Home / Resources / Blog

A Checklist for Businesses Migrating to the Cloud

Last updated: 11 May 2023

As technology evolves, businesses must find ways to adapt to remain competitive. One recent most significant technological advancement is data migration to the cloud.

Businesses are shifting from storing data within on-premise systems to utilizing cloud-based systems. Aside from reducing hardware investments, cloud-based systems allow businesses to access their files from any device and location. Having your data in the cloud offers businesses the chance to collaborate more effectively while having the ability to work remotely. Utilizing cloud-based systems can enhance businesses’ productivity, making cloud migration a viable investment.

Migrating to the cloud does not happen overnight. Businesses must carefully evaluate and plan the process to guarantee a smooth and successful migration. The following sections outline the important considerations businesses must examine before moving to the cloud.

Understanding the Business Needs

Assess Your Business Needs

Businesses must evaluate their requirements and select appropriate tools and technologies that align with their operations.

Use the following questions to begin:

  • What does your business require from the cloud? Do you need to store and access large amounts of data? Will you be running software applications from the cloud? Are you looking to increase collaboration and streamline workflows?
  • What tools do you need? Consider the specific functions and features you require in a cloud-based system. Do you need accounting and financial management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) software, or human resources management systems?
  • What cloud solutions are you considering and what type of security do they provide to safeguard your data?

Evaluate Your Current IT Infrastructure

Businesses should evaluate their current IT infrastructure before transitioning to a cloud-based system. This evaluation will help them identify necessary updates, changes, or migrations to ensure a smooth transition.

During the evaluation, consider the following:

1. What are you currently using? Evaluate your current hardware, software, and IT infrastructure. Determine which systems are currently in use and their level of capacity and functionality.

2. What needs to be changed? Identify which parts of your IT infrastructure require updates or replacements to transition to cloud-based systems. Are there any outdated systems that no longer serve your business needs?

3. What can be migrated to the cloud? Determine which existing systems and processes can seamlessly move to the cloud. This might include applications, data storage, or other IT infrastructure.

It’s important to assess your current IT infrastructure and determine necessary changes or migrations to ensure long-term success for your business in the cloud. This will allow you to make informed decisions about your cloud migration strategy.

Choosing the Right Cloud Service Provider

Selecting the right cloud service provider is crucial for a successful transition to the cloud. This decision requires careful consideration since the provider will handle mission-critical data, applications, and resources. Consider these factors when choosing a cloud service provider:

Factors to Consider

1. Cost

Look for a service provider offering transparent billing, straightforward pricing, and the flexibility to adapt to your business’s unique requirements. Avoid providers that require long-term contracts with steep cancellation fees or hidden costs.

  • How does the provider bill you?
  • Are there any hidden charges you should be aware of?
  • Can you scale up or down based on your changing needs?

2. Performance

Having the right computing power ensures your applications and services run smoothly, with no performance issues or unexpected downtime. Your cloud provider should have a track record of reliability and high-quality service that gives you the confidence to trust them with your business-critical data and operations.

  • What is the provider’s uptime guarantee?
  • How does the provider handle outages or other issues?
  • What kind of hardware and infrastructure does the provider use?

3. Security

To keep your data safe, ensure your cloud provider uses various security measures such as encryption, access control, backup, and disaster recovery. A reputable cloud provider should have a demonstrated track record of security, compliance, and information governance. Select a provider that offers a range of certifications, such as ISO, SOC, and PCI DSS. These certifications indicate that the provider has undergone rigorous security audits and meets essential data security requirements.

  • What security measures does the cloud provider have in place?
  • Does the provider offer data encryption and other security protocols?
  • Does the provider have a disaster recovery plan in place?
  • Does the provider offer Multi-Factor Authentication or is the provider compatible with third party MFA solutions?

4. Support

Choose a provider that offers responsive, knowledgeable support to address your needs quickly and effectively.

  • What kind of support options does the provider offer?
  • How quickly can you expect to receive support when issues arise?
  • Does the cloud provider have a good reputation for customer service?

Planning and Budgeting for Migration

Planning and budgeting are crucial components of successful cloud migration for businesses, allowing them to allocate resources effectively and minimize potential disruptions during the transition.

Key points to consider:

  • Design a detailed project plan that outlines the timeline, tasks, and responsibilities for migrating critical systems and applications to the cloud. Ensure to identify which systems and applications are considered critical.
  • Who is in charge of overseeing the migration process?
  • What resources (e.g., hardware, software, staffing) will be needed to complete the migration?

ROI Analysis

Conducting a return on investment (ROI) analysis can help determine cloud migration’s potential benefits and costs. The information can assist you in making informed choices with budgeting and allocating resources.

  • What are the potential benefits of migrating to the cloud (e.g., cost savings, increased productivity, scalability)?
  • What are the potential costs of the migration (e.g., infrastructure upgrades, staffing, training)?
  • When can we expect to see the benefits of the migration?

Cost Savings of Migrating to the Cloud

Here are some ways in which you can save costs through cloud migration:

1. Reducing hardware and maintenance costs

You can eliminate the need to purchase expensive hardware and infrastructure to maintain your applications and systems. The cloud service provider will maintain and manage your infrastructure, allowing you to allocate resources elsewhere and lower expenses.

