It’s likely you already use it in your personal life, perhaps to store digital photos and documents or even for backing up your phone.
But, moving to the cloud can be complex. The biggest issue is the process of migration – of physically moving all your data from your in-house servers to a remote storage facility without breaking something or losing data along the way.
With good planning and the right strategy in place, migrating to the cloud could be one of the best business decisions you can make.
The first and most important question to ask: Is this the right thing to do at the right time?
Before you begin strategizing, you’ll need to decide if it’s the right time for your business to migrate to the cloud.
A trusted IT support partner will be able to help you to make that decision based on several factors unique to your business. Here’s a quick look at some of the main benefits and challenges.
Decreased Hosting Costs
You’ll no longer need to keep your in-house servers running and maintained. And, there’s also no capital expenditure to consider, as cloud services are usually subscription-based – no hardware to buy.
Cloud-based services allow you to scale your capacity as and when you need to, automatically. If your business proliferates, you won’t need to change your entire infrastructure to meet your new needs.
It also means that maintenance and updating can be carried out remotely, making it much faster to fix problems, which means less downtime.
This is a massive priority for cloud service providers. Keeping your data safe is as crucial to their reputation as yours. They offer greater security than you get from in-house servers, and they have additional measures to provide maximum protection.
Improved Disaster Recovery
This is vital for any business. While you should already have a solid disaster recovery plan when you move to the cloud, the backup and recovery solutions you will benefit from will be more cost-effective and less time-consuming.
These are the challenges.
Migration may take your servers down for a time. As well as the obvious implications, this can affect your applications’ performance if they’re not correctly backed up.
Your data is most vulnerable during the migration process. Extreme care and adequate measures must avoid lost information or a breach.
Some of your older applications may struggle to communicate with newer cloud services. This means you may have to adapt some of your processes to fit your new cloud provider.
You’ve decided that migrating to the cloud is the best option for your business; you’ll need to start some preliminary planning. Before you can do this, it’s essential that you understand your reasons for moving to the cloud and the benefits you’re expecting to get from it.
Making Big Decisions
Next, you’ll need to decide what level of cloud integration your business will need.
This might sound complicated, but remember, you’ll already understand your cloud server requirements if you’ve created a good plan. Now is the time to make the right choices to suit your business.
You will need to decide if a single or multi-cloud solution is best.
Choosing a single cloud provider makes for a more straightforward migration. However, the downside is that you’re locked in with just one provider. That means you’re essentially starting the entire process for any future migration. It could also make it harder for you to negotiate terms, like pricing or service level agreements (SLAs).
A multi-cloud solution means you use two or more cloud providers. This effectively means you can take advantage of several different benefits simultaneously.
Implementing the Migration
While you probably won’t be handling the physical migration yourself, you need to plan how it will happen. Will you switch your entire system to your new cloud version all at once, or will you do it a little at a time?
There are pros and cons to each method, but realistically, moving it piece by piece allows you the opportunity to test if those things are working as they should be without risking downtime in the process.
Nothing can be declared a success without proof that it works as anticipated.
Create a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help you see precisely how well your new cloud-based system performs. Your KPIs should measure success and be a good indicator or a pre-warning there’s a problem on the horizon. QCBN
By Theo Soumilas
For additional information or to schedule an appointment to assist your business, call Theo Soumilas at 928-719-7724 or visit www.northernazit.com.
Theo Soumilas is the owner of Northern Arizona IT servicing Arizona.