Ready to move your data to the cloud? Migrating to a new cloud infrastructure might seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation and coordination, it really shouldn’t be. Bearing this in mind, let’s look at some of the key points to consider when mapping out your migration to our new CloudNX platform.

Pros and cons of cloud migration

Before exploring how you can use cloud migration tools to move your data to a new server, it’s important to look at the pros and cons – you need to determine whether it’s the right decision for your business.

The pros of migrating to the cloud

Cloud migration has several plus points, not least the fact that it greatly improves business efficiency and productivity – through increasing visibility, you can manage the professional resources you’re using. Other benefits of cloud migration include:

  • Improved accessibility: when you migrate to cloud functionality, you can access your business resources from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.
  • Centralised data: business data is valuable, so it’s helpful to know exactly where it is and to be able to access it all from one centralised location. Even better, migrating to the cloud allows you to back up your data regularly, which reduces disaster recovery time.
  • Business scalability: migrating to the cloud allows you to scale business resources to meet new goals or changing market conditions. With various storage options available, your business will never feel constrained.

The drawbacks of cloud migration

Just as there are plenty of positives to migrating to the cloud, there are some drawbacks. Cloud migration might not suit your business for of a couple of keys reasons:

  • Cost: migrating to the cloud can be costly, and often more expensive than hosting yourself. But it’s important to remember that, while costs might appear greater in the short term, cloud migration can save you money in the long run.
  • A high-speed connection: it's as simple as it sounds, the cloud requires a high-speed internet connection. This is so everyone working remotely can reliably access company data. Slower internet speeds can make it near impossible to manage files.

Planning your cloud computing implementation steps

Any expert in IT knows that you can’t charge headlong into the adoption of a new technological infrastructure without a clear strategy. An analysis of costs, projected downtime, employee training and a realistic migration time frame should be at the forefront of your cloud migration strategy.

It’s also a good idea to prepare for any potential problems that could happen, such as sourcing extra funding for unexpected costs or measures to cope with any delays. With a clear and detailed strategy from the start you can avoid risks and quickly embrace all the benefits that the cloud has to offer.

Cloud computing security

Concern about security is often the biggest reason why businesses think twice about taking the plunge and migrating to the cloud, despite its many benefits. In a digital age of malicious email links, poorly guarded passwords and employees not following IT best practices, it’s perfectly understandable to be vigilant when protecting your precious business data. When you migrate to cloud operations, you’re effectively trusting another party to look after your vital information. That's why providers place so much emphasis on security.

The good news is, cloud providers are data protection experts who dedicate huge resources to keeping your data safe – they stake their reputations on it! If you think your company’s current security measures are good, consider how amazing a specialist’s are. If a burglar wanted to rob your home, where would you rather live, a house or a castle?

Safeguarding company data during the process of cloud migration is always important. By preparing data loss prevention (DLP) solutions such as encrypting your data both at-rest and in-transit, centralising your monitoring, and understanding compliance requirements, you can make migrating to the cloud perfectly safe.

Your cloud migration strategy

How your data is managed is key to the smooth running of your business and its compliance with regulations – so be careful. Migrating every part of your operation to the cloud is a significant task which poses potential problems, such as staff errors leading to data being corrupted, erased or becoming unsecure.

It’s recommended that any cloud migration process is gradual, and should start with less critical applications before moving on to more sensitive ones. You could begin with a simple application such as an internal company website, then gradually integrate business-critical systems like customer databases. This approach gives you the opportunity to test out the platform and get comfortable managing the various cloud migration tools available to you, including important features such as monitoring and security.

Some users make the mistake of assuming that to use the cloud effectively, they need to migrate all their data at once. This really isn’t true, and in many cases it actually makes sense to do the opposite. If you’re not 100% prepared, the sudden transfer of all your applications to a new platform could seriously muck things up for your business. This is why there needs to be an overlap between cloud and on-site systems to make sure that operations can continue smoothly. On top of that, it’s also not exactly practical or convenient to upload all your data in one go.

Cloud services offer a budget you can stick to

Another good thing about gradual cloud migration is that you only have to budget for the initial level of performance you require. Pay-as-you-use pricing makes cloud migration extremely cost-effective because you only need to pay for the exact server usage of individual applications as and when you choose to integrate them. So by clearly planning your migration in stages, you can drastically cut the costs of your first steps into the cloud.

Choosing the right cloud provider

When planning to migrate to cloud functionality, you need to be sure you have the skillset in place to manage your infrastructure. That could mean having the expertise yourself, or relying on an IT specialist on your team.

To help ensure that the cloud migration process is as smooth as possible, it’s also important to pick a provider with great reviews and excellent customer service. A comprehensive support system including guides, articles and 24/7 technical help from experts is key. Being able to track the status of your system and when staff are working on your particular issue is also useful.

Fasthosts offers an intuitive Cloud Panel, around-the-clock support and a Professional Services team to keep disruption to the absolute minimum. Learn more about our innovative new cloud platform, or discover the latest from us on our blog.