Moving operations to the cloud is an increasingly popular choice for many organizations, as it provides greater convenience and can help companies be nimbler, especially in a hybrid workspace. Adopting a cloud-first strategy eliminates the need for on-premise data management, allowing IT teams to devote more time and effort to worthwhile business activities. Cloud-first policies also help companies reduce operational costs, produce faster delivery times, meet evolving customer demands and pursue innovative opportunities.
With all of the potential upside, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure a successful transition. To help inform your approach, we’re sharing some key steps you should take toward a cloud-first future.
Like with any major project, you need to plan so you can minimize disruption to the business. The IT department is arguably most affected by the process, but the whole company will feel its impact as well. Determining the value of cloud migration for your business and weighing it against specific costs, risks and benefits can help you develop the most effective strategy.
When thinking through your cloud-first strategy, decide what processes and applications are suitable for the cloud. Cloud-first doesn’t mean “cloud only”-while some assets are ideal for migration, others may cause issues if moved. Additionally, make sure to choose what cloud storage provider you want to use and what the infrastructure should look like. This step will help increase efficiency while mitigating risk and cost.
A qualified and dedicated team is crucial to the success of any new project. When forming your cloud migration team, consider people with strong communication skills who can work cross-functionally. These individuals will keep tabs on the various stages of the strategy to ensure the initiative stays on track.
Once you prepare for the migration, the process can begin. To secure a successful transition, you may need to alter your existing infrastructure, update your current systems and design new cloud-native applications. You may also use cloud migration tools to boost the process and deliver consistent results.
When you reach this crucial stage, it's typically best to avoid gradual cloud adoption. While this approach may seem safer from a business perspective, it can cause operational and security risks that ultimately raise costs.
Challenges usually occur whenever businesses adopt new systems. Training employees impacted by the new system can help avoid uncertainty. It can also ensure people manage data according to internal and industry regulations. As people adapt to change at different paces, it's a good idea to host regular training and encourage feedback to make sure everyone is on the same page.
After the initial cloud migration, you will need to measure the impact the process has on overall performance. Even if the cloud helps you achieve business goals, there may be room for improvement. Holding post-migration meetings can help you determine what resources and strategies can enhance future initiatives. This step is also a good time to modify infrastructure and respond to any issues customers may be experiencing.
Just because a business’s data is in the cloud does not mean it’s automatically protected. While SaaS providers secure and protect all of the hardware and much of the software foundation of their applications, customers are responsible for their data and what happens to it.
If you’re a technology leader looking to protect your cloud-first strategy, look no further than OwnBackup. OwnBackup is a leading SaaS data protection platform, providing automated backups and rapid recovery of SaaS data for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers. We also provide data security and governance solutions to help identify, alert and prevent nefarious activities that put data and organizations at risk.