Professional services firms are turning to the cloud to help solve their business challenges. The benefits include increased flexibility, scalability, productivity, efficiency, and resilience. And it’s a move that’s paying off, with companies that use cloud technology generating 26% higher profits than their competitors.
If you’ve decided make the leap, check out our top-tips for migrating your data to the cloud.
- Check your internet speed. With cloud computing, everything you need to run your firm is accessed over the internet, so, you’ll need a decent broadband connection. If you don’t have a speed of at least 4MB per second, then you’ll need to get this sorted before making the switch.
- You can’t just use Dropbox. Well, you can, but we wouldn’t recommend it! There are lots of free cloud services out there, but most of them aren’t suitable for the needs of modern businesses when it comes to security, compliance, synchronisation, and version control.
- Analyse your data. Your migration will go much smoother if you take the time to scrutinise your data before making decisions about where it will be migrated and how. This includes:
- Structured data. Information that is easy to organise (e.g. data that can be held in a straightforward, searchable database)
- Unstructured data. Information assets that aren’t easy to interpret or store in a traditional database. For example text-heavy documents, social media posts, etc. Currently, unstructured data takes up over 80% of all installed storage capacity and is continuing to grow
- Multi-structured data. Data stemming from interactions between people and machines. This can take a variety of formats.
- Consider your current setup. Unless you are starting from scratch, you’re likely to have an existing on premise infrastructure that needs integrating into your new setup. You’ll need to establish how this will work and identify any risk points. In many cases, it’s better to find a trusted partner who can manage this for you.
- Consider your users. User accounts won’t simply create themselves; so, establish who is going to need access to what. You should also identify (and decide what to do with) inactive user accounts for people who are no longer with the business.
- Consider your organisational structure. Departmental silos are a problem for most professional firms. So, take this opportunity to improve how data is shared across your organisation. Establish how the cloud can help to ensure everyone has access to the most up-to-date information and improve communications and visibility between different departments.
- Determine how much space you will need. Calculate enough space to store all of your migrated data. Of course, one of the best things about the cloud is that it’s scalable, so adding additional space to accommodate growth (or scaling back) shouldn’t be an issue.
- Minimise downtime. One of the biggest concerns when planning for cloud migration is how much downtime you will experience. But, if you adopt a carefully executed migration strategy there shouldn’t be any impact on your business operations. Your new cloud system will run parallel to your legacy one until the process is complete.
- Consider what will happen should something go wrong. With a managed approach, IT specialists are watching your system all the time, making sure it’s running smoothly and quickly. This applies to the migration period and thereafter. Managed cloud services also boast best-in-class backup and recovery processes. So you can be sure that your data is recoverable should something go wrong.
- Be safety conscious. With robust cloud encryption now available, storing data in the cloud can be safer than storing it onsite. But, in our data-driven world, security has never been more important. So, it’s important to undertake due diligence to ensure compliance and avoid risking hefty fines and damage to your reputation. Make sure your cloud software/storage provider understands any risks and what’s needed to minimise your exposure. To help you with this, get them to commit to an acceptable level of security as part of your SLA.
The cloud has made enterprise-level software affordable for small and growing firms. A fully managed service is usually available for one low monthly cost. At Cloud Geeni, our Cloud Server services consistently achieve the highest level of data security and reliability. To find out how we can manage the migration process for you, speak to a member of our team on 01942 263 434 or request a demo today!