March 31, 2017
If you’re considering migrating to the cloud, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, companies run 79 percent of their workloads in the cloud. It’s easy to see why: in a cloud environment, you benefit from redundancies that bring you as close as possible to 100 percent uptime.
It may sound ideal, but there are hidden roadblocks to migrating to the cloud. Before you make the move, ask yourself these five crucial questions:
How Much Downtime Should You Expect?
When you make the switch to a cloud environment, you’ll need to shut down your old equipment and switch on the new equipment at a certain point. In between, there will be a period of downtime that could last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.
The exact amount of time will vary from one business to the next. When planning your cloud migration, it’s important to know how long you can expect the downtime to last, so you can plan accordingly.
Is Your Software Up To Date?
For that reason, it’s important to make sure that any software you use on a regular basis is updated to run in the new environment. Before you start your cloud migration, make sure that you have a current support agreement for the software. If the manufacturer is out of business, or the application can’t be updated, it may be difficult or even impossible to move it into the cloud.
After the migration is complete, your applications will be running on different equipment. Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, and other common applications will typically make the transition go smoothly, but proprietary software and older business applications could present a challenge.
Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?
One common misconception about cloud computing is that nothing can go wrong. Even in cloud computing, there’s always a chance of disaster, so it’s crucial to think through your redundancy options. Before you migrate to the cloud, create a backup plan.
Outsource or In-House?
At first glance, it may seem more cost-effective to handle your cloud migration in-house. But migrating to the cloud is a major project, even for the smallest company. If your team has never handled this process before, it can be easy to underestimate how much time is actually involved from start to finish.
Instead, consider outsourcing the project to a company with experience in cloud migration. This can significantly reduce your downtime and speed the adoption process, which will positively impact your bottom line.
How Much Will It Really Cost?
Generally speaking, the money you spend on cloud computing buys you more options for your data. You get the shared use of a data center, allowing you to reap the benefits of built-in redundancies, infrastructure, networking, storage, and server computing power. But while migrating to the cloud is less expensive than building your own data center, it can still be costly. In fact, cost management is the biggest challenge facing cloud users today, according to a 2017 survey of cloud computing trends.
Before you commit, find out what your total ongoing costs will be, and make sure the cloud is the right solution for your business.
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