How to Migrate Your Business to The Cloud

January 23, 2019 | Rob LaPointe

How do you migrate your business to the cloud?

1) Know what you want

2) Research how the cloud works

3) Decide what to transfer over

4) Find the right developer

5) Select a vendor

6) Determine security measures

7) Set up ways to stop migration

8) Create backups

9) Manage every step

10) Plan for failures

11) Test

12) Train employees

We will go into more details about those items later. If you’re just thinking about moving to the cloud but aren’t sure if its the right decision then it’s time to brief you on why it might be the right choice. The cloud has become an important part of today’s business. Small to large companies have been comparing their options and deciding to switch to the cloud for good reason.

Why you need to switch

1. Cost – This is a huge factor because you can save on both capital and operational expenses as well as becoming more efficient. The average savings are around 23%. What helps you save even more is the ability to access technologies like machine learning. Having infrastructure and managing it is costly but the cloud removes many of those costs.

2. Improved Operations – The cloud allows you to take advantage of technologies that can drastically help improve your business operations such as the ability to make changes quickly and efficiently.

3. Access to data – You can easily access your data on the cloud. With a typical server, it is difficult to share and access your data from anywhere. The cloud allows you to access it anywhere, at any time, from any device you wish and share anything you want. You can see someone making changes in real-time. If any devices like phones, computers, or anything else gets destroyed it doesn’t matter because everything is saved in the cloud, not the device.

On another note, you also have many cloud data warehousing options for you to choose from. This simply allows you to collect data from every aspect of your business, then helps you make better business decisions.

4. Space – You have an unlimited amount of space, With companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), you pay as you go and you don’t have to worry about calling to add more storage space because it automatically does it for you as you use it. It tracks the amount you use every second because every second it changes.

5. Downtime – Since spacing isn’t an issue you end up seeing less downtime. With traditional servers, if you run out of space then problems occur for which you must call, add more, then wait for it to come back up. It’s costly and inefficient.

6. Collaboration – The tools available in the cloud are vast and make it so easy to communicate with all your team members, share files, and so much more. You don’t even need to have a physical phone in the office anymore.

7. Scaling – Every business runs differently so the tools that work for you don’t necessarily work for someone else’s business, even if it’s in the same industry. You can easily scale up or down with the apps and tech you need.

8. Security – With so many cyberattacks, protecting data is a necessity. This should be the most important for any business. The cloud is more secure than those traditional servers you’ve got. Since storage is in the cloud you don’t have to worry about someone stealing a device. Unless they know your login information. Don’t get me wrong, it can still be hacked but there are way more heavy-duty security options here.

9. Improve innovation – Many times projects slow down because the processes to complete them take a decent amount of time. Collaboration tools are minimal as well making it harder to have meetings and discussions with others outside your office. With the cloud, it speeds up the workflow time, helps team members work in a new way, communicating better with others outside the building, and more. This, in turn, can increase innovation within an organization. Using newer technology can also attract more people to want to work for you.

Is moving to the cloud right for your business?

If these points are any indication, then the answer is yes. There is a long list of benefits to migrating and the ones just mentioned are some of the main ones. If you are still unsure and want to learn more about the cloud and what it can offer your business specifically, you should contact a software development company such as SDI who can explain this in more detail and determine specifically what your company would need to ensure it runs at its maximum potential.

How to move to the cloud

If you ready to migrate your business to the cloud but aren’t quite sure where to start then follow these steps to completing your cloud migration.

1. Know what you want

It’s your business and you know how it runs. You need to do a deep analysis of what you use and what you wish you had. This can be anything from storage, security, apps, communication tools, etc. This will help you start the process off right because there are a lot of options out there and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you need.

2. Research how the cloud works

You don’t want to go into it blindly. Don’t just take the development teams word for it. Do some research on your own to understand first what the cloud is, what it has to offer, and the process of migrating. This is not a figure it out later situation, it’s a let me understand everything now so there is no surprises later situation.

3. Decide what to transfer over

You should create a formal workload migration plan. You may not want to migrate every single aspect of your business. There may be tasks that you currently do that do not need to be done on the cloud and that is fine. There may be a process that works really well so there’s no need to change it. This is the time to figure that out.

4. Contract an experienced software development company

Migration isn’t just a one-click button and you’re done. You need a proper team like SDI to do the heavy lifting causing you less stress and saving you a lot of time trying to figure it out on your own. Doing it on your own can be incredibly tricky if you are not experienced.

5. Find your cloud vendor

You should already know what you need so now it’s time to contact various vendors and see what they have to offer. Ask people you know for recommendations to get someone that is trustworthy. You could also go with major companies like AWS or Microsoft Azure. You can get quotes from these vendors and see which is best for you. Your development company can help you with this step as well as all the ones below.

6. Security

During migration, you can be very vulnerable to attacks. You need to be aware of any security risks that could happen such as ensuring everyone is logged out of their accounts and everything is completely closed down before you begin. There are tools to help you with this as well.

7. Stop Migration

You need to have the ability to stop the migration for any reason. To do this you can create milestones so if you are facing problems in certain areas you can stop and do a piece at a time. In order to do this, you must create a structure for it.

8. Have a backup

You never want to start anything until you have backed up all your companies data. You can use Google, Amazon, Dropbox and more to store all your data during migration. Even better would be to have it backed up in multiple places just in case. You never know what could happen and having this could be a lifesaver.

9. Manage each phase

It is your job to stay informed with the process. You should know what is going on at all times. Remember migrating to the cloud is a huge task and there are a lot of moving pieces. You should be organized in the process and be managing each phase of migration just in case.

The software development company you use should work closely with you through the whole process. The key is to stay organized and have everything in one platform to do everything. This will make everything from migration and what comes after easier.

10. Plan for failures

The key to ensuring your business continues running smoothly is to account for any possible failures. If you plan for this, then you can create the solutions ahead of time so if and when something does occur you don’t have to worry.

11. Test Everything

This is a pretty obvious one, of course, once the migration is done you want to check everything to make sure it’s working correctly. Beyond that, on your website, you should do a traffic test. Pretend that a million people come to your website. See what problems occur and then fix it. This is similar to planning for failures.

12. Train your employees

This is going to be something new for not only you but for the entire company. All your employees should be trained on how to use everything. There will be some growing pains for a bit but once everyone has a grasp on how the process works it will run smoothly. If they aren’t properly trained they won’t use it correctly and migrating would essentially be a wasted effort.

That is the general list of steps to the migration process. Now is the time to seriously consider moving your business to the cloud. Experts like SDI can migrate your current platform onto cloud services like AWS and provide a flexible solution that is cost-effective and operations optimized.

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