By Involta, www.involta.com

Modern business exists in the cloud – but there is no single cloud solution for every company. Since each business has individual goals, strategies and IT environments, taking a customized, scalable approach to cloud migration is the best way to ensure a successful cloud migration.

As companies begin to formulate cloud migration plans, it is important to first consider how moving to the cloud supports their overall business strategy. Finding alignment here ensures that migrating to the cloud resolves pain points and challenges – instead of making them worse.

Next, evaluate IT environments and system needs to confirm that a cloud solution will check all the right boxes. How sensitive is the data involved? What computer resources are required? Are current applications easy to migrate? Can all systems be migrated? Answering these questions will help determine what cloud resources are needed.

Business owners must also understand the costs and benefits of moving to the cloud. Teams and processes become more efficient, but moving to the cloud may incur unexpected costs from things like hiring skilled contractors, reallocating staff resources, employee training and expenses for cloud servers and software.

After finding alignment in your business strategy, IT needs and the costs associated with moving to the cloud, it’s time to develop a strategic cloud migration plan. Generally, your plan should include the following considerations:

1. Choosing a cloud service provider: Asking friends and business associates for recommendations is a great way to explore your cloud service options. When discussing cloud migration with vendors, always request a detailed estimation of costs.

2. Staying flexible: The migration process will likely bring surprises and delays. Therefore, the deadlines you set for cloud migration must allow for some wiggle room.

3. Hiring skilled developers: Cloud migration is like popping open the hood of your business, pulling out the parts and reassembling them into an entirely new framework. Often, a bit of retrofitting and lots of creative problem-solving is required. A team of skilled developers will help you do this safely and cost-effectively.

4. Training your team: Your new cloud-based system could be faster and more user-friendly than the old system, but you’ll still have to get used to it. Make sure you and your team receive adequate training before the new system goes online.

5. Choosing your applications: Evaluate the cost, efficiency, storage capacity and flexibility of different cloud application options. Work with your cloud service provider to determine the systems you need to continue business as usual, but also explore entirely new solutions.

6. Assigning a cloud migration project manager: Cloud migration will involve many steps by different departments. Assigning a project manager to orchestrate this process is vital to staying on track.

7. Running tests before going live: Don’t immediately abandon your old system after migrating to the cloud. Allow for a “crash test” period of several weeks (or months) to identify potential faults and resolve them before you
fully commit to the new setup.

These considerations are key to outlining a strategic cloud migration plan. We recommend engaging a third-party cloud migration consultant like Involta, because an experienced team will ensure your cloud migration is a success.

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