Although on-premises data centers remain relevant in niche applications, the cloud represents the obvious next step in the evolution of small-business computing. Migrating to the cloud offers a considerable reduction in overheads, practically unlimited scalability, and the freedom for your employees to work anywhere, without having to be tied down to a desk.
While the benefits of cloud computing are without doubt, particularly in the context of SMBs, making the move from an in-house data center to an infrastructure hosted off-site is no small feat. As such, it’s essential to put together a goal-driven cloud migration strategy aligned with the specific needs of your business. Here are five of the most important considerations when planning for the move:
1. Cloud Migration Approaches
While cost tends to weigh the most heavily on companies thinking about changing their entire IT infrastructure, it’s every bit as important to choose the right approach to cloud migration. Cloud infrastructures can be broadly divided into three categories: public, private and hybrid.
Public cloud services include those such as Google Cloud Compute and Amazon Web Services. These platforms are extremely scalable, but the disadvantage is that they offer far less control, which could be a problem if your business operates in a highly regulated industry or has very specific requirements.
Private clouds provide more control, better performance, and potentially better security. Nonetheless, management falls to the business’s IT department. Finally, a hybrid cloud infrastructure offers the advantages of both approaches, although performance issues can still arise.
2. Backup and Disaster Recovery
No business should be without a regularly audited and updated disaster recovery plan and data backup strategy. This is one of the most important considerations when migrating to the cloud, since you’ll want to ensure that any disruption to your business is minimal.
Most cloud providers offer standard disaster recovery policies and are obligated by their service level agreements (SLAs) to offer a certain minimum standard of service. When migrating to the cloud, you’ll need to ensure that the provider you choose can meet your recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) without a hitch.
3. Total Cost of Ownership
Most companies choose to migrate to the cloud to reduce overheads, since cloud migrations reduce dependence on on-premises hardware and the technology expertise required to maintain it. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the cloud always works out cheaper in the longer term. This is particularly likely to be the case if your company relies on legacy enterprise hardware and software. Remember that the financial benefits vary from one application to the next, and there are some computing workloads that are better carried out on-premises.
4. Data Governance & Security
Changing your technology infrastructure is going to be disruptive, and there’s not much you can do about that. However, with a carefully thought-out strategy and the necessary expertise on your side, you can reduce disruption to a minimum and ensure the transition happens smoothly and without causing issues with your data-governance and security strategy.
Because migrating to the cloud means giving up a degree of control in favor of shifting that responsibility to someone else, you’ll need to rethink your data governance strategy as per the services offered by your new provider. Most importantly, you’ll need to know where your data is going to be located and exactly who will have access to it.
If you’re looking to shift the burden of ever-increasingly complex IT to a cloud vendor that knows exactly what they’re doing, then Complete Technology is here to help. Contact us today to get all the IT solutions you need for a flat monthly fee.