For companies in many industries, the cloud is quickly becoming the preferred infrastructure. However, it is a big move and, therefore, usually done in stages to ensure that every step and possibility is taken into account.
If your business is contemplating moving to the cloud, here are seven action steps to take and to consider before you make the transition.
- Determine Your Deployment Model
For all-size firms, there are a growing number of deployment options to choose from. In general terms, your deployment model determines how you are able to make the applicable software available and ready for use, and how quickly as well.
In terms of selecting which cloud deployment model makes the best sense for your corporate needs, elements such as ownership of, size and access to the software and data in the cloud matter a lot. The common cloud deployment models are the public cloud, community or government cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.
Each service and deployment model is distinct so what may fit some business models may not do so well with others. For the most part, large organizations benefit more from the private cloud which gives a company a single tenant solution, whereas smaller businesses will most likely choose a public cloud which is the comparative equivalent of a shared server that is offsite.
- Begin With Non-Mission-Critical Applications
Without a doubt, there are going to be some minor challenges when your company first starts moving to the cloud. In order to keep the rest of your business functional during this transitional period, make sure your IT department begins by transferring the smaller applications, postponing the customer-facing, mission-critical apps until the conclusion of the process.
- Select the Necessary Apps
Despite the cloud being very functional, it still is developing and isn’t necessarily the best solution for everything, not yet. Depending on the deployment model you select, your firm will want to analyze the security features needed.
For example, if you deploy with the public cloud option, you want to consider which apps need robust security thoroughly. Additionally, some legacy apps may not be compliant with the newer infrastructure of the cloud. These will have to be updated before transferring or moved into a new standard.
- Explore Potential Hosts
Now that you have selected the applications you need in the cloud and coordinated your composite structure to those requirements; it is time to see who can provide those resources to you. Just like anything in life, not all cloud hosts are created the same, and you have to do your research to find the best cloud ERP software.
Opt for senior members of your team to hold a round of conference calls to have a variety of cloud-hosting companies explain firsthand to you what they can offer your firm.
- Do Your Homework
However, once these conference calls have been made, do not merely rely on the word of the hosting company. Go a step further and demand to see their solutions in action. In addition to requesting a free trial to witness firsthand how they handle security and compliance issues, conduct interviews with their current clients, peruse review sites, and ask around your network for other people’s experiences with transitioning to the cloud.
- Contemplate Scaling
Many firms look forward to scaling once they have moved to the cloud, and while this is one of the most considerable advantages of cloud hosting, it also doesn’t happen magically or automatically. Each vendor will respond differently to your request to scale, so you want to ensure that you are inquiring whether they will charge extra for this feature.
- Scrutinize Customer Service
Again, not every hosting company is created the same way, and they won’t all be able to provide the same services and resources to your firm. For this reason, one of the most essential steps to take before you choose a vendor is to scrutinize their customer service.
Ask them if they are willing to guarantee a certain level of uptime. What happens if they fail to live up to this standard? Make sure you understand thoroughly the guarantees they can make to ensure that downtimes will not occur.
One of the best decisions a business can make is to migrate to the cloud. Choosing to do this will bring your firm benefits such as increased efficiency, improved security and load balancing. However, it is a significant move, and without the proper preparation, it can be easy to get lost and confused along the way. After all, you would never want your business to get compromised.
Stephen Canning is the CEO of JCurve Solutions. By being passionate about how businesses can leverage technology to realise their competitive advantage, Stephen has had great success in driving business growth through clever technology as well as building successful, high performing teams by focusing on culture.