The cloud has been around a long time, but recently there has been an increase in business’s urgency to move to the cloud and create a computing environment that is accessible from anywhere.
Most businesses looking to create a cloud environment can greatly benefit from partnering with a cloud service provider – from choosing the best way to implement cloud services to establishing effective ongoing support. We’ve found the following provider services are essential to successfully utilizing the cloud.
1. Find the Best Approach
Many cloud conversations begin with misunderstood concepts about the cloud environment they require. For example, a common request from clients is to have their hardware moved off-site. This solution, typically referred to as co-location (or co-lo for short), will be perfect in some scenarios, but is not actually a cloud solution and likely does not address the technical or business case that is the true reason for migrating to the cloud. The cloud isn’t about the location of the hardware, at least not exclusively. Begin by having a conversation about the reasons for moving to the cloud, be they technical, security or business related.
Our method for designing and implementing a cloud computing environment is built on the fact that each business has unique computing needs, as well as a different understanding of the cloud they wish to build. For this reason, we engage in a comprehensive discovery discussion that looks your business’s needs.
The goal in this discussion is to determine where your applications and hardware should, or are required to, reside for the best performance. Many applications aren’t currently built for the cloud and therefore must remain on-site to be effective.
We look at two very important factors when determining the best cloud approach:
- Technology – what do you need and where should it be located?
- End User Experience – how will the changes affect the end user?
The technology needs to be able to accommodate your business needs and applications, but more importantly, your end users need to be able conduct business-as-usual (or better). Thinking through these factors from the very beginning can save you headaches in the future.
2. Develop and Manage Migration of Application and Data
Your company has most likely been collecting and storing data for years. Moving this data and your applications to the cloud can be daunting and needs to be implemented with the utmost care and attention to detail. If done improperly, the consequences could be monumental.
Cloud service providers add significant benefit to this very complex phase. They can help you successfully transition to the cloud with little or no downtime – and make sure everything ends up in the proper place.
3. Integrate Disparate Systems
When you migrate applications and data, it's important that they continue functioning the way they did prior to the move. If they don't, you’ll end up with productivity problems and frustrated employees.
Integrating your systems from their new locations can be a complicated process, which is why cloud service providers can be so beneficial throughout this process.
4. Deliver Cloud Services
And finally, your cloud service providers deliver the applications, patches and updates that you need to keep everything running smoothly. They can also manage your cloud environment – the hardware and the software – so you don’t have too.
Cloud Service Providers
Cloud service providers cannot only help you migrate your business to the cloud, they help you take advantage of all the opportunities cloud services offer. To begin the discussion with a cloud services specialist, request a free consultation.