The amount you can save depends on factors such as the size of your business, the extent of your infrastructure, and which services you choose to transfer. However, cloud service providers may offer a more cost-effective solution than purchasing and maintaining your hardware and infrastructure.

2. Avoiding upfront software licensing fees

When using cloud providers, you only pay according to the software services you use through their pay-as-you-go licensing model. This can help you avoid the upfront costs of purchasing expensive software licenses. By avoiding upfront software licensing fees, you can reduce your initial costs and only pay for the software you need and use.

3. Freeing up IT staff to focus on other tasks

By moving to the cloud, your cloud service provider will mostly handle your IT infrastructure maintenance, management, and security tasks. This frees your IT staff to focus on other tasks that can drive your business forward rather than wasting time on routine upkeep and maintenance.

By reassigning IT staff to other tasks, you can boost productivity, lower labor costs, and free up your IT team for more critical projects. This can help you generate more value in your IT department without increasing staffing levels.

Understanding Cloud Security

When migrating to the cloud, understanding cloud security is important for businesses to protect their data and information from cyber threats. Listed below are key security considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Encryption: Cloud security includes data encryption to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Ensure your cloud service provider offers robust encryption options in transit and at rest.
  2. Access control: Restricting access to your cloud-based systems and applications ensures that sensitive data stays safe. Choose a cloud service provider that offers access control and authentication functions, such as password policies, multi-factor authentication, and single sign-on.
  3. Backup and Disaster Recovery: Data backup and disaster recovery solutions are essential to recover from data loss or system failure. Look for a cloud service provider that offers regular backups and reliable recovery options.
  4. Compliance: You must comply with specific regulations and requirements for your industry and location. Choose a cloud provider with the necessary certifications and compliance measures to meet your needs.
  5. Information Governance: Establishing clear policies and procedures for managing, accessing, and sharing your organization’s data is important for ensuring its security. Look for a cloud provider that provides information governance tools, such as data classification options, to aid in managing your data.

By carefully considering these security considerations for cloud-based systems, businesses can ensure their critical data stays secure and reduce their risk of exposure to cyber threats.

Migration Strategy

Lift and Shift

Lift and shift involves moving your existing applications and data to the cloud without major changes. While this method is quick and simple, it might not fully utilize cloud technology’s advantages.

Replatforming

Replatforming involves migrating your applications to a new cloud-based platform better suited to your needs. This approach may require application modification but can result in better performance and reduced costs.

Refactoring

Refactoring involves fully redesigning your applications and data to exploit the cloud’s capabilities. While it may take longer and be more costly, this method can bring scalability, flexibility, and performance advantages.

To choose the right migration strategy, evaluate your current IT infrastructure, consider your business needs, and determine your budget and timeline. You can get assistance from a skilled cloud service provider in evaluating your choices and deciding the most suitable approach for your company.

Migration Best Practices

  1. Minimizing Downtime: To minimize disruptions, migrate during off-peak hours and coordinate with your cloud service provider. Also, ensure a contingency plan in case any unexpected issues arise.
  2. Data Migration: It involves transferring data from your existing systems to the cloud. It’s critical to ensure that data is properly formatted and protected in transit and once it arrives in the cloud. To ensure data integrity and security, you should conduct a thorough data audit, assess your data storage needs, and develop a data migration plan.
  3. Testing and Validation: These are also crucial best practices for cloud migration. You should test your applications, data, and infrastructure in their new cloud environment to ensure everything functions correctly and seamlessly. Thorough testing, including security and performance testing, can reveal issues before they affect your business operations.

By following migration best practices like minimizing downtime, data migration, and testing and validation, you can ensure a successful migration to the cloud. Proper planning, execution, and testing can help you avoid disruptions, protect your data, and fully realize the benefits of cloud migration.

Training and Support

Training and support are crucial components of successful cloud migration. Employees must learn new tools, processes, and workflows when migrating to a new system.

Proper training can help employees become more comfortable with the new system and minimize disruptions that can lead to downtime and lost productivity. Training sessions can be conducted through webinars, e-learning modules, or seminars. Employees can learn to access data, use collaboration tools, manage workloads, and more.

Training can create a culture of continuous learning and development. With a better collective understanding of the benefits and capabilities of the cloud, business can inspire innovation through cross-functional collaboration and increase the adoption of new agile methodologies.

Cloud service providers offer various support options which can be used to support business needs. These may include email support, phone support, live chat, and online help resources.

Migrating to the cloud can be complex, but with proper planning and implementation, businesses can ensure a successful transition. Minimizing downtime, data migration, testing and validation, training, and support are all essential best practices for Cloud migration. With the right tools and resources, businesses can maximize their cloud potential while realizing its countless benefits.

BlackPoint IT specializes in cloud migration services and can help your business plan and implement a successful transition. Our cloud experts will work with you to identify your goals and needs, create a comprehensive cloud strategy, and minimize downtime. We also provide training and support throughout the process to ensure maximum adoption and smooth transition. With our vast range of services and solutions, BlackPoint IT can help you take full advantage of the power of the cloud. Contact us today to get started.

Get in Touch

Empower your business with custom-tailored tech solutions. Contact us now to get started.

Are you a current customer who needs support?

Call Service Desk (Support Line): 1-866-575-9512

Interested in our managed services and tech solutions?

Request a Free Consultation (Sales Line): 1-866-585-1198

Looking to Partner with us?