Cloud Migration: How to Make it Easy to Move Your Business to the Cloud

In a world where 24/7 access and remote work are increasingly important, more and more businesses are using cloud technology. Cloud migration, which is the process of moving data and systems from on-premises infrastructure to cloud platforms, is a crucial step to harnessing the power of cloud services. Whether you’re interested cloud storage, remote work solutions, or boosting productivity with cloud computing, understanding the cloud migration process will help ensure a successful migration.

What Is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration is the process of moving your data, applications, and other IT resources from a local data center to a cloud environment. More simply, moving to the cloud is like moving from a smaller office to a bigger one. However, instead of physically moving your computing resources into a different building, you’re moving your digital assets to a cloud platform over the Internet. By leveraging cloud services, business can work better and faster, all while saving money and not worrying about maintaining in-house equipment.

Understanding Cloud Migration Strategies

If you want to move to the cloud, several different strategies are at your disposal. Each approach offers unique benefits and considerations. Which one you choose depends on what you want to migrate to the cloud and your overall goals.

Think of these strategies like steps on a ladder. You only need to move up to the next step if the previous one isn’t enough.

cloud migration strategies
  • Rehosting – Also called “Lift and Shift.” This strategy involves taking your data and applications and simply moving them to a cloud platform as-is.
  • Replatforming – This “Lift, Tinker, and Shift” approach makes minor tweaks and improvements during the migration to optimize your systems for cloud environments.
  • Repurchasing – Or “Drop and Shop.” This strategy means replacing legacy applications with cloud alternatives. For example, replacing a traditional phone line with VoIP phones.
  • Refactoring – This is the opposite of “Lift and Shift” and involves redesigning applications from scratch.
  • Retiring – If you have systems or applications that you no longer use, you may decide to discontinue them entirely.
  • Retaining- In some cases, you may decide to keep data and applications in-house vs migrating to the cloud.

Which Cloud Migration Strategy is Right for You?

For most small businesses, especially those who are new to cloud services, we generally take a lift and shift approach. This approach makes the cloud migration process quick and easy and minimizes the change you and your staff have to adapt to with the new cloud environment.

How We Make the Cloud Migration Process EZ!

We typically recommend Microsoft 365 for small businesses looking to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing, while avoiding many cloud migration challenges. Microsoft 365 is great for small businesses because it lets you create, store, access, and share your files and data from anywhere.

Here’s how a simple cloud migration works with Microsoft 365:

  1. Assess Current Data – We take a look at all your current files and folders to understand how we need to migrate the data, including file structure and permissions.
  2. Set up SharePoint – We configure a SharePoint site, which is a cloud-based data server, and copy your same folder structure and all your files to the new cloud platform.
  3. Configure Security Policies & Permissions – We work with you to determine who needs access to what and set up appropriate data security rules to minimize security risks and keep your data safe.
  4. Testing & Training – We test that the migration process was successful and everyone can find and access the files they need.

Planning for Cloud Migrations

Successful cloud migration requires careful planning and consideration. Before you move to the cloud, here are some key aspects to address:

Assess Your Readiness

Take a look at your existing IT infrastructure and applications, and how those pieces are connected. Make sure they are compatible with cloud platforms. Do you have any data security or compliance requirements? Assessing your systems ahead of time will help you identify potential cloud migration challenges.

Know Your Goals

A critical piece of cloud migration planning is identifying why you want to move to the cloud in the first place. Do you want better access to your data? More reliability? Reduced IT costs? Knowing your goals will help you decide which things you need to migrate to the cloud.

Have a Cloud Migration Plan

Create a cloud migration roadmap that outlines the necessary steps, timelines, and milestones. Allocate resources and establish a budget for the migration project. Working with an IT services company like us will help you identify and mitigate potential risks and ensure a smooth transition.

Data Migration & Transfer

Remember that moving data–especially large volumes of data–takes time and bandwidth. Think about how you’re migrating data so it stays secure during the process and is correct when it arrives. Consider factors like your internet connection and data transfer speeds so you can minimize downtime and disruption to your business.

Don’t Forget About Cloud Security

While cloud platforms themselves are often highly secure, they can be misconfigured, or left vulnerable by untrained employees. Hackers are eager to exploit these weaknesses. Invest in cybersecurity measures to keep your data and cloud environments secure.

Post-Migration Considerations

The work isn’t done when the cloud migration is complete. Monitor and manage your cloud systems to ensure everything works efficiently, and fine-tune as necessary. Also, train your staff on new cloud technologies so they can enjoy all the benefits of cloud migration.

Let Us Help You Find the Best Cloud Migration Strategy for Your Organization

Cloud migration has become vital for businesses looking to stay competitive and agile. Understanding the different cloud migration strategies allows organizations to choose the most suitable approach for their specific needs. By carefully planning the migration process, considering key factors, and leveraging the expertise of cloud service providers like us, businesses can successfully migrate to the cloud, paving the way for enhanced scalability, agility, and cost optimization. Schedule a consultation with our IT experts to embrace the potential of cloud technology and embark on your organization’s cloud journey today.