Business Cloud Migration: Strategies and Where to Start
A lot of businesses are moving their data storage to the cloud, and it’s not hard to see why; there are a number of benefits of cloud computing, not to mention the added business security of having cloud disaster recovery services. But once you make the decision to move your business over to the cloud, you have a whole new task ahead of you: actually making the move. It can seem a bit daunting, getting all of your files and applications over to your secure cloud server, but proper planning and strategizing can make it a lot easier. Here’s what you need to know about the process behind migrating your business to the cloud.
Determine What Kind of Cloud Service(s) You Need
All cloud models are not the same, and you shouldn’t treat them as such. It’s important to evaluate the needs of your company’s applications and data storage to determine what kinds of features, security, and setup you need. For example, Google Drive and Amazon Web Services may work well for some small businesses, but if you work in a highly-regulated industry, like healthcare or financial services, using one of these or other public cloud options is unacceptable. Private cloud models offer more control and security, but are less scalable, meaning that businesses who have high expectations for expansion might find themselves running into issues if they grow too large for their private cloud. Some businesses may want to consider hybrid cloud computing options, which offer the best of both worlds.
Evaluate Your Applications’ Ability to Perform in the Cloud
Some applications require more ready access to your company’s data files and on-premise equipment, which might make them perform less admirably in the cloud space. Others, however, may actually perform better in the cloud. It’s also important to consider how geographic usage may affect your applications’ performance and cloud costs. Ask your cloud provider about customizing geographic usage to get the most for your money without paying too much.
Do Your Research into Potential Providers
Again, don’t assume all cloud models are the same. Different providers offer different features, security measures, support protocols, and more. Providers also have varying terms, fees, conditions, and other factors that you should look into to ensure that your company is protected. Make sure to evaluate the terms of service, schedules of fees, support procedures, security measures, and more to ensure that they align with your company’s goals and needs. You should also check out the provider’s certifications to make sure they are satisfactory and up-to-date. Compare providers carefully to determine which one will offer you the best value for money.
Determine the Best Way to Move Files and Applications to the Cloud
Moving gigabytes or even terabytes of data to the cloud can be quite the undertaking. Some companies, particularly small ones, choose to move chunks of data at a time and sync their systems through the internet, while others choose to ship the physical storage disks to the cloud provider to be uploaded directly. It depends on the amount and type of data that you are moving as to what method you should use. During this phase, you should also be creating your timeline as to when files and applications should be moved, what should be altered once they are there, and the stages through which the company will make the transition. Most experts recommend migrating your business to the cloud in phases. Start small, move a few applications and files over at a time, test them, make adjustments, then move on to the next set.
Consider What to Do with Leftover Hardware after the Migration
Part of your cloud migration planning should include what to do when you’re done with the migration itself. When you’ve finished moving over your chosen files and applications to the cloud, you should consolidate what data you have left on your servers into as few machines as possible, saving you a great deal of energy and making your network more streamlined. At this point, you’ll likely have at least a few pieces of hardware that are no longer required. Don’t let them collect dust in your server rooms. Some companies prefer to have these machines hauled off and recycled or otherwise properly disposed of (after having them wiped for the sake of business security). However, it’s not a bad idea to consider selling the hardware to recuperate some of your investment, as used computer and server components may be in demand (depending on the age of the hardware in question).
Consult the Experts
It’s never a bad idea to have a cloud expert working with your team to make the transition as smooth as possible. If you’re looking for a cloud service or experts in the cloud industry, talk to Customer 1st Communications. We offer affordable and secure cloud services and cloud disaster recovery, and we have knowledgeable, experienced professionals who will work with you to determine the right cloud services for you. For a free consultation, call 855-TECH-C1C (855-832-4212) or contact us online!