So, you are considering moving your entire company IT and data network to the infamous cloud. That’s a good first step to protecting your precious data and IT operations from a number of things that could befall you without the proper backup, recovery, and continuity that the cloud provides. You will want to enjoy the best of both worlds – that of on-premise servers and that of off-premise, or cloud servers. Here are five things you’ll want to know as you make the big move.
- What are your goals? Doing it just because everyone else is doing it is just fine, but you will want to have your business goals for cloud migration clearly laid out here. Something like, “We will have 80% of our database in cloud computing virtual servers, which will save us X dollars, and boost productivity by 30%.” There are many goals that can be reached by utilizing cloud services. Figure yours out, write them down, and pin them to the wall, with the entire office cognizant of them.
- Decide just how much storage you need. You don’t want to walk into this like you’re on a Vegas weekend after getting paid. Cloud services can be pricey, even if they do offer long-term savings as part of the cloud perks. Sit down with accounting and carve out a budget for cloud storage based on exactly what the company needs, providing for quarterly growth margins, of course. Visualize it, get it in writing, and implement it in budgetary form before you go grabbing cloud storage server space like it’s going out of style.
- Have the maximum Internet bandwidth possible. This is a very important point: You DO NOT want to be stuck with cloud services operating on degraded or minimal bandwidth. It’s like watching your favorite movie on lower page load speed. You don’t like watching that wheel spinning as your video loads, so why would you want that when using cloud services? Have the adequate Internet bandwidth to match the amount of cloud storage, software, and service you’ve contracted for, so hair-pulling won’t approach becoming an Olympic event for you.
- Cherry-pick the cloud services you want. You will probably want Office 365. And some kind of Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, though you will want to designate exactly how much space you will need, projected through your fiscal year. Beyond that, you can prudently select the kinds and amount of cloud services you will want to have. And with the cloud computing service industry spiking into the stratosphere, both time and money are of the essence. Choose your particular services well, and pair it up with your business model and data center needs like you’re choosing the right living space for your needs and habits.
- Make sure your on-boarding and off-boarding clause is reasonable. Here’s another huge one – and one that most people and companies will overlook in the race and excitement of obtaining cloud services: You will want to make sure you don’t get stuck in a contract that gives you no leeway, should you become dissatisfied with the services. Make sure you have a reasonable off-boarding or out clause in the contract that you can cite if or when you become unhappy or feel overwhelmed by your cloud services contract. A good IT services company will work with you and consider your reasons for getting out, not hem you in with an impossibly cost-prohibitive contract.