Should you move your business to the cloud? There are many reasons why you should. Not only is cloud computing cost-effective, but it also reduces overhead costs by eliminating the need to install programs on computers and purchase licenses. This enables users to access tools from the web so that they can work anywhere at any time, helping them become more productive.
But cloud migration is no easy task. Many companies make the mistake of moving data to the cloud without a comprehensive migration plan. Before you move to the cloud, consider the following factors.
1. Licensing and compatibility
Not all software licenses are compatible for cloud use, so review your contracts and the use rights of all your locally hosted programs before you migrate.
You also need to check if your software applications are cloud-compatible, as older programs might not work in the cloud. You may need to find a new version of the application or modify it.
Note that buying a new version of the app requires backing up your data and moving it to a new database. On the other hand, you can ask your cloud service provider (CSP) to modify the app so that it integrates with your cloud platform. With your business apps integrated into the cloud, you can take advantage of cloud features such as off-site storage, among others.
Cybercriminals are attacking even businesses that have moved to the cloud. No matter your cloud environment, you should implement reliable cybersecurity measures that cover:
Access privileges – Access management solutions such as Microsoft Intune and Azure Role-based access control can prevent unauthorized users from accessing certain cloud applications and files. Intune regulates mobile devices that are being used to access company data, while Azure allows IT administrators to give users access privileges to resource groups and other information.
Encryption – Encrypted data uses complex algorithms and Advanced Encryption Standard to protect information. Without an encryption key, stolen files will appear as a random string of characters and symbols to the attacker.
Intrusion prevention system – This is a network security solution that detects threats and prevents them from infiltrating a system. It works alongside firewalls and proactively monitors a network for malicious activities.
3. Location of data
Deciding where to store your data is also crucial to cloud migration. There are three options you can choose from:
Public cloud – Ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses, the public cloud can store data and software in a third-party data center maintained by the CSP. It can also be scaled depending on your storage needs.
Private cloud – This option will get you a dedicated cloud infrastructure managed by your in-house team or CSP. While costly, a private cloud solution allows for better data control because the information is located in the business’s own infrastructure. This is ideal for organizations that need to follow strict data compliance requirements.
Hybrid cloud – The hybrid cloud combines public and private cloud environments. This allows businesses to run power-intensive programs on the public cloud while keeping important data in the private cloud.
Migrating to the cloud means introducing a new working environment to your IT team and your organization's end users. Identify all the teams that need to be taught to use cloud-migrated programs and data, and prepare a training plan to ensure a smooth transition.
5. Internet bandwidth
Cloud migration will require a reliable internet connection, so take that into account. For the best internet connection possible, get a dedicated internet line. This way, your connection enjoys maximum bandwidth and low latency, giving you a stable access to the cloud whenever needed.
6. Reliability of your provider
During your migration, you may encounter issues with your cloud solutions and software applications. You will need a dependable CSP to help you resolve them. When selecting a CSP, choose one whose service level agreement (SLA) covers everything you need for your migration process.
Your SLA should include responsive customer support, round-the-clock availability, quick delivery of services, and comprehensive security. A CSP that struggles in these areas may cause more problems in the long run, so choose a provider that you’re sure can meet your business’s requirements.
If you’re ready to take the next step, partner with F1 Solutions. Our cloud solutions will help you boost your productivity, secure your data from attackers, and reduce overhead costs. To learn more about our cloud services, download our FREE eBook today!