Your Guide to a Successful Cloud Migration

Migrating to the cloud is a good business decision. However, migration can seem like a cumbersome and daunting task, especially if you’re used to managing IT on-prem. This complete guide to efficient and effective cloud migration paves the way for your successful cloud migration.

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Image of a person with their thumbs up migrating information from a local server to the cloud
Illustration: © IoT For All

Cloud technology has taken over the business world in recent years, and for a number of compelling reasons. Aside from the security and storage benefits, cloud technology is an overall cost-effective business solution that allows companies to manage unpredictable traffic, reduce fixed operational costs across the board, and ensure the data is protected with a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Call it “computing as a service”—you pay for what you need when you need it.

So…Why Isn’t Everyone Migrating to the Cloud?

Making such a grand change can seem like a cumbersome and even daunting task, especially if you’re used to managing all this in-house manually. Will daily operations be affected? What’s the cost of unknitting your business processes from your in-house infrastructure? What about vendor lock-in? Which cloud provider is best for me? All these sorts of questions are keeping emerging digital transformers up at night and slowing down the general migration to the cloud.

Nonetheless, given the undeniable benefits of cloud computing and storage for your business, and especially those built on hyper-converged infrastructure, it would be a wise and cost-effective decision to migrate to the cloud yourself. Otherwise, you’re just falling behind the more forward-looking companies. Let’s make the entire process easier for you with this complete guide to efficient and effective cloud migration.

You Need a Cloud Migration Strategy

Every successful change in an established business structure starts with a strategy, or at least a detailed plan encompassing tactics and steps that will help you achieve your goals without wasting resources. The migration process needs to be as smooth and efficient as possible, and even though most of the work will be handled by your cloud provider, you will still need to back the process up with a strategy of your own.

The key to migrating to the cloud without losing time or money while waiting for the system to come back online will come down to flexibility. You will need to be flexible enough to change your plans on the go, per the instructions of your cloud provider as well as your on-site IT team. After all, migrating a whole on-premises infrastructure to the cloud will require collaboration on both ends. Keep in mind that you need to plan each step well ahead of time in order to prepare for any contingencies and to organize a smooth move.

Keep All Stakeholders Informed About Your Cloud Migration Strategy

Communication, training, and seamless integration will be some of the most important elements of a successful cloud migration strategy. Introducing your employees to the new cloud system will require a systematic approach and careful preparation in order to weave the new infrastructure into your processes without disrupting workflow while minimizing the risk of human error. Remember, it will be up to your employees to utilize the full potential of the cloud for your business.

To achieve this, you will have to communicate your strategy clearly and efficiently. The key here will be to “convince” all generations in your company that the migration is not only a necessity but a good thing for them as well. Taking the time to explain the benefits of the cloud and how it works will eliminate some of the doubt that comes with every change, and it will put the minds of your employees at ease.

Choose the Best Type of Cloud Infrastructure for Your Needs and Goals

Without a doubt, the most important step in this process is to actually settle on the best and most efficient type of cloud infrastructure for your business. Understand that what works for other companies might not be best for your brand and its requirements, so it’s important that you run a thorough analysis and consult experienced private cloud providers on the best solution for your data storage needs. This will ensure you get the best bang for your buck, and it will also allow you to choose the ideal provider for your company.

Typically, the most efficient cloud systems are built on a hyper-converged infrastructure that allows seamless scaling and expansion that grows with the business. Additionally, this type of infrastructure can easily handle all business applications, including financial systems, cumbersome production systems, core databases, and more. It’s imperative that you find an infrastructure that offers these benefits along with security and compliance, disaster recovery, and a more simplified architecture.

Manage Security and Ensure Compliance

Data security and compliance are two essential pieces of the cloud computing puzzle, as there can be no compromise when it comes to data protection. It’s vital to have multidimensional security during the migration phase in order to protect data until the migration process is complete. It’s also vital for the cloud storage infrastructure to be protected with a distributed firewall, anti-virus, and other features to keep the data secure.

Remember, cybersecurity is a big issue nowadays, so your provider needs to offer the highest level of protection in order to deter online attacks and to protect sensitive business information at all times. What’s more, your cloud infrastructure needs to be compliant with the latest data security laws in your region, and beyond, in order to eliminate legal liability and to keep your brand’s reputation safe.

Have a Disaster Management Plan in Place

On a final note, every business migrating to the cloud should have a comprehensive and efficient disaster recovery plan in place. There’s nothing quite as crippling as losing sensitive customer information or experiencing a system-wide shutdown in the middle of the business day when traffic is heaviest.

With cloud computing, you’re already minimizing the risk of this happening. With the added backup features, such as data multi-copy and virtual machine backup, you can easily retrieve business data in a matter of seconds. Make sure to migrate to a cloud platform that ensures easy data recovery, no matter the type of disaster that might strike.

Go for the Cloud—Strategically

In essence, migrating to a cloud infrastructure shouldn’t be a cumbersome or lengthy process, provided that you prepare for it and execute your strategy with the help of your new provider. Use this guide as a checklist for a smooth and efficient transition that will pave the road to long-term success for your company.