As we’ve written many times here in our blogs, there are countless advantages and hundreds of reasons for companies to migrate their IT into the cloud. After all, the cloud is no longer the preserve of huge multinational industries. It has benefits for every company, especially these days when smartphone technology and telecommuting mean that people depend on IT mobility and instant access to data.
So if you haven’t made the move and are determined to do so, you’ll need to ensure that your company is ready. Migrating to the cloud can be relatively simple and painless if you’re being helped by a service provider such as Damson Cloud. But it isn’t as simple as flicking a switch, saying some magic words and making the switch. You need to make a thorough assessment of your needs and current setup and ensure that everyone in the company, not just the IT team is fully prepared. It can only be ensured when the groundwork is properly done that you’ll enjoy a solid cloud setup.
Of course, your company will have its own unique needs but when it comes to determining cloud readiness, there are factors common to all organisations. Let’s take a look at them.
Ask yourself what your goals are
What are you hoping to get out of migrating to the cloud? Is it mobility or collaboration benefits that you’re seeking or is it just a way of increasing convenience and cutting costs? Thanks to document sharing, anywhere access and virtual servers, the cloud helps in all of these areas, but when you have established exactly what aspects of your company you want to migrate and why, you are in a better position to get a set up that meets your goals.
Have a strategy in place
There are a bewildering array of options when it comes to cloud migrations. So as with any new technology, you need to ensure you have a plan in place if you want to migrate. A cloud readiness assessment is essential and can save you headaches down the line. When you have a thorough understanding of your current IT capabilities and what the optimal setup will be for your company, you can prepare to align your new cloud systems with your business goals.
Look at what you’re working with now
The bottom line is always important for SMBs and new IT equipment is costly, which is why we so often run our systems on slightly outdated tech. When assessing your cloud readiness, you need to take stock of your infrastructure. If it’s creaking at the seams, you’ll need to make some updates before you can even think about migrating. Your current computers may be working well with an inhouse server but might not be able to cope with the demands of cloud computing.
If you’re lucky enough to be using relatively new technology, then you have more options. You may even be able to use your own servers in your provider’s data centre. At the end of the day, it all comes down to cost, so always consider the ROI into your plan. Of course, if under your current setup, you are maxing out your IT budget simply repairing old machines or on upgrading expensive servers, then the reduced cost of ownership that the cloud offers is well worth considering, not to mention the lower overall maintenance costs.
Consider your workloads
Look at the business tools you use every day. The chances are that your main workload is taken up by business applications, email and any SaaS services you use. Then there are websites and other programs that may be vital. These take up a lot of server space and many will be closely integrated with each other and come with add-on applications. It makes sense for you to migrate all such applications together. But not all workloads are suitable for the cloud. You need to be sure that you are prioritising correctly and moving only the aspects of your IT setup that will benefit your processes. Look at any potential risk factors and countermeasures you need to take so that you face less chance of disruption or downtime during migration.
Even smaller companies can’t expect to move to the cloud overnight. It is always a good idea to migrate any non-critical applications first, as a way of testing the waters. That means if there are any problems, your ability to do business won’t be affected. If you have a wide range of applications that are critical for your business, these should be moved into the cloud in batches. It may be a good idea to hold your most strategic and critical applications back till you are sure that everything will work smoothly. And remember, some of your newer software and applications will migrate more easily than older legacy applications, so you have to evaluate whether to upgrade or work a way around this problem.
When you actually carry out a cloud migration is critical. You wouldn’t want to do it in the middle of your latest sales push or product launch. It is also a good idea to put a migration on hold if your company is only a few months away from any IT infrastructure upgrades – you will want to have the most optimal setup after all. The time period you decide on for migration will depend on your business. A service provider can help with a migration plan, but at the end of the day, it’s you as a business leader who knows when it’s time to make the move. Choose a time when you know staff can be trained and familiarised with everything and when your IT team have the ability to test systems.
Other things to remember
Keep your staff up to date with what’s going on at all times. Of course, your IT team, or MSP provider may be doing the bulk of the work when it comes to a migration, but keep everyone on point so they can be prepared for changes and training. This will ensure the move to the cloud happens more smoothly. Having a team that’s ready, not to mention enthusiastic will make all the difference.
Can your team manage a move?
It can be a big headache migrating to a cloud environment, and your migration team will need to know the ins and outs of your systems as well as the cloud provider’s infrastructure if they want to make sure everything goes smoothly and incurs as little downtime and data loss as possible. So it’s well worth taking on a team to help. Here at Damson Cloud IT, we have a great deal of experience in determining cloud readiness and helping companies to make the big leap. We can ensure you get the best solution for your needs and that your staff are set up efficiently and securely – ready to take their first steps into the cloud.
Moving to the cloud is a big deal for a smaller company so making sure you’ve got the best possible guidance and expertise is vital. Let the team at Damson Cloud help to assess your readiness and come up with a migration plan that meets your needs.