Organizations that want to migrate its business technologies to the cloud should align the company mindset from the top down. Moving from on-premises technology to cloud computing requires more than simply moving data from one place to another. Finding success in the cloud requires a well-thought-out migration plan, which means you need to first understand your overall business objectives. Start by deciding whether a move to the cloud will actually help meet your business goals. Investing time and developing a formal plan is essential for a successful transition.
Instead of trying to mold cloud technologies to fit your business needs, try starting backwards! Identify the cloud technologies that will work as-is to solve your current business goals. This may require a corporate mind shift that prioritizes strategy above technology and a team that can work together or with your managed IT solutions team to formulate and lead the transition.
Identify Business Objectives
Pinpointing the exact need for moving your business systems to cloud computing is critical. If you decide to migrate your current infrastructure to the cloud without a clear understanding of the business needs, or without a detailed plan, it could end up costing more in the long run.
Common business drivers for moving to the cloud include:
- Improving disaster recovery
- Increasing computer resources
- Minimizing performance issues
- Optimizing application or hardware upgrades
- Meeting compliance requirements
- Moving from a CapEx hardware management model to an OpEx virtual model
- Increasing efficiency or flexibility
If you’ve already made the switch to virtualized platforms then moving to the cloud won’t be much different, but developing a plan that helps shift your business model to cloud computing will improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Talk to Internal Users
Don’t automatically assume that you know what technologies are best to run the business. Speak with departmental teams to understand what challenges they face and what cloud-based systems may help improve. Don’t hesitate to request feedback. Taking these steps will help you evaluate the most beneficial cloud technologies for internal teams and will help speed up user adoption once the migration happens.
Preparing employees for the shift and getting them up to speed on the solutions once they have access is a critical part in a successful cloud transition. It’s important for management to identify who will be working with the cloud solutions and what training may be needed.
Use the Correct Cloud for Each Process
Different portions of your business may require other cloud deployment models. Compliance standards could be a requirement for either financial or sensitive data Some sectors may require private cloud, while other areas may be able to use shared cloud services.
If your company hasn’t moved any systems to a virtualized platform (4 Benefits to Transitioning to Virtualization Technology), then you may consider a hybrid approach before moving everything to the cloud.
Don’t Overlook Ongoing Operations
Migrating your systems is only the first step in moving to the cloud. Once everything is in the cloud, you need to have a plan for ongoing operations to maintain security, updates, and performance. If the IT team doesn’t have the personnel or skills to manage the cloud environment, you need to work with a managed services partner.
Having someone dedicated to managing the cloud environment ensures that systems stay updated and monitored to protect against unauthorized access. A dedicated team also ensures the newest features are available to end-users and that accurate reporting on performance and IT initiatives are provided to company executives.
Moving to the cloud for any business can be financially and operationally beneficial if it’s done right. But in order to do so, first, you must understand the full scope of migrating your systems and secondly, you must be willing to shift the corporate mindset. This is vital to the success of your business and a transition to cloud services.
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