Co-founder & Managing Partner of CSW Solutions
5 Things to Consider When Migrating to Cloud
A discussion about networking technology today always includes, “the cloud.” Where does your business stand when it comes to implementing or migrating to the cloud? If you’ve been thinking about cloud migration, here are five things to consider before you make your move:
1. How Will You Use the Cloud?
There are many ways to deploy cloud technology in your business. As a business owner, it’s important to prioritize why you want to move to the cloud in the first place and then realistic expectations for return on investment. Here are some examples of cloud-based solutions and how they can benefit your business:
- Disaster Recovery
The growth in ransomware and unforeseen security threats mean that backing up your company data is critical to the essential health and well-being of your business. There are numerous cloud-based solutions that provide extra protection by storing vital data in the cloud. This way your data is protected from environmental factors such as, theft or looting and fire that might affect your physical servers.
- Hosted Email
If you are using a dedicated Exchange server or another dedicated email server, it would make more sense to move your email infrastructure to the cloud and leave those costly maintenance and hardware issues to a Cloud Solutions Provider.
- Company Servers
If you’ve read this far, chances are you already have at least one server that runs one or more applications with a database to store all applicable data. As your business grows, your network will grow too. Thus, additional hardware costs and increased server maintenance are inevitable. A cloud-based solution like Azure Compute has built-in resources to not only improve but replicate on-premise servers in many cases. Imagine handling network management and maintenance without worrying about travel or illness!
- Software Apps
Today, the singular installation of software or updates on each employee computer seems like the stone age. There are a countless array of solutions that offer the deployment of applications from the cloud for complete control of software licensing, cost, and/or broader access for everyone who needs it. Windows Virtual Desktop and Microsoft 365, for example, provide multi-level access to Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel from any location with access to internet and any computing device without compromising the integrity of the network.
2. Understand the Advantages of the Cloud
This year, the switch to remote work became a necessity. A cloud solution makes it possible to work from virtually anywhere. Your team can access documents and files anywhere at any time and on any computing platform from their PC to their phone. This flexibility translates to increased productivity and better management of resources.
- Sharing and Collaboration
Another cloud solution like Microsoft Teams has evolved into a platform wherein unprecedented opportunities have been made available for sharing and collaboration that may not have been considered even this time last year. Teams isn't just a conferencing tool but a multi-faceted solution where employees can organize, connect, and improve collaborations through chats, files, meetings, and add-ons within the platform to create a cohesive shared workspace.
3. What deployment model should you use?
The three major cloud service providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) offer three different deployment models:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Each model presents a different level of control, flexibility, and management. IaaS brings a high level of flexibility and cloud management control and is more resource intensive. PaaS requires fewer IT resources and offers a faster speed to market. However, it has restrictions in technical functionality and resources. SaaS will free up IT resources and offers rapid deployment, but it comes at a cost with minimal control of applications and little to no flexibility. We covered the different models in this post.
The deployment model for you will be based on the main goals of your organization. Understanding the differences will improve compatibility with your requirements.
4. Consider Security
Data security becomes even more critical when migrating files to a cloud platform. New policies will need to be set up with layered access and protection. Don't be shy about asking questions and exploring security solutions with your provider. This is significant if your business is in an industry that demands confidentiality requirements or compliance such as with medical, legal or financial sectors.
5. Managing Your Cloud Services
An ideal transition is smooth and simple. When migrating your company infrastructure to the cloud, a Cloud Solution Provider will make it easier. An experienced and certified provider will not only add peace of mind, but ongoing support to maintain configurations with your standards in mind. While they are managing your setup, you can also have them help you leverage further options to take your business further or take advantage of available resources you have already been paying for.
The bottom line is that this year proved cloud technology is here to stay. There are many directions a business can take to decide how to best leverage the cloud. CSW Solutions is a Microsoft Gold-certified cloud solutions provider, in other words, we are custom software experts who are qualified to supply hosted services through Microsoft. We will make your journey to the cloud effortless and pain-free. Put your trust in us directly at 312-263-7704 or here and see how you can start utilizing the right cloud solutions and services to enable your business to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective.