While there is no doubt that a cloud enterprise brings with it the benefits of reduced costs, agility and flexibility in terms of resource sharing, many organizations, especially the ones with large amounts of data and/or sensitive information like in the case of insurance and healthcare, fear the amount of risk in terms of security or loss of data involved in migrating to the cloud. Other challenges that deter businesses are the complexities involved in adapting to the newer technologies, the cost involved, and the time involved in moving the entire business from one environment to the other.
If you are someone who has figured out that the pros of moving and adapting to the cloud far outweighs the apparent difficulties and that the cloud is really the way forward, read on to know how best you can move your business to the cloud without getting hassled by the hindrances. We, at Suyati, provide you with top six tips to manage your migration smoothly.
1.Select your cloud service provider wisely
It is easy to get swayed by the number of service providers and distracted with the urgency to remain ahead. However, it is imperative that you take your time to evaluate your options well and choose the cloud that is right for you and your business. You need to be aware of the interplay of a variety of factors in this regard, namely:
The SLA: The Service Level Agreement or SLA needs to be scrutinized minutely and any ambiguity in terms of security or other particular compliance requirements (like HIPAA or EU Data Protection Directive) needs to be sorted out.
The Pricing: Get a thorough understanding of how the service provider is going to bill you and what are the services offered. The key is to find the converging point between the perfect package and your requirements.
Support and add-ons: Service providers are expected to give a heads up in the case of issues that might affect your company’s productivity so that you are well prepared for the downtime. Similarly, with multiple cloud models like the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, it’s worthwhile to evaluate which managed services are covered in the agreement and what are the costs of (any) add-ons.
Security: Big players like Amazon and Google are ISO certified when it comes to providing a secure blanket for their customers. Make sure the provider you choose provides the level of security you desire and require for your business.
2.Do it one at a time
Migration is not a day’s (or even a month’s) job. Remember, Rome was not built in a day and you need to really take this slowly. It does not, however, mean having no plan in place and working haphazardly. You can begin by prioritizing and planning which applications need to go in first and which of them at the next stages. Experts suggest moving the ones that are easier and at a lower risk than others in terms of their complexity of use, the sensitivity of the information, and so on. These should typically be the ones that can leverage the advantages of the cloud instantly. This will provide a two-way benefit to the organization.
A controlled process: By having a well-structured move-out plan, you are in a better position to control and manage any unseen hiccups in the process. The visibility is also better in a sense that you exactly know how much of the migration is done and how much more is in the pipeline.
Feel-good factor: If the team is met with success in the initial stages, the team will be buoyed by the success and will be motivated to work more. Yes, migration can be a time- depleting task and it requires a lot of dedication and motivation to see it through.
3.Time to introspect and clean out cobwebs
An enterprise move, much like the shifting of a residence, gives you an opportunity to start afresh with everything in place. So, before you consider migrating to a cloud, it is a good time to weed out the data and applications that are redundant or obsolete. It is also a great time to bring out the best practices to the fore and set right procedures that are not working, meeting standards or adhering to policies.
4.Prepare yourself and the team for the change
The solutions offered by the cloud might be way different from what you and your team have been hitherto used to. Any change can rock the boat if not handled gently and maturely. An outward change calls for a change within and the same applies to the kind of IT solutions and network that have been a part of the organizations for decades. The cloud has blurred the boundaries of the individual departments and provides a cohesive environment to collaborate as a whole unit. The team needs to let go of the old way of working in silos and develop the aptitude to learn beyond their sphere of work and adapt as demanded by the cloud way of working.
A good way to be prepared would be to take up training sessions before the migration and also after to have a smooth transition.
5.Beware of latency with connections
Eric Geiger, Vice-President, It Operations, at Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, warns organizations of getting lax with the connection issues. The connections that worked well in the earlier set up might not ramp up well at the cloud and the latency could be annoying and frustrating for the users. Hence, it is advised to pay attention to the connections that will hold your network together.
6.And, finally, have a plan B ready
As with any change, there are chances that things do not progress as per expectations. So, what is your best bet in the face of a worst-case scenario? Plan B, yes! Plan B would mean having a back-up of all the files and folders that can be retrieved at any point of time so that the business stays unaffected in the case of any eventuality.
If you are considering a move to the cloud or have already moved, let us know if these tips helped you or share with us your experiences.