and test

Start by identifying the reasons you are planning a migration. Is it to save on costs? Are you replacing aging hardware? Do you want to increase resilience and availability? Do you want to better enable remote work? The motivations for a migration are important to align and solidify, so your organization can measure progress during the migration process and define the ultimate success of the migration.

Next, identify the list of workloads and select the first to be migrated. Don't plan to migrate everything at the same time. Migrate one workload first and then accelerate as the skill and comfort level with the cloud increases within the organization.

Lastly, make sure you allocate plenty of time for testing and running cost projections, so you are not surprised by the bill in a few months.

Involve all relevant stakeholders

Migration is a technology matter as well as a business issue. Stakeholders from both must be involved in the planning process all the way to the top. The highest-level IT executive and the CFO should both be involved.

On an implementation level, you need to have engineers with a deep understanding of the architecture of the workloads to be migrated as well as engineers who have a thorough understanding of cloud capabilities and methodology. You can’t think of the cloud as just another place to run servers in the same way it's been done on-premises.

Adjust your mindset

It’s critical to know why you're migrating to properly evaluate the success of the migration. Consider creating a "landing zone" in the cloud that's architected for long-term scalability and flexibility before beginning the migration. If you treat the cloud as just another data center, your approach is highly likely to be very expensive.

Be mindful that cloud migration requires a change in mindset to how IT environments and workloads are architected, so that you can reap the most benefits. Weigh all the cloud cost optimization triggers. Things like compute reservations and bring-your-own software licensing programs can deliver tremendous savings.

Three common mistakes to avoid

No major technology transformation comes without its roadblocks and challenges — be prepared to avoid these most common mistakes.

  1. Mistake 1: Moving before you do your homework. One of the biggest challenges IT organizations face when moving workloads to the cloud is expecting the cloud to be cheaper right out of the gate. But, if you don’t do the requisite homework on how to first re-architect your workloads for the cloud you may be surprised by the cloud usage bill. Don’t simply move your on-premises architecture or security strategy to the cloud without making them cloud-ready first. Taking time to plan and prepare will save you a bundle in the long run.
  2. Mistake 2: Not aligning on objectives. If you don't set migration goals, definre objective criteria, and gain buy-in from all stakeholders, it will stand in the way of your migration success. Before you can map an effective migration strategy, you need to know what success will look like first. Getting alignment on these criteria and metrics will help you move with greater confidence.
  3. Mistake 3: Doing too much at once. Organizations that try to migrate too many workloads at the same time without taking the time to conduct thorough testing will often miss many of the critical adaptations that are necessary to drive efficiency. Take time to move workloads in phases and test between each migration to ensure it’s delivering the performance, access, and security layers you need before you move to the next workload for migration.

Avoid the three most common cloud migration mistakes above and you’ll be able to accelerate your company’s growth and efficiency using the power of the cloud. With proper cloud migration planning and strategic execution, you and your company can lower costs, improve security, and empower your remote and hybrid workforce with seamless data and app access.