Many IT teams and business owners stress about the cloud migration process, worrying about the timeline and the potential for lost productivity, or worse, lost data. The potential risks involved causes many people to lose sleep – or even disregard the benefits and advantages of having a cloud-based business.
If you find yourself with these same fears, here are some answers that shed light on how a good cloud migration should be handled to eliminate any risks and concerns.
Developing a Game Plan
Long before your business migrates a single MB of data to the cloud, your cloud services provider should sit down with you to discuss a game plan for your migration. It is important for your company and the services provider to get on the same page before the migration process begins. So, we start out with this discussion meeting to ensure we understand your reasons for moving to the cloud.
Secondly, and even more importantly, we need to understand what type of internet connection you have and what existing applications you rely upon for communication, collaboration and productivity. We won’t move forward with a cloud migration until our technicians have assessed your current infrastructure and determined whether or not your business can operate successfully in the cloud.
What Makes a Good Fit?
Marco has established qualifications to help determine if a business is a good match for the cloud. This is done to ensure that your cloud migration goes smoothly, and once it is completed, you are set for efficiency, productivity and operational success.
Here are just a few examples of our qualifiers:
- Reliable Internet Connection: Cloud computing requires a reliable connection between the end users and data center. This can either be over the public Internet or through a private WAN circuit. You’ll rely on this connection to access all tools, data and applications moving forward. If your access is unreliable, you’ll need to research your options. If your carrier can’t provide this to you, your business is likely not a good fit at this time.
- Applications: Many of the software programs and applications your business uses now are stored on local servers. Not all line-of-business applications are supported in the cloud. Before you migrate, it's important to determine if your critical applications are supported in the cloud; a Marco cloud specialist can help, here. If you can't move an application to the cloud, an alternative cloud-supported application might be the answer. Or, you can implement a hybrid cloud environment (which would keep those applications on-site) instead.
- Legal or Regulatory Restrictions: Is your company allowed to operate in the cloud, from a regulatory standpoint? Certain industries, such as healthcare and finance, have tight regulations that can have restrictions on operating in a shared or cloud environment. While this doesn’t always disqualify you, it is something we need to know and plan for.
- Networked Devices: It seems like every device has a network cable attached to it today. From common things such as printers, scanners, or fax-to-email devices, to more industry specific devices such as computer-guided welders, barcode scanners, label or receipt printers; we’ll need to design your cloud solution around making these devices continue to work well after the move to the cloud.
It's important to note that no one factor listed above is necessarily a deal breaker. We go through this checklist before every cloud migration we do to ensure that your company fits within the capabilities and restrictions of cloud computing. In many cases, there are solutions that make cloud migration possible by addressing any of your challenges or roadblocks upfront.
Create a Statement of Work
Once we determine you are a good fit for the cloud, it's time to establish a statement of work that defines the steps and expectations of the entire process. Marco will assign a project manager to oversee the migration process. A business analyst will be paired with your company to work with all individual departments, figuring out the best utilization and adoption of cloud computing for their unique needs.
You’ll also have a technical team throughout the migration process that focuses on building out your virtual services at Marco data centers, reinstalling your applications and migrating your data to the cloud.
As migration moves forward, Marco technicians will conduct thorough testing, then your team will have the opportunity to test everything as well. When both sides have given the thumbs up, the actual go-live process begins.
Going Live In the Cloud
We aim to start this phase early in the week at the close of a business day. There will be Marco staff on-site with your business throughout the live migration to provide support and assist your employees as they adapt to the new platform.
The full cloud migration process generally takes between 4 and 6 weeks. And, support will be available to your company 24/7 before, during and after migration.
Cloud migration doesn’t have to be filled with concerns and frustrations. If done properly, those can all be addressed and eliminated before any of the implementation begins.