Checklist: What to consider before moving to the cloud

Migrating data and software systems to the cloud is one of the best ways for modern businesses to make better use of technology. SMBs are increasingly taking advantage of the cloud, with 81 percent of companies pay for cloud services, up 10% from the last 3 years. Before launching into a cloud migration, though, it’s important to consider both the benefits and the potential challenges to be sure that you are approaching the cloud in the manner that is best for your business. Here are the positives and negatives of cloud systems you should be aware of to make informed decisions about a cloud migration in your business.

The positives

Greater collaborative capabilities

One of the strongest arguments in favor of cloud migration is the enhanced collaborative capability it will give your employees. By making your business systems accessible from anywhere in the world and facilitating rapid, effective communication, cloud computing can help your employees work together to complete projects in the most efficient manner.

Improved company efficiency

Undergoing a cloud migration is one of the best ways to make your SMB more efficient. With cloud computing, your company can encounter fewer IT challenges and reduce its spending on technology. It also allows you to be more flexible and adapt to shifting technology needs in a way that would be difficult and expensive to replicate in-house. Most importantly, using the cloud will take the tasks of server management away from your IT staff, leaving them free for assignments that are more directly beneficial to your company’s growth.

Scalability

Cloud computing offers much greater scalability than on-premise server infrastructure. In the cloud, scaling can be easily accomplished both vertically and horizontally, giving you more options when it comes to increasing the resources allocated to your systems. By migrating key tech assets to the cloud, your company can position itself for future growth and become more agile in both innovation and expansion. This easy scalability also allows you to pay for only what you need in terms of cloud storage. When you perform your IT assessment to determine which assets should be prioritized for cloud migration, be sure to take future scaling needs into consideration.

The negatives

Security concerns

Security is one of the most frequent concerns companies have with cloud systems. Potential vulnerabilities in internet-connected APIs and connected mobile devices, in particular, should be taken into account when weighing the pros and cons of cloud migration. What you should clearly understand to make an informed decision, though, is that these security concerns have nothing to do with cloud computing itself. Cloud security problems are almost always the result of improper data security practices on the part of users. In fact, Gartner estimates that through 2022, a full 95 percent of cloud security issues will be caused by users, rather than providers. On its own, the cloud is more than secure enough for any business to use.

The increased burden of audits

Moving your data and assets to the cloud means engaging a third-party provider that will need to be taken into account when you audit your systems for compliance. Audits that once took place completely in-house will now require you to work with your provider to ensure compliance with your policies and any legal standards you may be subject to. Though this increased burden involved in auditing shouldn’t be too much of a problem, it’s important to plan for it in advance to account for downtime.

Data management challenges

Managing your data for optimal use in the cloud can be a difficult task. Complexity and lack of compatibility between cloud environments can cause problems if you haven’t carefully controlled how your data is managed and allocated. When considering a cloud migration, it’s important to make solid plans for your data management that take into account these potential challenges. One popular solution to this problem is to implement a multi-cloud controller, which will allow you to move data more easily between multiple clouds.

When considering migrating to the cloud, it’s important to consider everything. You can also reach out to an experienced MSP who can work with you on determining if now is a good time to migrate to the cloud.