Companies are migrating to the cloud: As noted by BizTech, cloud spending is up for 2016. However, adoption seems to be slowing, in part because businesses are now employing more “refined” cloud strategies that focus on leveraging the right apps, storage solutions and security tools for the job, rather than overspending on massive cloud sprawl. Bottom line? If you’re considering cloud migration, it pays to consider the big questions before making a move.

Fast or Slow?

When it comes to cloud migration, many companies assume that more is better and fast beats slow — after all, if you’re headed for the IT and cultural shift that comes with cloud computing, why do it piecemeal? According to Small Business Trends, however, this strategy often leads to the problem of “too many moving parts,” in turn causing big migration initiatives to pay smaller-than-expected dividends. To avoid this problem, start slow. Adopt cloud services as needed and only scale up as required.

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Can You Leverage Legacy?

Do you need to toss your existing hardware and infrastructure, or can you make use of this technology in the cloud? While it may not be possible to migrate all apps or link every piece of current hardware to your new cloud ecosystem, keeping at least some of your legacy tech in place gives you a fallback if things don’t work out as planned. Also a good idea? Check your network: If you don’t have the throughput needed, even the best cloud provider won’t be able to improve your overall performance.

Fit and Failure?

As noted by TechTarget, any move to the cloud comes with a host of third-party tools on deck to help streamline IT and increase overall productivity. Start by identifying “best fit” apps that align with current migration needs and will help smooth your initial transition. Next, take the time to consider worst-case scenarios such as data breaches or network failure. Also, track specific apps or services — such as automatic backups or disaster-recovery-as-a-service add-ons that can help safeguard your business against the unexpected.

Security: In or Out?

When companies make the move to cloud services, it’s often tempting to bring security along for the ride; after all, many niche cloud security companies can now out-perform local defence solutions. GCN offers some sage advice, however: “It’s your data.” This means that while cloud security experts can help limit the risk and empower your ability to recover stolen or compromised data, the ultimate responsibility lies with your company. As a result, it’s critical to develop security strategies that both embrace cloud technology but don’t ignore the role of in-house safeguards.

Where’s the Bottom Line?

What will moving to the cloud really cost? While significant spending reductions come with moving workloads off-site, reducing the need for cap-ex payouts, and increasing the amount of free server space you have in-house, it’s easy to end up paying more than you expect for cloud services. Why? As noted by Enterprise Tech, unnecessary workloads for testing and development can ramp up your monthly costs, as can unexpected downtime. Scaling up to meet business demand may also come with a big price tag — here, it’s essential to conduct a thorough analysis of any provider’s SLA to determine what comes standard, what constitutes a separate charge, and how you’ll be compensated in the event of downtime or cloud failure.

Moving to the cloud? Ask hard questions to minimise the chances of a maddening migration.

 

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