With an incredible 95 percent of organizations already using the cloud in some fashion, it’s no surprise that there is an endless stream of advice on how to achieve a successful cloud migration.

Indeed, a quick Google search for tips on successfully migrating to the cloud yields thousands of pages of results. The articles advise readers to consider factors, such as reliability, public versus private versus hybrid considerations, and more. However, few experts even mention that an organization’s identity and access management (IAM) system could also have a profound impact on how “cloud ready” an organization actually is.

Organizations invest an average of $1.62 million in cloud computing, according to research by IDG Enterprise. With such a hefty sum invested into your cloud environment, you want to make sure your migration is done right. And yet many organizations, are leaving IAM as an afterthought—incorrectly thinking that it has little to do with their move to the cloud—or scrambling to implement an IAM infrastructure after migration.

In fact, modern IAM solutions facilitate cloud migration. The very migration challenges that keep IT directors and chief information officers up at night are closely tied to IAM. So, the time to ensure you have a comprehensive, effective IAM solution in place is before—not after—your organization moves to the cloud.

The Challenges of Cloud Migration

Although cloud adoption is rapidly growing, organizations of all sizes still have serious reservations about making the move themselves. And, while many IT professionals view cloud migration and IAM as separate concerns, it’s important to realize that the latter actually relates closely to all of the top challenges of cloud migration.

For example, consider security—a factor that is still considered a “major concern” for 25 percent of organizations. It’s understandable that many IT professionals worry that the cloud will be less secure than their data center. After all, they will lose some degree of visibility into their IT infrastructure after they put their trust in the cloud services provider. Many wonder how they will know who has access to what—a question they feel they can confidently answer about their data center.

In any organization, IAM is a key component of the overall security program, enabling critical administration, authentication, authorization, and audit responsibilities. And, it turns out, these are precisely the concerns that lead many to worry about the security of their new cloud environment. But by making IAM a focus of your cloud migration strategy, you can ensure that each of these obstacles is resolved early on—before you begin to migrate applications—so that your organization can enjoy proper security and access controls as soon as it switches to the cloud.

Adopting a modern IAM solution offers several additional benefits relating to cloud security. Since security and access controls are already established, you won’t experience the delays and rising costs associated with determining these settings post-migration. As a result, your organization can enjoy a faster time to value for your cloud investment.

You’ll also enjoy several important benefits over time. With a modern IAM solution in place, your organization has the flexibility to readily grow and expand its existing cloud services, or incorporate new ones, without having to re-orchestrate the cloud environment and re-establish identity and access control settings. Adopting a comprehensive IAM software prior to cloud migration creates a solid foundation that allows you to scale your cloud services as needed. As your organization grows and evolves in the coming years, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that you security position and your cloud services can easily keep pace.

Learn More

Of course, security isn’t the only concern that organizations encounter when migrating to the cloud. There are four more challenges that are probably giving you headaches as well. Download our e-book, “Overcome the Top 5 Cloud Migration Obstacles with Identity and Access Management” to learn more about the other leading concerns for organizations moving to the cloud and how they relate to IAM.