6 Barriers to Moving and Managing Legacy Data to the Cloud

When moving legacy data to cloud, companies must overcome several barriers to take full advantage of the benefits a cloud architecture can offer.

Sam Bocetta

February 8, 2022

4 Min Read
6 Barriers to Moving and Managing Legacy Data to the Cloud
(Source: Pixabay)

More companies than ever are moving their legacy data to the cloud for easier access, better security, and more streamlined data management, often with the assistance of a cloud service provider. However, some companies find it difficult to take this step, preferring to keep legacy data on outdated infrastructure.

Today, we’ll break down six major barriers to moving and managing legacy data to the cloud.

IT Security Concerns

Many organizations worry about security concerns for their legacy data, both for the migration process and the security of cloud services themselves. When organizations are used to caring for and securing their data, it can be difficult to give it up to another organization, even if they have a proven track record for cloud security.

Cost Issues

Next, organizations may find the cost of migrating legacy data to cloud services too high. Cloud adoption does take some amount of cash out of a company’s budget, both for the initial migration and for regular subscriptions to the cloud services.

Furthermore, a company must determine whether migrating legacy data to the cloud will be worth the initial and ongoing investment. If a company is unconvinced on this point, they may opt to keep their legacy data on their own servers, despite the cloud’s many advantages, ranging from helping set up sales frameworks to better customer retention and more.

Lacking Technical Resources to Migrate Data

Alternatively, a company may not have the technical know-how or resources needed to migrate their legacy data to cloud servers effectively. If a cloud service provider doesn’t offer technical support, it’s on the company’s shoulders to plan and perform data migration themselves.

Of course, most cloud service providers do offer technical support, and many will offer to migrate legacy data to the cloud as part of their onboarding package. Still, this must be accounted for as a potential barrier to moving legacy data to the cloud in the first place.

Technical issues can become even more prevalent and potentially cost-prohibitive if the legacy data in question is on complex servers or infrastructure that is difficult for the migrating team to handle. Generally, the older the legacy data and systems, the harder it is to migrate the data to the cloud.

Lack of Control of Data in the Cloud

Some organizations may find the lack of absolute control over their legacy data an insurmountable obstacle to migration, even if that means they miss out on certain benefits.

Many organizations, including those that have been around for decades, take great pride in managing and organizing their legacy data. Some of the data may be especially sensitive to former or current clients.

When data is stored on the cloud, a third-party (the cloud services provider) technically has access to the data, even if they are legally bound not to look at it. A company must trust its managed cloud services provider to overcome this possible issue.

The Data Is Too Complex To Be Migrated

Just like very old data can be difficult to migrate to the cloud, overly complex data can also be tough to migrate, even for experienced technicians. For example, unstructured data is typically harder to migrate, especially if it is legacy or very old.

Unstructured data may also be difficult to structure or organize once it has been moved to a cloud server. Because of this complexity, a company’s technicians or IT professionals must often work directly with the employees of a cloud services provider to ensure logical and structured migration.

This, in turn, takes additional time and resources away from a company’s primary production or other objectives. On top of all that, data complexity could lead to further technical hurdles later down the road; in some cases, overly complex data may not suit modern cloud services at all.

Regulation and Compliance

Lastly, some companies may find ongoing regulation and compliance issues to be big barriers when considering managing their legacy data on the cloud. Global privacy regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA are more important than ever.

Such legislation imposes significant restrictions on companies and forces them to consider customer data security and management carefully. Because the fines for breaching these legislative restrictions can be high, some companies may wish to oversee regulation and compliance themselves rather than hand it over to a third party.


Ultimately, each of these barriers is surmountable, especially with the right cloud services provider. Companies shouldn’t let these potential downsides stop them from moving their legacy data to the cloud.

That said, until each of these barriers are routinely dismissed or easily prevented, it’s unlikely that all companies will take full advantage of cloud architecture to its maximum extent and effectiveness.

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About the Author(s)

Sam Bocetta

Sam Bocetta is a freelance journalist specializing in U.S. diplomacy and national security, with emphases on technology trends in cyberwarfare, cyberdefense, and cryptography.

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