24 Aug

4 Factors to Consider Before Migrating Company Data to the Cloud

Ninety-five percent of companies are using the cloud to some degree, according to RightScale’s latest State of the Cloud Report. Seventy-seven percent of respondents are using private cloud solutions, which has driven hybrid cloud use up from 58 to 71 percent. With its increasing popularity, businesses that have not moved already will need to consider a cloud migration in the near future. Before they take the leap, here are four factors they should consider to ensure a seamless migration.


Seek Expert Assistance

Requests for cloud migration often come to IT from other departments solely because they want to save money. The potential financial benefits make it tempting to cut costs by doing it themselves or using free migration services offered by cloud providers. However, such services only migrate data, which is only 10 percent of the total work involved. The other 90 percent involves transitioning apps and project management, which is typically not included.

Due to these sorts of considerations, ZDNet suggests seeking out the assistance of a cloud migration specialist. This type of expert assistance can mean the difference between a painless, swift cloud migration and a headache that lasts months.

Think Beyond Cost

While cutting expenses is one major reason for moving to the cloud, businesses that limit their research to this one parameter may overlook other ways the cloud can benefit their business. For example, Gartner predicts that by 2018 the security benefits of the cloud will overtake cost and agility as the reason why businesses choose to transition to the cloud. Scalability, big data computing power and storage space are other major reasons for cloud migration.

To get the most leverage out of the cloud, business owners should start with a comprehensive review of their processes and identify which ones would most benefit from the cloud as well as which ones are not necessarily ready for the cloud.


Aim for Agility

Agility is currently the second-biggest driver of cloud adoption. Organizations that have an agile culture are better equipped to handle a switch to the cloud because they are prepared to scale up or down as needed, move data around, or add new data or compute capability. The cloud empowers these companies to rapidly adjust to new situations without incurring the same labor and expense as they would from making the same adjustments physically. For example, big data analytics lets businesses make decisions in hours that would normally take months. Agility also enables them to adjust to customer demand, which helps them remain competitive.


Test Before Full Deployment

Testing is the key to successful cloud deployment. Testing is necessary because applications may not automatically scale up correctly when they are moved to the cloud, which can cause performance issues and customer service problems. Fortunately, the cloud makes it possible to simulate large-scale load testing in a virtual environment before going live. Testing reviews should not be completed until a comprehensive verification of all system components working at high-load capacity has been run.

Comprehensive testing should include general performance testing, compatibility verification, stress and load trial runs, and security vulnerability probing. Testing should be followed up with troubleshooting and corrections. For the best results, organizations should engage their end users when testing and conduct testing on an ongoing basis. Companies that take these factors into consideration before and after they sign on with a cloud vendor experience a smoother, more seamless migration.

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