7 Step Guide to Successfully Migrating to the Cloud: Know Your Current Needs and Goals

cloud migrationThe cloud is the place to be these days: The 2017 RightScale State of the Cloud Survey found that 95 percent of respondents use some form of cloud. With reported benefits like faster access to infrastructure, increased scalability, greater efficiency, and more, it’s no wonder why so many businesses have decided to adopt cloud-based tools and services.

If your company is considering making the transition to the cloud, however, there are a number of factors you’ll want to consider first, ranging from the general pros and cons of undergoing the migration to which type of cloud (public, private, or hybrid) is the right fit for your organization. In this blog series, we’ll walk you through everything you need to do to successfully migrate to the cloud in a series of blog entries. This first entry will cover basic background information and the importance of knowing your organization’s current needs and goals before you transition to the cloud.

Pros and Cons of the Cloud
Although switching to the cloud has the potential to help your business in various ways, migrating to cloud-based solutions also has some possible drawbacks. Here’s a quick rundown of some advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing that you’ll want to consider before making any decisions.

Here are just some of the ways migrating to the cloud could positively impact your business:

Greater accessibility. Internet cloud infrastructure allows workers to access data and applications at any time and from any location. This makes it easier for people in different places to collaborate and gives employees the ability to work from home or on the go.

More flexibility. The cloud offers scalability so that it’s easy for your organization to add or eliminate resources according to your changing needs. If your business anticipates significant future growth, cloud services and solutions can grow with you.

Less hardware. If you’re hosting everything in the cloud, you don’t need to worry about setting up and maintaining physical hardware.

Lower costs. Cloud-based solutions can contain overhead technology spending, freeing up time and funds for other purposes.

On the other hand, migrating to the cloud can also have downsides. Here are a few possible drawbacks:

Lack of redundancy. Cloud servers don’t necessarily have backups or redundancy plans, which could cause issues in the event of an outage or any other sort of technology failure. It’s a good idea to ensure that your cloud solutions have a redundancy plan.

Limited features. If you opt for public cloud solutions, you might not have the ability to customize your cloud services to best fit your organization’s unique needs. For businesses that want a more tailored solution, a private or hybrid cloud might be a better choice.

Less control. If you move services and applications to the cloud, you’re likely relinquishing at least some control over your data to an external service provider. For businesses that have in-house IT departments, that means they’ll no longer have the ability to tackle issues on their own.

Bandwidth problems. Businesses that attempt to fit large amounts of servers and storage into a small set of data centers can run into performance issues because of inadequate bandwidth. So it’s important to consider what kind of bandwidth you realistically need to migrate to the cloud.

Understanding Your Current Business Needs and Goals
If you’ve decided that migrating to the cloud will benefit your business, the first thing you need to do to ensure a successful transition is to consider your company’s current needs and goals. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself and consider to determine your requirements before you move to the cloud.

1. What’s your mobility/remote working strategy today? If you have employees who work remotely either occasionally or full-time, you’ll need to consider how the move to the cloud will affect them. What technologies do they use, and how will you ensure they’re able to access information in the cloud securely from remote locations?        

2. Do you have multiple sites to consider where technology is concerned? If you have more than one location, it’s important to take that into account when you form your migration plan. Be sure to think about how to move each site to cloud-based applications and technology.

3. Does your business need to comply with industry regulations (e.g., HIPAA)? Organizations that handle protected health information (PHI) and/or personally identifiable information (PII) and need to comply with industry regulations like HIPAA must give special consideration to security when migrating to the cloud. Make sure your cloud service provider’s security and privacy practices meet your compliance needs.    

An external cloud service provider like Stratosphere Networks can help your business determine your needs and goals before transitioning to the cloud. If you have any questions about cloud migration, feel free to contact us by emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com or calling 877-599-3999.

Stay tuned to learn about the next step in our guide to successfully migrating to the cloud.

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