7 steps for successful migration to Cloud Computing
Successful Cloud Migration
Migrating to Cloud Computing offers many benefits to a business; reduced costs and increased flexibility, scalability and security. Many businesses are choosing Cloud migration, but there may be concerns about possible impact on the business.
Perhaps the number one concern voiced by business owners is the vulnerability of data and company information, removed from on-premises servers and placed out of their hands, in the Cloud. As reassurance, all good Cloud providers will have a resilient security infrastructure, to achieve accessibility with robust security.
Perhaps the second major concern, when it comes to migration, is the process itself. Depending on the size of the business or organisation, moving all applications and associated data to the Cloud can be a formidable task, and one that is not without risk. However, there are sensible steps you can take to plan and prepare for migration, which will help reduce the risk and the worry when the time comes.
Here are our top tips for a successful migration to cloud computing:
Step 1 – Analyse your existing infrastructure
Undertake a full audit of all of the applications, systems and processes that your existing infrastructure supports. Areas to consider, include:
- Number of end users
- Presence of sensitive data or information
- Current capacity
- Levels of access
- Remote / mobile access
- Existing hardware
- Security provision
Step 2 – Plan ahead for your business
Migrating to Cloud Computing offers an exciting opportunity to make improvements and streamline processes. Your virtual infrastructure will be configured to the needs of the business, so now is the time to think about making positive improvements.
Assess how your systems perform in the existing IT environment and try to identify any pain-points that could be addressed. Highlight any ‘clunky’ points in your work processes, or duplication of tasks: you can talk to your chosen provider about streamlining and integration.
Step 3 – Choose a cloud IT provider
There are five main points to consider when choosing the right cloud provider for your business:
#1 – Cost: weigh this up with the level of service they offer, to ensure they will meet your needs.
#2 – Communication: avoid providers that use jargon and choose a company that speaks in plain English and explains things clearly
#3 –-Technical capabilities: they must be able to support your business requirements and operate with easy to manage, user-friendly systems.
#4 – Support: what level of on-going support will they provide, and how will change requests be managed?
#5 – Security: what measures are in place to backup and protect your data, and what is their approach to disaster recovery?
Once you have chosen an appropriate provider, they can guide you through the migration process and take steps to minimise disruption to your business.
Step 4 – Final stages of preparation
Make sure all staff members are aware of the planned migration period, and the timescale it will cover. Advise on any limitations to access during this time: any services or applications that may be unavoidably disrupted.
Your provider will advise on any steps you should take to protect the business throughout the migration process and work with you to ensure that it is ‘business as usual’ for your staff and customers.
Step 5 – Cloud Migration period
Your provider will help you to decide whether a full migration, or partial one (using a hybrid of virtual and on-premises servers), is best for the business. This will depend on the size of your organisation and the workload for migration.
If your organisation is a large one, there may be vast amounts of data to transfer, which can be time-consuming and result in ‘bottlenecks’. Data compression may be advised to overcome this.
Step 6 – Commence use
Once all, or some, of your applications have been migrated to the Cloud, you can start to use them via the virtual servers. This gives an opportunity to compare speed and performance against the notes you made in the initial planning stage.
Most, but not all, applications will run better through a virtual server. Any disruption or delay in use should be reported to your provider for them to trouble-shoot where possible.
Step 7 – Disconnect old infrastructure
All applications, connectivity and accessibility will be rigorously tested, until both you and your provider are satisfied that the new infrastructure meets expectations. Once this has been achieved, you will be able to permanently disconnect your old server.
All hardware can also be disconnected and removed from the premises – your infrastructure is off the ground and up in the Cloud!
To talk to us about our cloud IT services, and how we can support the migration process, please call 0161 788 0000 or contact us here.
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