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Common Cloud Migration Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

November 9, 2023

There’s a race to get to the cloud, especially if your organization relies on the Atlassian platform to move work forward. Cloud infrastructure is key to generating efficiencies, accelerating business value, and successfully achieving transformation initiatives. In fact, Gartner says that without the use of cloud-native technologies, organizations cannot fully execute their digital strategies.

Unfortunately, in their rush to move to the cloud, businesses overlook important details that leave them dealing with a big, expensive mess. In this article, we explore the common mistakes that organizations make when migrating to Atlassian Cloud and share tips on how to avoid them. 

Common Mistakes Organizations Make During Cloud Migrations

1. Poor Planning

Almost all cloud migration failures can be traced back to a lack of planning. Figuring out your migration on the fly leads to setbacks and wasted resources, which inevitably multiply when you fail to plan.

Properly planning your migration allows you to make strategic decisions about which apps, how much data, and what integrations you need to take with you. Because these factors determine the complexity of your migration, analyzing your current instance will give your teams a realistic view of what the lift looks like for your company.

Laying out a clear roadmap was one of the reasons that Ginkgo Bioworks had a great experience with its Atlassian Cloud migration. Even though challenges presented themselves during the migration, the leading biotech company successfully migrated their Jira and Confluence instances–which included 78 projects, 700 users, 73 groups, and 125 spaces–in just seven weeks.  

Every organization is unique, and the migration process should be treated that way. Atlassian Cloud migrations should be meticulously planned and highly customized—from the strategy to the timeline to the type of migration. 

2. Rushing Into A Migration 

One of the reasons organizations fail to plan is they are in a rush to get to the cloud. They opt for the expedient “lift and shift” migration, where you keep all your data (issues, attachments, and apps) as-is without any cleanup. While this type of migration isn’t necessarily bad, it can result in moving duplicate, invalid, or inaccurate data that impacts the health of your instance and the overall user experience. 

If your business is pressed for time because of deteriorating legacy tools, then a lift and shift could be viable. However, if you have complex workloads and aren’t in a hurry, investing in cleanup and reconfiguration is the way to go. Besides, performing a lift-and-shift creates more work for enterprise teams since they spend time migrating low-quality data that will eventually need to be cleaned up in the cloud. 

Also, there are app functionalities and data sets that don’t translate in the cloud. There can be differences in the way that apps are configured, as well as limitations related to the amount of data that is allowed to be used or displayed. 

For example, we had a client undergoing an Atlassian Cloud migration, and they were storing entire email chains in the description field. Because the emails exceeded the 32,000 character limit of the description field, Jira Cloud Migration Assistant failed during the test migrations. 

As a Solution Partner, Praecipio had access to resources at Atlassian that enabled our team to troubleshoot the problem and help the customer navigate the inevitable roadblocks of cloud migrations. This wasn’t a setback that the customer had budgeted for, and it could have been avoided altogether by choosing a migration approach that was more suitable for the organization’s needs. 

Taking the time to clean up and organize your data will make for a smoother migration process. Plus, once you have migrated, the time you invested in cleanup will pay off in the long run, enabling you to unlock the magic of Atlassian Cloud

3. Misunderstanding Financial Investment and Impact

Organizations often view a cloud migration as a one-and-done project, but a migration is a continuous journey filled with obstacles. Even after you have migrated your instance, there is still work to do, like training and upskilling employees. These misunderstandings have led organizations to underestimate the cost of moving to the cloud, and they fail to budget accordingly.

Setbacks are an inherent part of the process, even if you invest the time in planning. You have to budget time and resources for running into issues because they will happen. 

Organizations also make the mistake of expecting an immediate payback on their investment in the cloud. Sure, migrating to the cloud can generate 30% in server savings and 20% in IT cost savings, but these are long-term benefits.

With Atlassian Cloud, there is a 358% ROI, but it takes time to bring the entire organization up to speed with new technology before you start to see the return on your investment. Budgeting for unexpected setbacks, post-migration work, and training your employees will help you avoid the “hidden” costs that inevitably arise when migrating to the cloud.

4. Lack of Skills and Training

Finding talent to lead a cloud migration successfully is increasingly difficult. Research from Gartner shows that IT executives view the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, like the cloud. 

Even though cloud job postings have skyrocketed since the pandemic, organizations struggle to find experienced cloud workers. In fact, more than 90% of IT leaders plan to expand their modern software engineering and cloud environments, yet 80% say inadequate employee skills are holding them back.

Another problem businesses run into is thinking the migration ends once the data is moved to its new environment. After migration, you need to educate employees on how to use the cloud infrastructure, important changes in apps or functionality, and how to get additional support.

When Castlight Health migrated from Server to Atlassian Cloud, they invested in training their team members. The healthcare company worked with Praecipio to provide post-migration support and implement a training plan to get their users comfortable with working in Atlassian Cloud. This important step ensured a successful cloud migration since it laid the groundwork for building a cloud-first culture.

5. Doing It Alone

Businesses are on a tight budget or in such a rush to get to the cloud that they attempt to execute an in-house migration, even if they don’t have the expertise or resources. However, if you don’t have the resources to properly plan, manage, and execute the migration, you will miss important details that cause delays and unexpected expenses. 

The cost of hiring a third-party vendor to guide you through the migration process may cause sticker shock (especially when the price of the migration itself is already daunting), but working with a partner could save you from making the expensive mistakes that come with DIY-ing a migration. 

Having a partner with cloud expertise gives you peace of mind, knowing that you have someone to troubleshoot issues and help you make the right decisions for your organization. 

Successfully Migrate to Atlassian Cloud

The best way to ensure you successfully migrate from Server to Cloud is to work with an Atlassian Solution Partner. As a specialized partner in Atlassian Cloud, Praecipio holds a 100% migration success rate and has deep expertise with enterprise-level use cases across the Atlassian Cloud platform. 

If you have experienced a cloud migration gone bad, Praecipio is here to help. Contact our team of experts to analyze your situation and establish a plan for fixing your previous Atlassian Cloud migration.

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