As the private sector grows increasingly competitive, companies around the world are embracing cloud computing technologies in an effort to stay relevant and potentially one step ahead of rival firms. In most cases, the cloud offers organizations a unique variety of benefits, including the ability to reduce costs, ease management troubles with big data and improve overall operations. However, not every business experiences smooth sailing in the clouds.

According to a recent study of roughly 650 organizations around the world by KPMG, more than half of businesses are operating at some level in the cloud. Unfortunately, roughly a third of respondents said they experienced significant implementation challenges during the migration to the cloud, suggesting that decision-makers may need to take a new approach to the hosted services if they want to leverage the technology efficiently.

"One of the most important lessons uncovered by this research is that business process redesign needs to be done in tandem with cloud adoption, if organizations hope to achieve the full potential of their cloud investments," said Rick Wright, a partner with KPMG LLP.

Developing a successful cloud migration strategy
If organizations do not plan their cloud deployments effectively, they risk experiencing significant hurdles during the implementation process. These issues can involve a number of aspects, including security, redundancy and availability of mission-critical resources.

Fortunately, there are a number of tools and techniques that decision-makers can embrace to minimize trouble. By using data replication software, for example, executives can be sure their data set is consistent across multiple environments - on-premise and in the cloud. This is especially important for organizations taking a hybrid approach to the cloud by implementing both public and private services that can be managed in-house and externally; replication solutions give businesses the chance to keep these technologies homogeneous.

"Simply put, executives have found that simultaneous process redesign is central to addressing the complexities that often arise in the implementation and operational phases of cloud adoption," Wright said.

A separate TechTarget report also highlighted the importance of planning and redefining traditional roles when adopting the cloud, as doing so ensures decision-makers can use the appropriate resources without jeopardizing the outcome or effectiveness of the cloud. Companies may also need to purchase new solutions that will keep an eye on large volumes of information stored in the cloud, as traditional monitoring technologies may not be as effective in the cloud as they are with legacy hosting services.

TechTarget said most executives will be required to purchase new software to help migrate resources to the cloud, as losing data during the transfer can result in significant long-term problems. Replication can help organizations during this process, as it ensures the data sets being moved are consistent with the initial source.

"Considering a strategic approach is necessary to focus on core business goals while moving portions of the organization into a cloud environment, organizations should also look to leverage the opportunities for business transformation and change management that can occur as a result of a move into the cloud," Wright asserted.

By planning cloud deployments ahead of time, executives can locate the right tools needed to migrate assets to the hosted environment without introducing long-term consistency or accuracy issues. If businesses impulsively jump in the cloud without strategically planning the move ahead of time, their efforts to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms may be in vain.