5 things to consider before migrating to the cloud
If any more evidence was needed that cloud computing has truly graduated from the status of ‘next big thing’ to ‘firmly here’, it has to be the Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF) discovery that the UK’s overall cloud adoption rate had already reached 84% by early 2015, with nearly four in five of cloud users formally adopting two or more services.
So, if your organisation is contemplating the merits of cloud migration, what does it need to bear in mind?
- What is the state of your current infrastructure?
Migrating to the cloud basically entails outsourcing the IT infrastructure that you currently have in your own office or server room to one or more external providers of such infrastructure, so it is vital to carefully plan and phase any changes.
Look at your current software – is there a need for easy online access to it that makes the cloud a sensible solution? What about your hardware – does it need to be cost-effectively upgraded? Consider the likes of your network and bandwidth capacity and data security needs, too.
- Why, exactly, are you looking to migrate to the cloud?
It doesn’t matter what size your business is, or what it does – if you are going to make such a significant technical change as migrating to the cloud, you need to give a lot of thought to the business drivers behind that decision.
It may be that moving to the cloud allows your business to work more flexibly, or that certain current software is becoming outdated and you want to avoid having to make constant manual upgrades in future. Whatever your reasons, make sure you firmly establish them in your head and those of your colleagues in charge of the change.
- What are the best cloud solutions for your business?
‘Cloud computing’ is a very broad term, essentially involving something being offered ‘as a service’ that you may have previously had in-house.
Familiarise yourself with such terms as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), as well as the differences between public, private and hybrid cloud solutions. Each of these have their advantages and disadvantages, with the combination that best suits your business dependent on such factors as your industry, business size and likely growth.
- How are you going to manage the transition?
Doing your homework on the above factors will make this step much easier, especially if your business is a small to medium sized one. You may have to plan changes around contract end times or required upgrades, while larger businesses with more substantial legacy infrastructure will probably need to plan much more carefully on the basis of a broader range of parameters.
Seek advice from your cloud migration partner on how you can assess your own organisation’s transitional needs. Create a project plan that incorporates timelines and critical migration steps, informed by your vendor’s breakdown of what needs to be done in readiness for the switch.
- What factors dictate the best cloud migration specialist for you?
Whatever cloud migration provider you choose, you should have utmost confidence in the quality of their services. You are therefore advised to take into account a wide range of factors, from performance, availability and network ownership to costs, data security and privacy.
While there is naturally no one ‘perfect’ cloud services provider for every organisation, common strengths in the above categories tend to be apparent in the best of them.
For example, RedPixie provide a high quality cloud migration service, characterised by the smoothest, safest and most reliable cloud migration experience. This, in turn, can be attributed in large part to the company’s commitment and ability to fulfil the most individual client requirements.
For such a critical change as cloud migration, don’t take a risk with your own choice of vendor!