More and more companies are moving their operations to the cloud. The benefits of migration are numerous, including higher employee satisfaction, greater efficiency and cost-savings, and those outcomes have proved attractive enough for many major companies to make the shift.

But moving applications – and to a greater extend, all of a business’ operations – from an onsite data centre into the cloud is not as simple as dragging and dropping some files. As many companies have found out, there are obstacles that must be addressed before completing a successful transition.

A recent study conducted by Forrester and analyzied by zdnet.com shows that many companies encounter unexpected challenges. The study involved 500 companies who currently have a significant portion of their applications in the cloud. 

One of the most common troubles encountered by businesses was reconfiguring applications that were not built for the cloud. Apps “with much of their architecture relying on vertical scaling and infrastructure-level resiliency,” were troubling, explains ZD Net. In many cases, the solution to this problem involved rewriting applications to prepare them for the move to the cloud.

Another common issue was the time and cost of moving applications. Almost half of the businesses participating in the study cited an expense of over $1M during migration.

Many companies stated that the project took longer than expected. Their in-house staff was not equipped to handle the transition as well as expected, causing some to seek outside help. The skill-shortage also saw some participating companies lose employees to vendors in need of experts.

The study lays to rest the notion that migrating to the cloud can be completed by snapping your fingers. It is an intensive process that has to be undertaken with diligence and care.

However, the potential hazards have not dissuaded global leaders from investing heavily in the cloud. Despite the obstacles referenced by the study, the benefits of migration are not discounted. So while challenges may exist during migration, the destination remains as attractive as ever.