4 Key Questions Any Business Owner Should Ask Before Performing A Cloud Migration

Cloud Migration for Business

The solutions, procedures and technologies business owners and staff depend on are continuing their move to the cloud at a steady pace.

Predictions and trends point to over 80% of all enterprise workflow to be managed by the cloud by 2020.

While total adoption of cloud in the workplace is still believed to be 10 or more years away, the benefits to business are clearly driving the adoption of cloud technologies and solutions.

This does not mean that you should perform a cloud migration just because everyone else is doing it. You want to make sure that when you migrate different elements of your business to the cloud, you are doing so in the most secure, compliant and pain-free ways.

That being said, there are some questions you should really ask yourself when planning for or considering your migration.

4 Key Questions About Cloud Migration

1. What are the long term costs for my IT when I migrate to the cloud?

 There are quite a few different aspects of your budget that a cloud migration can impact. The first thing you will want to consider is the overall cost of the project. For example, if you have a server and you are considering the costs of a cloud migration vs. buying new hardware, there are a few things you want to look into.

  • What is the physical cost of the hardware including labor for install and setup?
  • What is the initial setup and migration cost if you move to the cloud?
  • What are your anticipated maintenance costs for a physical server over the next 3-5 years?
  • What are the maintenance costs and recurring costs for your cloud environment for the next 3-5 years?
  • If you stick with an on-prem solution, how long until you have to replace your new hardware on average?

All of these questions you should ask yourself and your IT vendor/department when considering the cloud. Often, when you take long term maintenance and hardware replacement into consideration, you will end up being more cost effective with a cloud solution. But, this is not always the case.

2. What areas of our business will see benefit from a cloud migration?

The cloud has offered many benefits to business. The cloud environment lends itself to collaboration in many ways. Staff will likely enjoy the ability to access data, software and systems remotely. Departments will notice that different integrations are easier when software is in the cloud as well. Companies like Zapier, IFTTT and even Microsoft with Microsoft Flow are in the business of helping you integrate workflows and get a whole lot more done.

This means more productivity, automating repetitive tasks and hopefully better results for both your employees and clients.

3. Do you have specific security/compliance requirements?

Different industries have specific security requirements and compliance standards for data. This means that you will want to consult with experts in your industry to make sure that the solutions you choose are above board.

For instance, if you chose to migrate your email server to a hosted cloud solution, you still need to make sure that the email service is secure. Solutions like G Suite and Office 365 state in their user agreements that they are responsible for the security of the cloud environment but that YOU are responsible for all of your data.

Meaning – Microsoft or Google makes sure the cloud is secure, YOU make sure that you have backups of your emails and all of your data in case of emergency.

Additionally, if your industry has requirements for sending secure/encrypted emails, you’ll want to make sure that the solution you choose meets said requirements.

This was just an example of how security and compliance can impact your choice of cloud email solution. Depending on what you want to move to the cloud (infrastructure, software, OS etc.), you will want to consult with industry experts to ensure success.

4. Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud Solutions?

On the surface, the concept of public or private cloud solution is straight forward.

A public cloud is owned by a company like Microsoft (Azure) or Amazon (AWS). This company owns the physical space where the ‘cloud’ is hosted. In a public cloud, your business essentially leases space to host your environment. This space is technically shared but can be segmented for security purposes.

This decreases your overall time and material cost for maintenance of the environment. You access services and can manage your account by logging in from your internet browser. These public solutions are best for email solutions, office software, applications, testing environments, development environments and more.

A private cloud is owned and managed by one specific entity (either you or your IT service provider). There are no other businesses sharing your space or stored on the equipment. This is definitely a more secure solution for highly regulated industries.

A benefit with privately hosted cloud environments is that they are more customizable for specific business needs. Additionally, a private cloud is easily scaled to grow with your needs – you will just have to account for any additional hardware or bandwidth needs as you grow.

A hybrid cloud solution is a mixture of any or all solutions including: on-premises solutions, public cloud and/or private cloud.

For some industries, there may be specific elements of the business that must remain on site. In other instances, you may have proprietary software that just isn’t cloud compatible or doesn’t make sense to migrate.

You may also have certain needs that make sense to offload into a public environment where you aren’t responsible for maintenance.

The beauty of cloud migration solutions for business is that they are highly customizable. They help you get more done and stay connected in innovative ways. There is a reason that technology is steadily migrating to the cloud across our professional and personal lives.

If you have any questions about the cloud or want to discuss how the cloud can elevate your business, please give us a call at (815) 836 – 0030 or send an email to Contact@WeNetwork.com. Our team is ready and eager to help you.