When many SMBs make the leap to the cloud, they do so with the help of a trusted Microsoft partner. Our robust partner network can help organizations across the country make the most of their cloud investments – no matter the size or the technical needs. Ali Din, GM and CMO at dinCloud, a managed Microsoft hosting partner and cloud services provider, is one such partner. Ali’s 20-year IT industry career has spanned product development, finance and most recently, marketing and brand management. In the below post Ali provides three tips for cloud migration. You can find Ali on Twitter @dinCloud and read more about the benefits of cloud technology at Cloud For Tomorrow website.
For businesses of all sizes the frequency of cloud migrations continues to accelerate. And, there are good reasons for that. For example, staying on top of new technology and protecting your business against cybercrime can take a huge chunk from your IT budget. For small businesses, that typically don’t have the resources to hire the necessary staff, this means exposure to potentially harmful risk.
Through our work with numerous customers the reasons are varied as to why they are migrating to the cloud. The following benefits are some of the most common reasons:
- Flexible technology: Turn it on or off: pay only for what you need
- Reduction in costs: Less infrastructure outlays
- Increase your staff: Small IT departments get the benefit of a larger ‘staff’ for day-to-day maintenance
- Fast deployment: Fewer processes and easy on technology after migration
Shifting your organization to the cloud is worth careful consideration. So, before you migrate, consider the following tips:
Tip 1 – Work with a partner
Many organizations have internal IT resources. While they should become experts in the cloud, they may not be ready yet. Servers and applications in the cloud enters the world of converged infrastructure.
That means that IT staff need to understand desktops, servers, applications, networking, and storage. That’s a lot! Traditionally, enterprises used specialists for each discipline, but with the cloud, a more holistic understanding will prove more helpful. Look for managed service providers (MSPs) or cloud consultants who can help. Most cloud service providers can recommend partners who are familiar with their platform.
You can also use Microsoft’s Pinpoint tool to find a partner close to you. View testimonials and research their website to find a suitable partner.
Tip 2 – Infrastructure assessment
If you have multiple users who will access applications in cloud, you should assess how that might impact your bandwidth. If you have heavy bandwidth applications, then you want to ensure your service won’t slow you down.
Sometimes, this also means looking at business-grade carriers beyond the ones that serve homes. You should also assess your current desktops and networking gear. While services such as hosted desktops work well even with older gear, you should identify your technology or infrastructure needs up front. Then you won’t have to scramble to add these after the fact, without having the time to vet the right technology.
Tip 3 –Manage the change
Migrating to the cloud shouldn’t be a flip of a switch that takes your employees by surprise. Have a discussion with them, even if it’s a heated one.
You don’t want to flip the switch and then realize five different reasons why a certain workload will never work in the cloud. But more than this, managing the change is about preparing your employees and answering their questions. Like any change, there will likely be resistance. It is better to be prepared for it, roll it out as a positive direction for the company, and get the internal buy-in.
Remember, migrating to the cloud takes preparation
When you go on a road trip, you plan ahead. You check the tire pressure; look at the map and traffic conditions before embarking. You even prepare the kids for how long it is going to take, what’s along the way, and what you’ll see when you get there.
The same goes for cloud. This is definitely a good path for many organizations, and with the few tips we shared, you’ll have a more pleasant journey.