A move to the cloud is not to be undertaken lightly, but – when planned carefully, communicated clearly, and staffed properly – such a transition can offer enterprise-wide benefits.
Public and private sector enterprises alike are increasingly looking to cloud computing for its many benefits. Among these are:
- Reduced management and operational complexity of IT resources
- Reduced cost for operational space
- Reduced maintenance costs for on-premises servers and networking equipment
- Reduced need for physical security – round the clock security guards, twenty-four-hour video surveillance, etc.
- Reduced compliance effort, as many of the required controls will now be inherited from the cloud provider
- Moving much of the IT budget from capital expenditure to operational expense
Even so, cloud computing is not for every enterprise. Some organizations depend upon legacy applications that cannot be replicated in the cloud, at least not yet. And others are bound by security compliance regulations that have not yet been updated for cloud technology. Yet for most, the benefits can be substantial.
The top five things to consider before moving to the cloud
To help determine whether cloud is the answer for your organization and to develop a realistic plan for your migration, start by assessing your position on these major issues.
- Compliance and security – These are primary considerations when planning a cloud migration, requiring you to account for specific standards and frameworks, security controls, and other critical factors.
- Current architecture – Carefully assessing the existing infrastructure will lay the groundwork for success in building the new cloud-based structure.
- Migration and maintenance costs – It’s important to consider up-front how much your budget will allow, what cost-savings might help offset the expense, and whether you’ll need to engage professional services to support the effort.
- Abilities of the IT staff – Evaluate the skill level, expertise, and experience of each team member in relation to the major portions of the project to ensure you have the right people for the migration.
- Desired migration timeline – Agreed-upon dates early in the project aren’t always realistic later on; managing expectations is important in increasing the likelihood of success of the migration.
Such a careful assessment as part of the planning process will simplify your effort while maximizing benefit. For a detailed look at these issues along with questions designed to help you plan a smooth migration, download our white paper, Top five things to consider before moving to the cloud.