Cloud Migration

Becoming Cloud-smart: Conquering challenges at key stages of your Cloud journey


A decade or so ago, some businesses saw the value of migrating to the Cloud. Today, these companies are helping us map our Cloud journeys. From navigating initial security fears to understanding the importance of cultivating team capabilities to suit a Cloud-centered environment, their stories are pointing us in the right direction.

Cloud technology also lays the foundation for greater digital transformation. Large enterprises aspire to have roughly 60% of their businesses on the Cloud by 2025, so it’s time to narrow down the issues that you may face along the journey and choose smarter ways of addressing these challenges to pave the way for greater digital transformation.

If you are looking to navigate unforeseen issues on your Cloud journey, this blog will also provide you with some essential guidance.

Pre-migration: Where to start?

‘Take the plunge’ may not be the best advice for any Cloud adoption journey given that there’s a lot to consider. Most importantly, it’s critical to focus on business needs over getting your head lost in the ‘Cloud’. Many businesses stress the importance of aligning their business strategy with the Cloud strategy while taking into consideration the future needs of the business and the impact of Cloud migration on the organization. Here are a few areas you may have to keep in mind at the start of your Cloud journey if you want to avoid those initial setbacks:
  • Why the Cloud? What are your business goals for using the Cloud? Is it cost savings, scalability, increased collaboration, or something else? Having a clear purpose helps define which Cloud solutions best suit your needs.
  • What to migrate? Evaluate what applications and data you plan to migrate to the Cloud. Prioritize based on criticality and ease of migration.
  • Security Matters: How will you ensure data security and compliance in the Cloud? Research the security policies of potential Cloud providers and establish your own internal protocols.
  • Skills Check: Does your IT team have the necessary skills to manage Cloud environments? Consider training or hiring Cloud specialists if needed.
  • Exit Strategy? Plan for a smooth transition from on-premise infrastructure. Develop a rollback plan in case of unforeseen issues.
Fortude supported a leading Australian frozen food manufacturer embark on their Cloud journey. Prior to the migration the Cloud, the Australian frozen food manufacturer relied on its legacy ERP system. Not only did the outdated system incur high maintenance costs, integration issues between its existing systems also deprived them of the flexibility to remain competitive in the fast-evolving food and beverage marketspace. The move to the Infor CloudSuite Food and Beverage solution helped the manufacturer seamlessly integrate operations across multiple entities in Australia and New Zealand and supported over 200 users.

Ongoing implementation: How to ensure a smooth migration to the Cloud

The migration process is complex. Once a comprehensive Cloud architecture is built, it’s important to address requirements like security, performance, and integration with existing systems. Moreover, you would have to decide whether a “lift-and-shift,” phased, or complete rebuild is best. This depends on complexity, your budget, and downtime tolerance. Finally, when the actual migration happens it’s important to conduct rigorous testing to ensure the new Cloud environment functions as expected. Take the example of Lincoln Financial Group which embarked on a transformative journey from legacy systems to a dynamic Cloud-based architecture. The migration involved transitioning 120 complex systems in less than two years, with a focus on empowering business units to control technology spending. Key challenges the Group encountered included legacy security measures, mindset shifts, data migration complexities, and technology blind spots. Despite these challenges, early indicators suggested promising results in terms of improved efficiency and performance in the Cloud environment. The team emphasized the importance of careful planning, effective communication, and unwavering support from senior management for similar initiatives, acknowledging the dedication of their team and partners.

Here’s a snapshot of the challenges you may encounter at this stage and how they can be overcome:


  • Data Migration Issues: Ensuring seamless data transfer without loss or corruption is vital.
  • Data Volumes: Data volumes can increase tenfold when moving from legacy database platforms.
  • Compatibility Problems: Legacy applications may not work smoothly in the Cloud and wouldn’t necessarily be compatible with Cloud data sources, requiring modifications or re-architecting.
  • Downtime: Critical services experience downtime and disruptions during migration.


  • Data Backup and Validation: Have backups and test data rigorously before actual migration.
  • Strategy to Tackle Data Volumes: Estimate the volume of data that needs to be migrated and adopt a suitable strategy.
  • Application Profiling: Assess applications for Cloud compatibility to determine necessary changes and revamp them as required.
  • Phased Migration: For complex environments, a phased approach minimizes risk and downtime.

Post-migration: Beyond a successful Cloud migration

The journey continues post-migration. Ongoing management and optimization ensure you fully realize the Cloud’s potential. It’s important to implement a Cloud strategy with clear rules and processes on Cloud usage, resource allocation, and security. Moreover, track spending to identify areas for cost savings and prevent unexpected expenses while also continually monitoring performance and updating security protocols to proactively address threats. Here are some common challenges you would encounter at this stage and some solutions that would help mitigate them: Challenges:
  • Cloud Sprawl: Unregulated Cloud usage can lead to inefficient resource allocation and increased costs.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: Cloud environments demand continuous security vigilance as new threats emerge.
  • Skill Gaps: Ensure your IT team has the skills to effectively manage and optimize the Cloud.
  • Strong Cloud Governance: Establish policies that prevent sprawl and ensure compliance.
  • Robust Security Mechanisms: Implement multi-layered security, use access controls, and stay updated on Cloud security best practices.
  • Cloud Training: Invest in training for IT staff to bridge any skill gaps in Cloud management.

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) embarked on their Cloud journey 10 years ago. The federal agency that provides health coverage to more than 100 million Americans has gained some valuable insights throughout its journey.

The agency views Cloud adoption as integral to its mission of innovating healthcare, ensuring a seamless experience for beneficiaries, and responsibly managing public funds. Their leadership emphasizes the importance of empathetic engagement models, community-driven approaches, and the adoption of practices to drive efficiency rather than solely focusing on cost reduction. The agency stresses that being empathetic to their teams’ concerns and ensuring that they are on board with the technological changes has been key to their success.

What next?

We are living in a digital-first world. If you haven’t started on the path to becoming digitally agile, where can you start? Most businesses are migrating to the Cloud as a first step to paving the way for digital transformation. This can be your starting point too. If you have already embarked on your Cloud journey being aware of what can go wrong and tracing areas for improvement are equally important. If you are part of the distribution industry, take a closer look at these Cloud stories to forge ahead. The food & beverage industry is also benefiting greatly by migrating to the Cloud, so there is much to derive from these success stories. Wherever you may be on your Cloud journey, there are many routes to be explored and terrains to navigate to become Cloud-smart. Read our Cloud Readiness Checklist to assess your organization’s readiness to move to the Cloud.