Migrating data to the cloud is one of the most important tasks facing IT teams today. The cloud offers businesses a number of significant advantages, including cost savings, scalability, and increased flexibility. Yet migrating to the cloud is considerably more complicated than packing up your bags for a weekend getaway. It’s very easy to get cloud migration wrong—and suffer catastrophic consequences.

Here are five common pitfalls that businesses make when migrating data to the cloud:

1. Businesses don’t choose the right cloud.

The cloud options available today are considerable, including public, private, hybrid, and community clouds. But not every cloud option is right for every business. When selecting a cloud, there are numerous factors to consider, including privacy and security concerns, ease of scalability, and compatibility with existing software applications. Making the right choice is critical to the success of your cloud migration process, so don’t shirk on researching cloud providers.

2. Businesses throw away old IT hardware.

It may seem as though you won’t need your old data center hardware once you move to the cloud, so the urge to just dump old hardware can be tempting. Resist it. Before removing old equipment—or worse, paying someone to remove it—carefully consider whether you might have need of it in the future. Even when you do decide to jettison old hardware, consider exchanging it in trade rather than just dumping it. This can help you recoup the expenses of your original investment.

3. Businesses try to migrate everything all at once.

Lured by the siren song of the cloud, some businesses make the mistake of trying to migrate all applications to the cloud at once. In fact, it is usually better to start small, so as to minimize the growing pains. Start by migrating data and services that will have a minimal negative impact if hiccups arise. Good places to start include web applications, big data analytics platforms, and collaborative tools.

Also, consider that the cloud might not be the best place for all of your applications and data. Some data might be better left on-premise or in a colocated facility.

4. Businesses don’t prepare adequately for migration.

Preparing for cloud migration is a time-intensive process. You will need to plan out a distinct migration path for each application. Other important considerations include the physical geography of your cloud, privacy, and compliance issues, and who within your company will be responsible for managing the cloud.

5. Businesses aren’t attentive to the complexities of SaaS data migration.

Chances are that your business uses a SaaS application in your everyday operations. If you’re using a popular application, such as Salesforce, it won’t be difficult to find a cloud provider that also hosts the application. However, any customizations you’ve made to the application may not be able to survive the transition. For some SaaS applications with a smaller user base, you may run into problems when migrating data to the cloud. Always have a SaaS data recovery plan in place before migrating data.

Expert help moving to the cloud

There can be no doubt that migrating to the cloud is a big undertaking which requires the expertise of those who have helped other companies to succeed. Ntirety offers a full suite of cloud database managed services to migrate, manage, and monitor your database(s) in a private, hybrid, or public cloud environment including Microsoft Azure®, Amazon® Web Services (AWS), and HOSTING.com.