If you’re like many organizations worldwide who are interested in benefiting from the almost limitless possibilities of the cloud but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. While independent research and correspondence with vendors are highly encouraged to narrow down your options and make an informed decision, we offer a good starting point with the do’s and don’ts of cloud migration.
Be Selective with Your Data
Just like before you move into a new home you host a garage sale to get rid of outdated and unimportant belongings, so to is it a good idea to be picky about what is transferred to the cloud and what stays behind. Whether it’s PST files, photos of your company’s annual Christmas party, or documents covering the latest project your company has been slaving over, only moving what is absolutely critical to the business saves time, money, and frees up storage that can be used for more important activities down the road.
Create a SLA
This is nonnegotiable; most industries face various compliance acts and regulatory bylaws they must abide by, so your cloud migration partner should be made aware of these through a written agreement – more than awareness, they should have the skills to meet all of your unique industry regulations. Further, on their end, you are more than welcome to expect SLAs with guaranteed uptimes. In this way, you can hold a service provider accountable if their “99.9% uptime guarantee” offered more downtime than you had anticipated.
Choose Your Partner Wisely
As already mentioned, make sure your cloud service provider can make guarantees for their services; while actions do speak louder than words, having written agreements and conversations about their services can help your organization in the future if there are ever any discrepancies or miscommunications about expectations or quality. Speaking of quality, you shouldn’t have to compromise on it for the sake of cheaper fees. Don’t automatically go for the lowest bidder because you think it will save you money in the long run. Many times, those who promote the lowest prices often have hidden fees that will quickly rack up the IT spend. To avoid feeling duped, spend as much time as you need to compare prices and services. That’s a good rule of thumb for any product, but is increasingly important for IT services that are continuously paid for each billing cycle.
Jump The Gun
Many companies hop on the cloud bandwagon because they see their competitors migrating and they believe they have to do so as well to survive. This is not the case. Each business is unique, and requires different methods for IT management. Whether you decide to migrate to the cloud or not, take time to discuss all of your options with your team members to find the right course of action. This may include some sort of informal cost-benefit analysis or whatever it takes for your team to come to an informed consensus.
If security isn’t one of the service provider’s top concerns, you shouldn’t make your organization one of their top clients. One of the easiest ways to rule out providers is asking them about their multi-tenant capabilities. If the provider in question can’t treat each client as a closed, separate entity, – meaning users from other companies could theoretically access your data and vice versa – they shouldn’t get your business. Proprietary information should be for your organizational members’ eyes only. Another factor to consider is if the provider offers remote IT monitoring and management; if they do, you can rest assured your network is being taken care of no matter where the data center is housed.
Forget About Training
Whether you have decided to go it alone or have chosen to work with a cloud migration partner, training your end users is essential to get the most out of the migration. Have your IT team or managed service provider give training sessions so your end users can be at least somewhat technically proficient. This will minimize calls to the help desk and prevent productivity from taking a nosedive.
Miss The Big Picture
When it comes to your company, every decision should be made to improve or otherwise enhance the business in some way. If moving to the cloud doesn’t offer you cost savings, faster time to market for application development, improved business collaboration, or some other intangible benefit(s), what exactly is the point of migrating? The cloud can serve a multitude of purposes, but it’s up to your organization to find what those purposes are. The biggest takeaway here is to make sure you’re not simply migrating to the cloud because it’s trendy and fashion-forward in the IT world; your cloud migration must be aligned with your overall business strategy for it to be successful.
If your organization has weighed the pros and cons of a cloud migration and are ready to make the transition, consider Strategic SaaS for your cloud consulting needs. For more information or a free one-on-one consultation, contact us today!