If you’re here, you’re probably planning to make the move to the cloud. Whether you’re fully committed or just considering your options, we want to help you navigate the basics, so your move from conventional data communication and storage to the cloud goes as smoothly as possible.
Why Move at All?
To be honest, being on the cloud is “in” – and with good reason. Big tech trends usually happen because there’s a need that’s being met on a global scale, something that can benefit everyone, from the average person to the leader of a Fortune 500.
Luckily, moving data to the cloud is actually beneficial in many ways. On the cloud, you get:
- Better access of data from anywhere in the world
- Improved data security, management and back up
- Faster services to your clients
- Lower overhead and IT costs
- Ease of integration with current and future technologies
As a small business, being on the cloud works to your advantage.
How to Make the Move Painless
Transferring large amounts of data like this would have caused headaches years ago. The concept was new and there were still a few glitches to be ironed out. Today, while there are still issues that need to be addressed with cloud computing, you can rest assured that the glitches you may encounter are no worse than remaining on your legacy data storage and network configurations. In fact, things are improving tremendously in the cloud world.
With that settled, let us get on with the move to the cloud itself! Here are the things you should do to help make the process quick and easy.
1. Hire experts.
You might be surprised at the number of business owners that make the mistake of hiring amateurs. Some do it to cut costs, while others simply don’t do the proper research. Be sure to do a deep dive into any company or contractors you’re considering hiring. Look for recommendations from someone you know and be sure to find reviews online. Avoid self-proclaimed “experts” who don’t know have the social proof to back up their claims.
2. Transfer all your applications.
When you move to the cloud, you will need to make a paradigm shift in the way you think of your business’ applications. You will no longer need desktop or laptop applications that connect to your local servers. Instead, you’ll have web-based apps that connect to the cloud. There are tons of applications you can adopt into your business process that work more efficiently than the desktop versions you may currently be using.
3. Test everything before cutoff.
After everything has been put in place, make sure you test all aspects of your business process using your new environment. Don’t rush toward a cutoff date. While it may be a pain to run the old and new environments simultaneously (which might require you capturing data twice,) it’ll be worth the effort.
4. Consider your clients.
Before making the switch, be sure to talk to your clients about the move. If you offer ecommerce services that require your clients come to your website, take the time to ask how they might feel about the new features and admin processes. Listen carefully to what they have to say and help them navigate through any issues. You should have a good tech support team working round the clock for the first few weeks.
5. You will still need a contingency plan.
While the cloud can do wonders for your business, you should know that things can still (and often do) go wrong. Servers may crash or your Internet connection might be interrupted. Be sure to have a backup plan ready to keep you from getting locked out of your data and services. Start by looking for cloud hosting companies that offer you storage on multiple servers and an ISP that will guarantee fail-safe connectivity. Backing your data up – by downloading it to your offline servers, for example – should be considered if you can’t afford any down time.
Remember, all the effort you put into moving to the cloud is to make things better. Though the process is relatively simple and shouldn’t require any downtime, always be prepared for sudden issues to arise. In the end, moving to the cloud will always be worth it.
So, off to the cloud you go!