What are the most common cloud adoption pitfalls, and what are the consequences?

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Senior Vice President - Advanced Engineering & Data Analytics in Manufacturing, 10,001+ employees
I was instrumental in building the cloud practice at my organization. But many organizations aren’t doing cloud transformation; they’re doing cloud migration or cloud enablement in different silos. It's not happening across the enterprise to enable full digital transformation. 

Another pitfall is that most cloud projects are considered technology projects, rather than business projects. Most are hopping onto the cloud bandwagon not only to associate themselves with the latest technology, but also for cost benefit. They are not associating it with the larger potential for business value, such as increasing the company’s innovation capacity, entering new markets or reducing the time to launch a new product. 

And the third pitfall is something that has become very prominent. A lot of people are following the cloud-first approach, which is good because it will be further enhanced. But people are working on large-scale, high-investment transformation programs that take years, without defining the future state and creating a roadmap to achieve that future state. I'm calling it “future state” rather than “target state” because it's ever-evolving with the advent of new technologies and new business models. Most organizations are making large-scale investments and want to do a large-scale transformation in one go. They're trying to include too many things in one transformation program. That's okay if you define some low-hanging fruit as your milestones, but that makes executing those programs much more complex.
Chief Technology Officer in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Two pitfalls come immediately to mind.

The first is re-platforming. Simply moving infrastructure or applications to the cloud has to be a much more considered approach than simple lift-and-shift. I see people moving virtual machines from on-premises to EC2 (for example) and they're not gaining any great benefit except simply not having to maintain their own hardware. You don't get the advantages of elasticity, scalability, etc., without re-architecting to suit the cloud platform you are going to. Don't keep running a database server on a virtual machine for example, when there are cloud-based serverless managed database options. This also goes for other serverless options.

The second is pricing. Cloud costs can ramp up rapidly. You must always be carefully eyeing your spend and managing it. It's a constant issue. Put in place policies and alerts to monitor spend and keep you abreast of things. Turn off resources that you don't need to run 24/7. You'll find the promise of cloud rapidly becomes hugely expensive if you are not continually and actively being proactive about costs.
Senior Vice President, Product Design and Data Analytics in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Great Insights, . Would add another one where people i.e. end users consider storage is free and make a dustbin out of the cloud/ drives. There’s a significant backlog when it comes to data cleaning / purging protocols in many firms. Not only I worry from a carbon footprint standpoint, some of the ESG expectations will impact industry level transformational initiatives, taking up lot of money and time.
Head of Global Technology Service Management for Private Bank and Wealth Management in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
First, most organisations are not running a legacy estate on the latest OS & DB versions. It's common for cloud platforms to mandate the most recent versions and the cost of replatforming from, for example, SQL Server 2008 are not negligible. The work would have had to be done at some point, but it's worth taking a step back to consider the architecture strategy- are platforms based on legacy tech worth re-engineering or should alternatives be considered.

Second, from a Service Management perspective, tech execs should understand that they no longer have the same ability to accelerate resolution, and indeed that their organisation is not necessarily the priority. Cloud services are generally more resilient than on-prem, but if there's an issue which affects critical business offerings it can be challenging to get the same level of responsiveness from a third party.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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