10 things to understand before you decide to move your company to the cloud.

Kristianne Azzopardi

If you don’t think your IT guy is a control freak, then you probably don’t have one. There is nothing more stressful than being responsible for a company’s data and its security and we often can see this in the sweat beads on the forehead of our IT staff.

Talk to them about moving to the cloud and some will certainly need a holiday to handle the anxiety attack.

In spite of all this, many companies are moving to the cloud. In droves, would be a suitable description. So why are companies moving to the cloud when it is a risky stress-inducing process?

Probably for the same reason we move house.

To be in a better situation once our ducks are lined up back in their due order.

The [True] Risks of Moving Your Company to the Cloud
Moving to the cloud, migrating your data, is probably the most stressful process a company can go through.

There are many details to think about, however it can have such a positive outcome on your bottom-line by enabling growth and scalability, that asking whether it is worthwhile is not even a consideration.

It is important though to make sure we understand and mitigate the risks involved.

Moving to the cloud can compromise continuity of service. In the short term it may cause disruption during the migration, in the long-term it can cause disruptions if you’re not set-up for easy scalability and choose a diligent supplier.

When moving to the cloud many forget to approach it like a ‘traditional’ IT service. Just because it feels more abstract as a product it does not mean we can ignore the requirement for Service Level agreements. Failing to get one is often an indication that you may be working with non-professionals.

You also need to keep in mind your server location. Transparency is important and it is also important to understand the location and reliability of the data centre that will hold your data.

You may also want to enquire about how they back-up and replicate your data. You want to make sure your data is easily retrievable and also that your data sensitivity is being respected. This also has some implications with GDPR so it’s important that the data-centre is compliant with GDPR standards. Emails and Client data needs to be processed according to the guidelines as failure to comply could result in a fine for your business.

You also need to consider the legislation of the country of your data centre. If this is not the same as your business you need to be aware of the implications this has on your business. You also need to make sure you carry out the relevant background checks and compliance audits to verify they are who they say they are.

Is You Company the Right Match for Cloud Solutions?

You also need to make sure that your organisation is a good match for cloud. The first question to ask yourself is – How IT literate is my staff? This will help you decide on the software you will use and the devices you will purchase to  access the cloud. If you do not have a budget to buy new hardware you will need to consider how easily you can access the system concurrently. It might be counterintuitive to invest in cloud and then not have enough hardware to give all your staff members concurrent and remote access to the system.

You also need to be very clear about the security you require. Most of your data is likely to not be ultra sensitive unless you’re in financial services or banking. This means that you can easily manage this data on the fly without worrying too much about where it is stored and who can access it, as long as you comply with GDPR and the Data Protection act of the countries you operate and host your data in.

It is also advisable to have some data in hand before you embark on the migration to cloud. You need to know how many concurrent users you usually have and how many you will need going forward. You will need to make some predictions of the data volume and growth to assess your needs, although if you don;t have details information you can always choose the pay-as-you-go option.

Organisational Changes and Training Required for the Move
It is key to also understand the organisational goals and restructuring required. In order to match your goals, your cloud migration needs and your organisational structure to the new status quo, where you are ready for growth, you will need to do some soul searching as a company and map the way forward pretty clearly.

Often you will need to train your staff not only for the IT tools but also the new mindset that comes with cloud computing environments.

Once you have a clear plan and the right IT supplier to work with, you will feel happier about relinquishing the on-site server model for the more nimble and scalable cloud model to enable your company limitless growth. If you need inspiration checkout these amazing companies that have grown exponentially following their migration to cloud https://www.forbes.com/sites/ibm/2014/11/03/three-companies-that-transformed-their-businesses-using-cloud-computing/#666927cb1b66

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