Guest Blog Post by: Joe Peters

The cloud has become the quintessential way to manage a business in 2019.

Offering flexibility, scalability, and consistency, the cloud allows businesses to get complete access to their data faster, without compromising on performance or security.

cloud business
Picture source: Pixabay

Depending on the kind of business you run, you can rely on the cloud for many different purposes.

Some companies use the cloud for automated online appointment scheduling and customer messaging.

Other brands might rely on the cloud to collect data from multiple touchpoints with customers and translate that information into useful insights that they can use to make business decisions.

Used correctly, the cloud will give you more agility and power than any on premise system.

The question is; how do you move to the cloud with as little stress and downtime as possible?

The following checklist will help:

1.  Plan and Prepare for Your Migration

Before you begin your migration into the cloud, you need to know why you’re making this transition.

Do you want to make it easier to connect with your customers across multiple channels, and improve your brand reputation in the process?

Are you looking for an easier way to manage critical business and consumer data without having to rely on on premise data centers?

The cloud can offer endless benefits. If you want to map out an effective migration journey, you’ll need to start by knowing what your end goal is going to be. Ensure that all of your employees and shareholders are on the same page too. This will reduce the risk of confusion when you begin to move portions of your data and processes over to the cloud.

2.  Choose Your Cloud Environment

Once you have an idea of why you’re moving to the cloud, you can begin to explore the kind of cloud model that might be best suited to your business.

Remember, there are different kinds of cloud solutions available.

A single cloud environment is what you get when you use one provider to serve all the applications and services that you’ve chosen to migrate into the cloud.

Today, many companies are beginning to take a different approach, using a multi-cloud environment instead.

In a multi-cloud space, you access a variety of different cloud solutions from multiple providers to create your own best-in-class solution. Here, you can use the various cloud in your portfolio for different services and requirements. You may have one cloud to manage reporting, and one for contact management, etc.

3.  Get the Right Support

Moving into the cloud requires more than just the right technology. You’ll also need some expertise and guidance too.

The first step here is choosing a vendor that you can rely on to deliver all the cloud features you’re looking for.

If you need to use a multi-cloud environment, then your vendor should have a cloud system that integrates well with other solutions and applications.

It may also be worth bringing cloud experts and developers on board to help you implement the tools and functionality you need. Fortunately, there are ways to access multiple features and functionalities in the cloud without having to invest in a developer too. All you need is the right platform.

4.  Keep Security and Resilience in Mind

Whenever you’re implementing new business strategies, it’s essential to keep reliability and security in mind.

For instance, when moving into the cloud, it’s worth thinking about where your data is going to be stored, and how you’re going to protect that information in the long-term.

Many cloud vendors offer encryption at-rest and in-transit to help with this.

However, you’ll also need your own security standards in place among your employees.

For reliability, the best way to make sure that you don’t lose any crucial data in your transition to the cloud is to create multiple backups.

Copy your critical systems into drives from Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, and other similar storage facilities. You can also set up automated backups for protection in the future too.

5.  Know What Doesn’t Need to Move

Some companies will benefit from moving all of their operations directly into a cloud environment. Other organizations might find that it’s safer to keep some of their solutions on premise.

This is usually the case for businesses that have specific industry regulations to consider.

To make sure you know what needs to stay off the cloud, and what needs to be migrated, do your research before you get started. It’s easy to get carried away during a cloud migration.

Remember that although many cloud applications may be exciting, not every business will need every solution.

For instance, most companies will need email tracking tools in the cloud to help them nurture their leads, but not everyone will need in-depth data analytics and machine learning tools. Examine your options carefully and only choose the tools that solve problems for your business or deliver significant benefits.

6. Manage Each Step of the Process

Finally, remember that moving to the cloud is a big step – and something that can have a substantial positive impact on your business.

However, such a significant change also comes with various risks. It’s not as simple as just flipping a switch and making the change all at once.

You’ll need to learn how to properly manage your new cloud environment and take advantage of the benefits that are available.

Ask questions about your cloud technology and get to know the solutions and services that you’ll be using in the years ahead. This will also make it easier for you to identify and eliminate any single point of failure in your architecture that could lead to unplanned downtime and lost revenue in the future.

More about the author:
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters

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