5 Factors to Consider for Cloud Migration
In 2022, taking your business digital is almost impossible without adopting cloud solutions and systems, but it’s important to consider five factors before you dive in. A recent study explains that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for cloud migration between 2021 and 2026 is likely to increase by 16.3%.
While you may be aware of what the cloud is and how it works, migrating your business to the cloud can be overwhelming if you’re unprepared. To mitigate risks of unplanned expenses, security concerns, or IT infrastructure issues, consider the following five factors when planning your cloud migration.
Factor #1. Migration Goals
The first thing to ask yourself before you do something different is “why.” When it comes to business, big shifts often come with commitments, which begs the question: What is the motivation behind the change? Typically, when it comes to getting stakeholders and decision makers onboard, business leaders must determine their reasons for migrating to the cloud. Organizations usually focus on the following three motivators:
Many small businesses find that migrating to the cloud helps reduce and manage IT costs. Cloud solutions are usually set up to function as a software-as-a-service. This means that applications are hosted in a central location and available to users through a subscription-based pricing model. Organizations who use cloud business solutions save on hardware as well. Because data and solutions are stored off-site, storage and server hardware are no longer needed. The cost of migrating to the cloud means that IT costs move from a capital expense to an operating expense. This allows a company to predict monthly expenses, spread costs out over time and easily scale when they need to.
- Security. With the rise in cyber security breaches, safeguarding your company files and customer data becomes more critical than ever. Cloud security has improved dramatically over the years, but when migrating your data from on-premise to the cloud, there’s always the risk of an attack. For SMBs, data in the cloud can be more secure than data stored on-premise. Cloud providers consistently run security updates and have internal firewalls around data. Because data and solutions are stored in central locations, access to equipment and files is limited. Additionally, cloud providers encrypt all data and store backed up data in multiple locations.
- Operations/Functionality. Cloud solutions are more reliable than on-premise solutions which means that businesses minimize system downtime. Additionally, data is accessible anytime from anywhere if there’s an internet connection. This makes it appealing for companies who have employees who work remotely. Cloud solutions are also easier to scale as your business needs change. Companies can easily add and remove users and features as demands shift.
Factor #2. Infrastructure Changes and Performance
There are benefits for businesses that migrate to the cloud but migrating data and paying for licenses is only part of moving your business to the cloud. If your infrastructure can’t handle the traffic and data processing requirements, then there will be problems. To keep business operations running smoothly without any disruptions it’s crucial to evaluate these components:
- Data transfer bandwidth. You will need to determine if the current network bandwidth is adequate for the amount of data that will be moving across your network. If the bandwidth is not sufficient, your business will suffer because of latency issues and a decrease in user productivity. Your managed service provider can help you evaluate your current bandwidth and future network requirements.
- Legacy systems. Before starting a migration, you need to know how your current infrastructure will be affected. You may have applications and hardware that are the core of your business operations, but are not cloud compatible in their current state. Your system may be heavily integrated and support many dependencies which can be a challenge to transition to the cloud. If so, this will require a long preparation and thorough planning to avoid any risks and mistakes.
- Procedural changes. Migrating to the cloud means that businesses will need to change and adapt in the way employees work and the way they operate. Before you migrate your business to cloud technology, be mindful of how it will change organizational policies.
- Training requirements. To get the most out of migrating to the cloud, employees will need to receive proper training on how to access and use cloud solutions. Additionally, it’s imperative that companies develop and implement a cloud security policy.Topics that are typically addressed include:
- Employee use
- Types of data allowed
- Incident response procedures
- Access management
Factor #3. Roles & Responsibilities
It’s important to keep in mind that certain job responsibilities are going to change when you transition to the cloud. This is especially true for the IT team. Responsibilities for the IT team will focus more on integrations with cloud solutions and managing end-to-end capabilities. New responsibilities that may need to be added to roles include:
- Cloud security maintenance
- New cloud solutions evaluation and selection
- Risk Assessments
- Access control and permissions management
Factor #4. Compatibility & Cost
Transitioning to the cloud may have an impact on your technology resources including hardware compatibility and IT upgrades costs.
- Hardware compatibility. Performing an audit of your current IT infrastructure will allow you to identify and inventory hardware and infrastructural connections. This will provide any issues that might need addressing prior to the cloud migrations.
- Upgrade costs. Businesses that have been running their operations on outdated IT assets may need to spend some money to upgrade their IT infrastructure and resources to make them ready for the cloud. Make sure you have calculated all these costs in the planning stages.
Factor #5. Finding The Right Cloud Service Provider
The last but the most important factor you need to consider before transitioning to the cloud is finding the right cloud service provider to help support your business. There are many cloud service providers, and the number is only increasing. So how do you know who the best provider is for your business? The following criteria can help you evaluate cloud service providers.
The right cloud service provider should:
- Guarantee maximum data security
- Comply with government policies for data
- Have years of experience
- Be competent and reliable
- Have verified business standards and certifications
- Focus on security measures
- Provide SLAs
Always think clearly and evaluate all the long- and short-term factors before migrating your business to the cloud. Working with your managed IT service provider and addressing these five factors will help you thoroughly prepare for your business transition to the cloud.
Visual Edge IT, Inc. (VEIT) specializes in managed IT services and security, cloud computing, and print/copy solutions for businesses across the U.S. including remote office locations. We offer a full line of office technology and services including 24/7 remote monitoring and administration of networks, service desk, and data backup and restore to improve business processes across a variety of industries. Plus, Visual Edge IT™ represents the industry’s leading manufacturers of office technology allowing businesses to get equipment, supplies and service from a single source. Backed by more than 20-years of technology service and a national network of expert engineers, VEIT is uniquely positioned to support business technology needs. The company is headquartered in North Canton, OH, USA. Request your no-obligation assessment today and get a free dark web analysis.