Purchasing physical hardware and datacenters year after year is costly and inefficient. It is time to move away from your clunky on-premises technology infrastructure. The cloud is the answer. Moving to the cloud can reduce capital expenditures, grant you economies of scale, and help your technology services provider handle IT maintenance in person or remotely. Pay-as-you-go plans are also common in cloud-based services, so as your business grows, so will your capacity.
The Challenge of Converting
The benefits of cloud-based operating systems are innumerable. The challenge, however, comes with the process of converting from your current physical hardware to the cloud. Transitioning to cloud-based systems is a significant undertaking, requiring careful planning and execution. This article will walk you through the key steps for a successful transition to a cloud-based system.
Step 1: Establish Your Goals
You are ready to transition to a cloud-based operating system. Now you need to lay out your objectives clearly to get your stakeholders on board. Consider cost-savings, scalability, disaster and recovery planning, and improved agility. Keep sound change management strategies in mind and follow your current communication protocol to share your goals with your team.
Step 2: Conduct an Assessment
With your goals established, take stock of your existing IT infrastructure, applications and data. Determine which workloads need to be transitioned to the cloud, and which are better in your current infrastructure. You may need expert help for this assessment. A reputable Technology Service Provider can conduct an audit for your business and help you identify areas in which the cloud can save you time and money.
Step 3: Choose the Right Cloud Model
There are a number of cloud options from which to choose. You have public clouds like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, which offer scalability and cost-effectiveness. Then you have the private clouds, which provide more control and security for your data. Private clouds also provide more opportunities for custom protocols and access control.
You may prefer a hybrid model, in which some clouds are on a public server, and others are not. Research and compare cloud service providers based on your specific requirements. They vary in pricing, services offered, geographic presence, and compliance standards. Assess security requirements and compliance standards for your industry specifically before making a final choice. If you find yourself overwhelmed, a Technology Service Consultant can assist you with this choice.
Cloud resource usage is costly, so be sure to monitor it and use auto-scaling where applicable. Your chosen cloud provider service can teach you more about this, as pricing and details vary per company.
Step 4: Develop a Security Strategy
Next you should work closely with your chosen cloud provider to develop a robust security strategy. Protecting your data and applications within the cloud is of the utmost importance for your long-term business success. A well-thought-out security strategy minimizes risks as well as downtime.
Step 5: Data Migration
Now it is time to plan your data migration. Keep in mind that transferring large volumes of data to the cloud takes time. It can also impact the performance of your current system. For these reasons it is critical to plan your data migration for a time that will be as unintrusive as possible. Consider scheduling the transfer over a holiday weekend or when your system is unused. This is also a good time to perform any system or application updates.
Step 6: Train Your Team
After you have completed the data migration process, it is time to train your team. This will likely involve change management. Communication about the benefits of this change will make the transition significantly easier for your entire organization. Your IT team may need training in cloud technology. There are many certification and training programs available for this task. A training program is an easy way to get your team up to speed and certified to do the work the right way. Training must be complete before you move your workloads over to your cloud platform. Remember that while your data has been transferred to the cloud, your workloads and to-do items have yet to be moved.
Step 7: Test, Validate, and Back Up
Make sure to test and validate your new cloud system before migrating critical workloads. This allows you to identify and address issues early on, mitigate risk, and save money. Mistakes happen, and technology does have its kinks, so test thoroughly. Create a robust backup and disaster recovery plan to protect your data and operations in the cloud. In case of emergency, you won’t lose any data if your backups are done correctly.
Step 8: Migrate Critical Workloads
It is finally time to execute the migration of your critical workloads. Work in phases, so you can monitor the progress of each workload and promptly address any issues. After you complete your rollout of phases for full migration, plan to continuously optimize your cloud environment by analyzing performance metrics and making necessary adjustments. Maintain clear documentation of your cloud infrastructure and implement governance policies to manage resource allocation and access. Be sure to look at the cloud management tools regularly to keep track of your cloud resources’ performance and security.
Technology Strategies That Evolve with Your Business
As your business evolves, so do your needs. Review and revisit your cloud strategy and make necessary adjustments and improvements as needed. Cloud migration is not a one-time event, but an ongoing improvement process. Leverage the cloud to achieve your initial goals and attain the benefits you outlined at the start of this process. Follow the steps outlined in this article and enjoy streamlined operations with your cloud-based operating systems.