Things to Remember When Switching to the Cloud

by Alyssa Carpenter

Migrating your business to the cloud makes sense. Not only does it minimize the amount of IT equipment and professionals you need to keep onsite, it also makes all of your data much more accessible for your staff. The migration is a big and detailed job, though, so you want to make sure you do it right. The following are a few things that you don't want to overlook.

#1: Maximize your old equipment

Don't fall into the trap of thinking all of your old data-center equipment is garbage. Although there are plenty of garbage companies more than happy to haul it all away for a fee, a better option is to try and recoup some of your costs. Your cloud consultant can help you find a reseller that will wipe all the old data and then auction off the equipment to the highest bidder. The reseller will take a cut of the profit, of course, but this is still better than paying to get rid of everything.

#2: Get organized before the move

Moving all of your data to the cloud is similar to moving to a new house—you don't want to pack up the garbage along with the useful stuff. Make sure you cull all of your data first and destroy old and outdated files that you no longer need. Otherwise, you will end up paying to migrate and store data that is little more than garbage.

#3: Have a backup plan

Every cloud provider has downtime and outages. The problem is that sometimes these downtimes can lead to major losses of business if you don't have a plan in place to manage them. For many companies, this means utilizing two different cloud providers, since it is unlikely that both will have an outage at the same time. If this simply isn't in the budget, then look for a provider that provides a separate backup system of their own, but understand that a large outage may still affect your business.

#4: Don't ditch your IT department

Moving to a cloud provider doesn't automatically take all of your IT needs out of house. You may not need a full department to run an onsite data center anymore, but you will still need IT workers to keep computers running, to troubleshoot interface problems between smartphones, computers, and the cloud for staff members and to communicate with your cloud provider on routine issues. You may be able to streamline the department to core staff, but don't close the department down completely.

For more help in switching to the cloud, contact a cloud consultant.