6 Reasons Cloud Migration Projects Fail

Remember when all TSB had to show for their cloud migration efforts were streams of disgruntled customers unable to login to their account? Or the utter chaos experienced by Parts Limited when Project Phoenix went live? And who can forget the time the Co-Operative Bank abandoned ship on a £300 million project after realising they had bitten off more than they can chew?

The list of cloud migration failures is long and growing, but the reasons why remain largely consistent. Here we’ll walk you through the most common.


Lack of direction

“The more time you spend getting it right at the start, the better the results – it pays back in multiples”

  • Nick Loba, Senior Professional Services Manager, UKCloud

Before you announce your next digital transformation initiative, fire up Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle video and ask yourself why?

You’ll be amazed by the number of people who bypass this relatively simple step in favour of a technical deep dive. However, once you’ve completed your own Golden Circle, you’ll be the proud owner of a thing.

The thing everyone will be working towards, the thing that will set your business apart. For local government, this could be to increase the number of self-service systems available to constituents, or for health organisations to digitise all patient records – it’s really up to you.

Think of this as your compass – all business decisions should point back to here. Senior leadership should then use this as a baseline to report on collective progress every three to six months.

Unpacking the vision

Sticking with the Golden Circle – this section relates to the how.

Whilst the above alludes to the fact many cloud migration project might fault because they’re not part of a collective vision – a wider digital transformation initiative that ties everything together – skipping this step will inevitably cause further issues down the line.

In an ideal world where a clear strategic direction is set, business and IT professionals can unpack the vision in place of clear incremental steps. The end result? A distinctive roadmap that caters for sets of both parties business and IT professionals alike.

However, if projects are tackled in solos, often, the reverse is true. Chaos ensues at the business pressures IT to deliver new solutions – forced to build on an ever-increasing pile of technical debt. And for those lucky enough to architect greenfield applications, there’s no coherent technical strategy to steer IT purchase decisions. Soon an array of technical stacks will sprawl across the business – no two applications the same.

Getting off to a good start

Nothing bursts enthusiasm quiet as quickly as a slow start. A once crystal clear strategy becomes clouded by a sea of doubt.

Organisations need to convey a sense of urgency and progress, fast – making key, impactful changes from the get-go.

Assess your current technology portfolio and internal capability to identify quick wins:

  • Is your architecture fit for purpose?
  • Do our employees need to be trained up in specific areas?
  • Which applications are costing us the most money?
  • Which services will be impacted?

Triaging your vision into a series of key deliverables will ensure momentum is maintained and employees remained attached to the long-term vision.


No back-up or disaster recovery solution

You’d think this would be obvious, but it’s something man organisations seem to overlook. You wouldn’t drive a car without an insurance policy, take a holiday without travel insurance, or deny Pickles – your beloved pet Chihuahua – pet insurance. Granted the risk-takers amongst us might laugh in the face of home insurance – mavericks – but a back-up or disaster recover solution should be categorically non-negotiable.

Life isn’t always plain sailing and things can and often will go wrong. And if disaster does strike – with a back-up or disaster recovery solution in place – most be none the wiser.

Not adopting a multi-cloud approach

Those familiar with UKCloud may have heard us mention the phrase “one-size-doesn’t-fit-all” on the odd occasion. We’re big believers that each cloud has a unique set of characteristics that make it great for some workloads but potentially disastrous for others.

The best cloud migration plans utilise a mixture of cloud computing technologies that ensure the right platform is used for every workload.

Unsure which cloud solution is right for you? Check out our online questionnaire.

Application architecture not optimised for the cloud

Although the phrase “lift and shift” was designed to make it sound like moving legacy apps to the cloud will be a breeze, the chances are it won’t be.

Legacy apps aren’t configured or architecture to work in the cloud – they’re probably tied to a server that’s had been customised within an inch of its life – rather than standardising server requirements upfront.

Essentially there are two ways around the problem. The first is to rewrite and/or re-architecture your application to make it cloud compatible. However, be warned, if you start to make significant changes costs quickly spiral. The second is to utilise dedicated cloud-hosting technologies like UKCloud’s VMware and Oracle solutions. For applications reliant on these technologies, “lift and shift” really can be a breeze.



For more information on how UKCloud can help you accelerate your journey to the cloud, check out our professional services page.