According to recent studies, more than 90% of businesses now use the cloud for a portion of their computing workloads.
Nonetheless, for any organization thinking of making that move, planning such a transition can be a daunting task. IT managers often fear that projects will be fraught with unforeseen complications, but with some careful planning and by working with the right company, there should be no reason for disruptions to affect your everyday operations.
Determining Which Applications to Outsource
The benefits of migrating certain applications to the cloud are enormous but, while the cloud offers flexibility, scalability and accessibility to a degree that simply wasn’t possible before, it’s not suitable for everything.
Daily business operations — such as customer relationship management, accounting, enterprise resource management and disaster recovery — are perfectly suited to a hosted environment. In general, any application that can be outsourced to the cloud should be, but there are a few important exceptions.
While web-based applications offer greater flexibility and reduced dependence on in-house systems, some computing workloads are too demanding or too specialized to be suitable for such an environment. Some examples include particularly processor-intensive workloads, such as computer aided design, video editing and 3D imaging.
To ensure a smoother transition to the cloud, it’s usually better not to move all your operations over to the web at once. Instead, it’s wiser to take a compartmentalized approach so that your employees have a chance to familiarize themselves with one new app at a time rather than having them face a completely new infrastructure right from the outset.
Preparing Legacy Systems
There’s no denying that a cloud-based infrastructure is very different from working with an in-house data center insofar as implementation and maintenance are concerned. As such, many legacy systems are simply not ready for migrating to the cloud, and that means facing major challenges when it comes to mitigating compatibility issues and ensuring data integrity during transfer.
Migrating to the cloud isn’t something you can or should hope to achieve overnight. To overcome these challenges, many companies opt instead for a hybrid cloud deployment provided by vendors who have the tools and expertise needed to support their long-term plans.
Fortunately, linking technologies are widely available for many popular business applications, in-house or otherwise. That means you shouldn’t need to have all your apps rewritten and your data formats converted to function with the new systems.
Your short- and mid-term goals should always take legacy systems into account and, while that might not be easy, the long-term benefits of migrating to the cloud are enormous. After all, once you’ve made the move, the bulk of your infrastructure will be in the hands of a service provider who will be responsible for upgrading and maintaining it as necessary.
Data Governance and Security
Recent studies show that data breach costs $141 per lost or stolen record. This number may seem inconsequential to some, but if you’re running a small business on the verge of migrating to the cloud, you can’t afford to have any massive data incidents. That’s why security and data integrity should be at the forefront of any cloud migration plan.
Before you even think about making the move, you’ll first want to ensure your internet security is up-to-date. Next, you’ll want to speak to any cloud provider you intend to work with about their abilities to meet industry compliance standards and guarantee the safety of your data during and after migration.
When it comes to data governance, many managers are understandably hesitant to let their business apps and data out of their hands. Migrating to the cloud means losing a degree of direct control over your data, so you’ll want to implement a data governance plan that focuses on all the key areas, including usability, accessibility, integrity and security.
There’s no denying that migrating to the cloud can be frightening. That’s why WhiteOwl guides you through the entire process from start to finish. Call us today if you’re looking for a technology partner that you can depend on.