While we recognize the relevancy of keeping data storage on premises for many small to mid-sized businesses, we also recognize that for many other companies, moving data to the cloud is often the next logical step in computing. This migration can lead to cost savings through workload reductions as well as capital equipment costs. Add to this unlimited scalability and the ability of your employees to access data from anywhere, at home, on the road, even on vacation, along with increased network protection, and the logic starts to add up.
But making the move isn’t necessarily the easiest thing in the world. Cloud migration has great benefits for many companies, and is something we believe you should at least consider, but in order to make the implementation flow smoothly, you need to plan this out. Here are our thoughts on making this happen:
In broad terms, there are three types of cloud infrastructure that can be examined.
Public: These include well-known companies such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Compute. All three have tremendous scalability but also provide their clients with less control…you have to follow their rules. If you have to deal with strict government regulations, this could become problematic.
Private: While private clouds will give you more control, which can also give you better performance and even a higher level of security, your in-house IT team and/or your managed IT service provider will have to remain involved. Many companies have determined that this is the option that works best for them because of the control and security issues.
Hybrid: Hybrid systems, where some data and functionality reside in the cloud and some within your own facility, are also a common choice. A qualified managed IT support company can help you make this determination.
Data Backup & Disaster Recovery
Nothing in the IT world is more critical than effective, professional data back-up and recovery preparedness. Stuff happens. Brilliant cyber criminals are at work 24 x 7 figuring out how to steal, destroy, and/or lockdown your data files. Equipment crashes. Fires happen. Floods happen. Tornadoes and hurricanes happen. Employee theft and destruction happen. Your customers may be sympathetic to your problems when these things occur, but they fully and rightly expect you to be back up and running just as soon as possible. You need to review and understand the service level agreements (SLAs) provided by your service providers. You and your managed IT support provider, or your in-house IT team, need to set proper recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs), and understand how these will be met.
Data Governance & Security
Cloud migration is a disruptive process. Please don’t think that you can totally eliminate the disruption. You can’t. But you can manage it. You are also going to have to accept that giving up some level of control of your data is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are a large company with a large in-house IT team, you probably have a number of individuals on whom you can rely for network security. A small to mid-sized company, however, even with its own small in-house IT team, cannot afford the level of support and security that the right IT support company, along with the right level of cloud storage and data backup, can provide. If you carefully research and choose the right partners, you will soon take comfort in the services they provide.
Many companies delay looking into cloud solutions, or managed IT services, because they believe these will increase their expenses. Here at Novatech, we almost always find that our clients’ costs are less than they were previously spending, plus they have all the benefits started above, along with having a tremendous operational burden lifted.