If you missed part one of our series on Cloud Considerations, you can read it here.

Back in July we wrote about five considerations every business needs to make before moving to the cloud. This has been a hot topic around the Backupify office ever since. While more and more companies are considering the cloud and a cloud backup solution, they also face many questions and decisions to ensure the move is as smooth as possible. Today’s post lists five more considerations you need to consider - let us know what we missed!

1. Data Availability

Moving to the cloud means that your data will be hosted outside of your domain. This means that if an issue does arise, you need to consider that the people responsible for returning the system to normal operate outside of your organization.

Because of this, it all comes back to the importance of your SLA, that we mentioned in our previous post. Know the data availability plan your vendor is providing service against, along with the process for recovering lost data. You will also want to ask the provider about their business continuity plan, which is the emergency plan the provider will put into place should any data be lost. Is there a backup of any sort? Or what other considerations have been made in case of data loss?

Takeaway: Study the SLA carefully for details on data availability and the plan to fix an issue if and when it occurs.

2. Performance

One area to not overlook look is the day to day performance of your business and how a transition such as moving to the cloud could disrupt it. Does the current business model and processes you have in place today translate to a cloud based business tomorrow? In most cases, there will be tradeoffs to consider. Additional training and some growing pains as you move away from the systems your employees are comfortable with are common. Here are three high level questions to review with your team:

  • Will it save you and your team time and money?
  • Will you be able to generate more revenue because of the switch? Or are the benefits more subtle than that?
  • With any switch to a new system there will be a period of adjustment for you and your team. Is the team prepared for this?

Takeaway: Weigh the performance increases, cost savings and other benefits you expect in the long term versus the learning curve of training your team in the short term.

3. Timeline

Before you even begin, you should map out a realistic timeline with the assembled team of key players from your organization. You need to understand what a successful cloud migration looks like from a timeframe perspective. Are you trying to move quickly? Or do you have the ability to take 9-12 months before you are fully up and running?

A strong timeline will have a date for when you want to have your cloud provider chosen, a date for completing all of the discovery work and collecting solid answers to questions around SLAs and other key considerations that we have mentioned in today’s post.

Takeaway: Do your homework. Identify a team of individuals responsible for driving the project to completion, set realistic timelines and hold each other accountable.

4. What’s your migration plan?

Without a plan your organization is going to have a tough time succeeding during the migration process. Often, different departments will have varying lists of “must haves” that they cannot live without. It’s important to communicate with the leaders of each department prior to the move. Understand their needs and what is critical for their teams or just a nice to have.

On the server side, make sure to do your research on the servers you will be using. Data storage, cloud properties, safeguards and power requirements are just a few of the basic areas you and your team should be intimately aware of while planning your move.  How scalable do these servers need to be? If you don’t know, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and discuss your needs internally with your team.

Takeaway: Create a list of the “must have” features and tools each department participating in the move to the cloud will need to be successful in the new environment.

5. Shifting IT Responsibilities

Once the cloud migration is complete, the work is far from done. Your IT department is likely to find itself in a world of shifted responsibilities. This can be an awkward transitional period if the members of your team are not prepared for it. Often, a move to the cloud will automate some manual tasks your team used to spend hours on. This means your team may have more time to focus on the bigger picture and the complex issues and projects that there simply was not time for in the past.

Takeaway: Discuss how the move to the cloud will alter your IT employees workload. Discuss what will be different and the types of new opportunities that will present themselves post migration with your team, transparency is the key here.

So there you have it, ten major cloud considerations every organization should consider well before a move to a cloud based system occurs. Is your organization already in the cloud? What were the major considerations you and your team had to take into account prior to the migration? Please leave a comment, we would love to hear from you!