Migrating to the cloud can be driven by a number of business factors – including reduced hardware costs, flexibility to work remotely and a system that is scalable. Like any migration, careful consideration and planning are necessary, we suggest following these key steps to ensure your move to the cloud runs smoothly:
Decide what applications and data to be migrated
You must first decide on what applications and data need to be kept in house and what needs to be managed on the cloud. Typical components involved include email services, data files and client applications. Not all applications are designed for the cloud and this is true if your enterprise has a number of older (legacy) applications. This will guide your decisions regarding cloud service, as you’ll need an option that provides sufficient space for your data.
If it’s been a while since the last time you archived information or cleaned up outdated customer information, this is a good time to do a little (or a lot of) spring cleaning. Once critical data has been determined, your IT support provider will be able to determine how much storage will be needed now and in the future, and whether you have enough internet bandwidth to support the remote access.
Develop a business continuity plan
You need to plan what will happen in the unfortunate event of the cloud system going offline or your office broadband going down, is there an offline copy of the data available? How quickly can the system be up and running offline if the cloud went down?
Understanding the costs
Cloud computing can often be more cost effective if done the right way, it can also get expensive if you follow the wrong processes. Understanding all the costs involved is a must before the migration. This is especially true if you have already made hardware infrastructure investments recently.
It is important to make sure that the system is scalable in line with the growth of your business. If you plan to grow your business and take on additional staff or move in to new areas will the cloud system be able to accommodate these needs?
Test the platform
It is always best to perform a smaller scale test of the system with non-critical business data before full implementation. Once you are satisfied that the migration was successful and that the platform and applications are working efficiently, you should be ready to implement your business migration on a full scale.
When migrating to the cloud each business will be different bringing unique requirements depending on the type of system being migrated, the size of the data and the amount of users running on the system.