Migrating data to the cloud? Don’t neglect change management


Did you know 72% of companies identify data as their biggest challenge to achieving AI goals by 2025?1

For data professionals embarking on a data cloud migration, the stakes couldn’t be any higher. 

It’s why effective change management is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for unlocking the full power of cloud capabilities and ensuring adoption. It’s why neglecting this vital step can lead to a rocky transition, untapped potential and a workforce that can’t unlock the benefits of our data-driven digital world.

The fact is you’ll face a host of challenges if you neglect effective change management in your data cloud migration efforts, including:

  • Inadequate preparation: Employees and systems are often left unprepared, leading to resistance and inefficiency.
  • Unresolved post-implementation issues: A lack of support post-migration leaves users facing unresolved problems, causing frustration and reducing productivity.
  • Delays and errors from an unprepared workforce: An unprepared workforce can lead to operational delays and errors, significantly affecting business outcomes.
  • Inability to effectively track the success and impact of the change: Without effective change management, organizations struggle to measure and understand the impact of the migration.
  • Lack of concrete user engagement and system utilization data: Missing data on user engagement and system utilization leads to lost insights and opportunities for improvement.
  • Decreased awareness and appreciation of the new system’s benefits: Inadequate communication and support can result in a lack of awareness and appreciation for the new system, undermining its adoption.

The challenges are real. But you can navigate them with the right approach. 

Not worried about change management? Ready to be a cloud data migration hero

Inadequate preparation

When change management is sidelined during data cloud migration, organizations often face inadequately prepared staff and systems. 

And poor preparation isn’t just about not knowing how to use a new software interface — it can affect every layer of the organization. 

Without preparation, employees can find themselves in unfamiliar territory, leading to a decrease in confidence and an increase in resistance to new processes. This resistance isn’t always overt. It can manifest as a subtle reluctance to adopt new workflows or an unconscious clinging to outdated practices, which, in turn, can stifle innovation and growth.

Furthermore, inadequate preparation can undermine the effectiveness of your infrastructurel. When your systems and processes aren’t fully aligned with your organization’s strategic objectives post-migration, your operation can be seriously handicapped. For instance, data may not be properly formatted for the new environment, leading to:

  • Errors 
  • Inconsistencies 
  • Compromised data integrity 
  • Bad decision-making 

Finally, the consequences of inadequate preparation aren’t always just internal. They can also affect customer perceptions and service quality. 

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Unresolved post-implementation issues

You’ve migrated to the cloud. But without a plan for change, unresolved issues post-migration can create even more problems, escalating to the point where it degrades system performance and drives down user satisfaction, undercutting data integrity as well as potentially harming customer relationships and employee morale.

Often, poor communication about the new system’s benefits is responsible for the underperformance. 

Initially, small problems that could have been easily fixed in the early stages of implementation can evolve into larger, systemic issues that affect the overall performance of your new system. This can include technical glitches and software bugs to user errors stemming from a lack of proper training or documentation.

Even worse, unresolved issues post-migration can have a cascading effect on business operations. 

Delays and errors 

Profound and far-reaching, without a change management plan, the impact of an unprepared workforce on cloud migration can inadvertently cause significant operational delays and errors. 

The transition to cloud-based systems often involves complex processes and a detailed understanding of the new environment. Without proper training and readiness, your team may misuse or underutilize cloud resources, leading to inefficiencies and increased costs. And employees struggling with basic functionalities are less likely to explore and leverage advanced features and integrations that could drive business growth and operational efficiency. 

These aren’t mere inconveniences. When your workforce doesn’t know what to do with your new system, it can lead to critical system failures, data breaches and incorrect data handling, severely compromising business integrity and customer trust. 

Inability to effectively track the success and impact of the change

Tracking the success and impact of migration is essential. 

Without it, you can’t determine whether goals — such as cost savings and performance improvements — are met. And this can result in inefficiencies, misalignment between departments, and lost stakeholder confidence.

Effective tracking involves setting predefined metrics and benchmarks before the migration begins, allowing for a clear assessment of the transition’s success. Without this, you’re navigating blind, unable to ascertain whether the migration has met its intended goals.

Moreover, without effective tracking, organizations cannot identify areas that need improvement or adjustments post-migration. This lack of insight can lead to:

  • Continued inefficiencies
  • Underutilization of cloud capabilities 
  • Missed opportunities for optimization

As an example, if your organization isn’t monitoring and evaluating system performance and user engagement post-migration, potential benefits of the cloud — such as scalability and flexibility — may remain untapped. And as a result, you risk losing out on some of the primary motivations for the move to the cloud.

Not worried about tracking success? Ready to be a cloud data migration hero

Lack of concrete user engagement and system utilization data

It’s common sense. If you don’t understand how resources are being used, you can’t fine-tune your cloud environments. And this can lead to wasted investments and missed opportunities. 

Without concrete data, you’re left to guess how effectively the new system is being adopted and utilized. This uncertainty can lead to a significant misallocation of resources, where support and training may be insufficient or misdirected, failing to address the actual needs of the users. 

Effective change management should include mechanisms to capture and analyze user interaction with the new cloud environment, identifying areas where users struggle and where they excel.

Without detailed utilization data, your organizations can’t accurately assess the ROI on your cloud migration. This data is essential for understanding which cloud services are providing value and which may be unnecessary or underutilized, leading to wasted expenditure. 

In today’s data-driven decision-making world, this lack of insight can put your organization at a significant disadvantage.

Decreased awareness and appreciation of the new system’s benefits

It’s a no-brainer if you think about it. When the benefits of your new system aren’t clearly communicated, and your employees perceive the change as unnecessary or burdensome, it can lead to resistance and a lack of engagement. 

Without effective communication and training, your colleagues may not understand the full capabilities of the new cloud environment or how it can improve their day-to-day tasks. 

And when there’s a lack of knowledge about the new system’s advantages, your friends in Sales or Finance or Marketing are less likely to provide valuable feedback or suggest improvements, slowing down the iterative process of optimization and innovation.

Finally, when there is a lack of widespread appreciation for the new system, the organization risks reverting to old habits and systems, undermining the time, effort, and resources invested in the migration. 

All of this can lead to a fragmented IT landscape where some departments or teams use the new system while others stick to legacy systems, leading to inefficiencies and data silos.

Embracing change management

The cloud is here to stay. For those about to embark on a data cloud migration, we want to welcome you to the journey. 

But remember: If your business is looking to leverage advanced AI — and 78% of businesses are prioritizing AI and ML scaling — comprehensive change management is critical.1 

You can seize the opportunity to transform operations and unlock new cloud technology values. Effective management will help you manage the process, ensuring your transition is smooth and aligns with your organization’s business objectives.

You can be a champion of change. You can help your business avoid the pitfalls of a lack of change management and achieve a successful migration to the cloud. 

By doing so, you’ll position your organization for maximum competitiveness. 

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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1 Databricks CIO Vision 2025.

Make cloud migration happen today.

 Learn how to be a Cloud Data Migration hero.

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Make cloud migration happen today.

 Learn how to be a Cloud Data Migration hero.

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