Avoid these five pitfalls when managing hybrid cloud environments


The uptake of the cloud has been anything but linear. Some early adopters migrated everything, only to discover that not everything was suitable to sit in the cloud, and many ended up having to move critical data and systems back in-house. The hybrid model has become the typical scenario for many businesses today, but that comes with its own set of challenges, particularly around managing complexity. These are five common pitfalls when it comes to managing hybrid cloud environments, and how you can avoid them. 

  1. Not understanding the environment 

The problems with cloud often come down to a lack of understanding of the environment and what systems, applications and data are best suited for the cloud as well as which are better suited to remaining in-house.  

There is no cut and dry approach to this that will work for everyone because the ideal mix for a hybrid environment depends on the business, existing investment into infrastructure, and more. Understanding your strategy and requirements from a business perspective, and focusing on the important applications first, is essential.  

  1. Resistance 

When it comes to cloud migrations, often people pose the biggest challenge. A cloud migration brings a lot of change and sometimes disruptions, which can cause resistance and even resentment as people are forced to adopt new ways of working.  

If change is not properly managed it can cause mistrust and friction which will hinder the smooth adoption of new technology solutions.  

  1. The skills shortage 

The cloud offers many benefits, but challenges still arise when it comes to finding people with the right skills and experience to manage an effective migration. The ever-present skills shortage can frequently be a stumbling block for businesses on their cloud journey, which can be mitigated by partnering with a Managed Services Provider (MSP).  

The right MSP partner will have both the skills and experience to assist with planning and the migration itself and going forward to protect migrated data and assist with movement between cloud providers. 

  1. Security and governance 

Security is a very important factor to consider when moving to cloud or utilising a hybrid cloud environment; how data needs to be protected and at what level it needs to be understood and documented. If the requirement is that data is encrypted at-rest and/or in-flight, companies need to understand the risk of lower performance. This needs to be managed and might include the use of monitoring tools.  

Governance requires that policies are written and enforced. The policies must align with the cloud migration strategy and be understood by those managing the hybrid cloud environment. 

  1. Understanding SLAs 

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) will exist between the IT department and the business as well as between the business and partners and suppliers, including any MSPs. Challenges can arise if there is limited clarity around who owns what and who is responsible for what.  

It is important to remember that responsibility for data ultimately lies with the business, not the cloud provider, so data protection and data management remain critical. This is another area where the right MSP partner is well positioned to assist.  

Avoiding the fall 

Businesses need to be incredibly careful when migrating to the cloud as it can have a huge impact both operationally and financially. Systems must first be understood, and the migration carefully planned and prioritised before any move is considered. It is also imperative to have management or leadership buy-in, and to have a plan in place of the order of priority, the impact of the migration, and the best approach to take.  

Partnering with an MSP with appropriate skills and experience can be hugely beneficial, not only before and during a migration, but after the fact as well. An MSP partner can assist with planning sessions to assist with smooth migration, and they can be invaluable in the ongoing data management, movement of data, and support of these systems. 


By Marius Maritz, Technical Manager at DMP SA