More organizations are moving to the cloud than ever before. If your organization is also looking at cloud migration, then there are several steps that you’ll need to take before you’ll be able to reap the full rewards of cloud services.
Here are a few considerations you’ll have to make before you’ll be ready to migrate your organization to the cloud:
Determine what the cloud will do for you
You aren’t ready to pursue cloud migration until you take a thorough look at your goals for the move to a new platform. With the cloud, you should seek to make improvements across your entire organization. However, you should begin your assessment with your various IT needs. What are you currently spending on IT? Would the cloud help reduce those expenditures?
In addition, you should look at your usage of your existing IT resources. If this usage tends to fluctuate, then perhaps the cloud could provide the flexibility you need to meet your ever-changing needs. Many organizations also use the cloud as a way to reduce the burden on their IT staff and make them more efficient.
After determining how the cloud will impact IT, you should turn your attention to your broader business goals. The more the cloud can do to streamline operations and support your end users, the more reason to pursue migration. The cloud can also prove instrumental in driving business innovation and providing the agility you need to stay ahead of the competition.
Get your team ready for the move
Your organization can’t move to the cloud and expect every member of staff to be prepared for such a major transition. Migration should stay off the table until you are sure that you have facilitated all the training and change management needed to get your entire team on board with the move.
Long before you begin the migration process, you should evaluate the level of in-house cloud experience you currently possess. If you have anyone that has experience with cloud migration, then you should select them to head up the move. Build a team around them, supplementing your staff with outside consultants if you don’t have experienced personnel in house. Your cloud provider can also lend their own expertise to help guide you through the migration process.
Before launching your new cloud services, you should also provide relevant training to your end users. After all, they are the ones who will have the most day-to-day interaction with your cloud services. To maximize the benefits of the cloud, you should develop a training program to familiarize your team with the ins and outs of your new cloud platform.
Develop a security plan
Security remains one of the biggest concerns among new cloud adopters. As such, you shouldn’t treat cloud security as an afterthought. Cloud vendors will only bear part of the security burden. You must have your own security plan set in stone before you move even a single resource onto the cloud.
Your plan should begin with an outline of your most pressing security concerns. Perhaps you work in an industry that requires you to adhere to certain compliance regulations, or maybe you handle particularly sensitive information that requires an extra level of security.
Whatever your concerns may be, you must ensure that your security plan addresses them. This will make it far easier and safer to transition your organization’s data to the cloud and keep it secure once it’s there.
In your security plan, you should also seek to minimize any potential vulnerabilities before they become an issue. For instance, building a policy around data encryption will improve the safety of information both in transit and at rest. You should also take time to evaluate your vendor’s security policies to ensure that there are no potential risks to your cloud security within their data centers.
Ensure your cloud’s reliability
Many organizations struggle with cloud latency and other hindrances to the reliability of their cloud platforms. In preparing for migration, you must take the right steps to ensure that your cloud environment will be as reliable as possible.
In the cloud, reliability begins with your cloud provider. When first looking at potential choices, you should use their reliability metrics to drive your decision. Look at how much uptime and downtime they’ve experienced in the last few years. Most vendors will guarantee a certain level of availability, barring any outages they plan specifically for maintenance, updates, and other purposes.
The location of your vendor’s data centers can also affect the reliability of their services. If you are too far from their servers, then you could experience latency that affects the speed of service. Data centers that are more susceptible to natural disasters may also experience more downtime, leading to a less reliable cloud platform.
Choose what to move to the cloud
Knowing what you intend to move to the cloud and what you plan to keep in house is, perhaps, the most important consideration you need to make before you will be ready for migration. Most organizations begin migration by moving the least mission-critical apps and data. This allows them to ease into the cloud without running the risk of their most important functions becoming unavailable. Beyond that, you’ll need to decide what to move to the cloud based on factors such as function and security requirements. Not every file, app, and service will be suitable for the move to the cloud, so you will need to take a thorough inventory of all your resources to determine what to move.