The Road to Cloud Success

Why do Cloud Migrations (Often) Fail?

How to master cloud journeys and unlock their full potential

Are you struggling with your cloud migration? You are not alone. At BCG Platinion, we’ve found that most businesses face barriers trying to develop and implement seamless cloud projects. Yet, it is clear to all of them that the main question concering cloud has shifted from an “if” to a “how”. Today’s landscape has rapidly accelerated digital transformation through cloud adoption. The C-suite are well aware of the value of the cloud, to such a great degree that most CIOs and CTOs see it as an imperative for maintaining continuous IT competitiveness.


This is an introduction to a three-part series of articles, focused on demonstrating effective and sustainable cloud adoption, and exploring the various stages that contribute to a successful cloud migration.


Our Experience


Recent examples from our client work shows that cloud projects often miss their planned objectives and result in unintended negative outcomes.


Across the span of these cases, we see five different elements that companies usually either underestimate or fail to consider when planning and executing a cloud migration project.





We observed common pitfalls across five cloud pillars that limit value realization of cloud





To build a solid business case for cloud adoption, it’s crucial to avoid common pitfalls that could lead to a flawed cost analysis and missed opportunities. Some common pitfalls to watch out for include:


  • Narrowly focusing on comparing on-premises costs with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) costs, without considering the total cost of ownership

  • Failing to consider transformation opportunities, such as adopting cloud-native assets like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which can result in more significant cost savings and operational efficiencies

  • Not accounting for hidden costs associated with the migration process, such as unused public IPs or network traffic within virtual machines or across regions


Lack of proper planning is another primary pitfall. Companies that plan too much in advance risk wasting time and resources on a strategy that will soon become obsolete, while those that do not plan enough risk failure due to a lack of direction and guidance.



Organizations that attempt to replicate the legacy enterprise data centre in the cloud also face disadvantages. Some examples include:


  • Limiting themselves to lift and shift migration, rather than launching application transformation programs
  • Not updating the operating model (processes, people skills and tools) and slowing down teams, limiting experimentation and innovation and making it more difficult to benefit from cloud technology



Despite these risks, cloud migration is nowadays a strategic imperative for most, as it can yield significant benefits such as:

  • 1.

    Reduced IT spend achieved by application and technology portfolio rationalization

  • 2.

    Focus on core capabilities by decommissioning on-premises infrastructure and adoption of serverless architecture.

  • 3.

    Advanced data analytics facilitated thanks to availability of dynamic computing and storage resources.

  • 4.

    Increased agility and speed by replacing legacy applications with SaaS.

  • 5.

    Cutting edge technology more easily accessible (technology democratization) thanks to native cloud services and product e.g., generative AI API, machine learning, automated reports, and cost reduction recommendations.

    Cloud adoption is a key imperative within Digital Transformation—for many reasons

    Mastering the journey to cloud success

    Other benefits of the cloud include:



    • Cloud elasticity allowing companies to launch and scale new services within seconds rather than months
    • New pricing models enabling lower pricing points, and the ability to avoid large upfront investments
    • IT operations excellence through the standardization, automation, and simplification of processes via managed services. The availability of technical templates enables standardization, simplification of incident resolution, and a reduction in IT efforts. This allows resources to be allocated to more valuable applications
    • Business resilience thank to built-in high availability features ensuring a relevant reduction in service disruptions, while simultaneously increasing business continuity. This helps organizations develop an improved disaster recovery strategy.





    These factors and others combine to make cloud technology highly cost-effective, especially when the correct cost control mechanisms are in place.



    The journey to the cloud can be a complex and challenging process, but by using the right approach it can also be a major catalyst for business transformation and growth.


    To ensure a successful cloud migration, companies need to pay particular attention to the three main phases of their cloud journey:


    Build, Scale-up, and innovate.

    Find out how to master all the three phases in our article series.





    About the Authors

    Gianfranco Cuscito

    Managing Director & Partner
    Milan, Italy

    Combining experience in top consulting firms and major corporations, Gianfranco is highly successful in delivering complex IT transformation and restructuring. Gianfranco joined BCG Platinion in 2017 to lead the recently founded Italian branch. He is in charge of promoting the business objectives as well as the development of staff and office activities. Before joining, Gianfranco covered key leadership positions within renowned consulting firms, and held managerial positions as CTO for one major Italian Utilities and as COO for an Italian Telco operator. His professional experience is primarily dedicated to IT strategy, transformation and restructuring, IT application & infrastructure optimization, as well as digital architecture, cloud strategy and complex digital transformation programs mainly in the Energy & Utilities and TMT industries. Gianfranco received his degree in Economics with Honor from Università degli Studi di Bari, Italy in 1999.

    Antonio Spanò

    Milan, Italy

    As a manager at BCG Platinion’s Milan office, Antonio Spanò has eight years of experience in consulting. He specializes in leading projects for the industrial goods and energy practice areas, ranging from IT strategy to digital and cloud transformation implementation, across Europe and the Middle East.

    Federico Cozzi

    Senior Consultant
    Milan, Italy

    Federico is a Senior Consultant at BCG Platinion with 7 years of experience and a focus on cloud & data strategy projects as well as IT transformations. Since he joined BCG Platinion in 2019, Federico has supported clients across several industries, from Energy and Consumer Goods to Financial Institutions. Today Federico is specialized on supporting the development of the IT & digital agenda of clients in the Industrial Goods industry practice area, across Europe and Asia.

    Michele Colombo

    Milan, Italy

    Michele Colombo is a Manager at BCG Platinion based out of Milan and focusing on IT Strategy, Cloud & Data projects for clients in the Financial Institutions, Energy and Private Equity industries across Europe, Middle East and Asia.

    Marco Tassiero

    Milan, Italy

    Marco Tassiero is a Manager at BCG Platinion with more than 7 years of experience in Digital Transformation and Application Landscape Modernization projects. He joined the firm after a previous experience in another consultancy company focused on Customer Journey Automation and Customer Service Excellence. In his role in BCG Platinion Marco has supported clients from different industries, such as Energy and Consumer Goods, in designing, launching and managing their Cloud Journeys.