team working on cloud migrationSwitching over to a cloud-based system can be a huge step for any business. Like any major change, the supporting steps you take can help ensure a smooth transition, keeping your small business running and avoiding any interruptions for your customers. Fortunately, cloud migration services are offered by several cloud applications to help you navigate the switch. Combining these services with your own planning and strategic development will give your small business the best chance of transitioning to the cloud with minimal disruption to daily operations.

1. Choose an application based on your company’s needs

There are a number of cloud applications your company can choose from, but not all are created equal. It’s important to assess your current and future needs so you can choose a platform that can help you make the transition now and is also capable of supporting your future growth. Although there are several options available, AWS offered through Amazon and Microsoft’s Azure are two of the most recognized.

While both provide a number of beneficial options and services, Azure is often a better fit for small business needs. The price for service is more affordable for businesses on a budget, with an additional discount if that business already uses Microsoft software. Azure is considered less complicated to use as well, making it easier for small business owners to navigate.

2. Update security measurescloud security

Planning for additional security measures is a must when choosing to migrate to the cloud. Many cloud migration services offer security options, but business owners shouldn’t rely on these without assessing their own needs. Moving sensitive information to the cloud makes it more accessible to hackers and puts your company at the mercy of the provider. Find out what security measures are provided through the cloud application and how often these are updated to keep up with the latest advancements in data security. Also research the level of redundancy in place in the event of a site or server crash. There are protocols in place to prevent the loss of data and keep operations running smoothly, so you should know what they are and how they work.

On your end, backups are always an excellent idea. Depending on your reasons for switching to the cloud, it may be beneficial to have your data backed up on-site, giving you an additional layer of protection should any data be lost due to events beyond your control. If your intention is to limit on-site dependence, learn about your backup options within the cloud application and what the recovery process looks like. Azure backup offers several recovery tools and allows you to automate scheduled backups and alerts, or you can utilize the offered manual options.

3. Create a migration schedule

You may be tempted to simply shift all your data onto the cloud so you can resume normal business activities as quickly as possible, but it’s a good idea to prioritize your needs and gradually transfer processes over with a carefully planned schedule. Determine your cloud needs and assess the risks of business disruption for each process should something go wrong. Issues are much easier to fix if you know exactly where to look to find the triggering function. This allows you better control over your experience, ensuring that everything is transferred correctly and any mistakes are caught early and corrected.

The gradual transfer will also give you and your staff an opportunity to adjust to any operation changes that come with moving data off-site. Instead of facing a complete overhaul of daily procedures, every person who works with cloud data will have time to implement small changes, learning as they go and committing the changes in daily activities to established habits.

visual metaphor of cloud solutions4. Anticipate the learning curve

Shifting to cloud-based services can be a major change for your business. Although cloud migration can help ease the stress of this transition, your knowledge of how it all works can go a long way toward establishing control over your experience. If you’ve never worked within the cloud, the concept can be confusing. Take the time to research cloud computing and get a firm grasp on how it all works. This will help prepare you for any potential glitches, allowing you to assess the situation intelligently to come up with workable solutions.

Remember that cloud services have assistance available when you encounter something beyond your understanding. Take advantage of any communications with the professionals available to assist you, and don’t be afraid to ask for detailed explanations on things you don’t fully understand. The information you gather can also help you keep your employees informed in a meaningful way, leading to fewer disruptions when complications arise.

It’s also a good idea to regularly reassess your needs to see if there are any additional services that could benefit your business. Once you’re comfortable with the initial transition, look into other ways that cloud-based services could save you time and money. Spend time learning about services you may utilize in the future. This can help you grow your operations smoothly, quickly transitioning when those services become relevant.

Transitioning your data to the cloud can seem like a huge moment for your company, but initial planning and the use of cloud migration services help to anticipate possible complications and prepare with workable solutions. Expanding your knowledge of the process, choosing the right application for your business and anticipating your security needs will give your company the advantage to make the switch seamlessly, maintaining the integrity of your daily operations and protecting the quality of service to your customers. If you’re considering making the transition for your business, contact Eire Systems today and talk to one of our specialists about your cloud-based options.