When to migrate to the cloud

The reasons to move over and what to look out for.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with the idea of the cloud.

As a technical milestone, the significance of cloud computing is up there alongside the internet, email and social media. But we’re not all on board yet and understandably so, there lots of things to think about before you take plunge.

So we’ve put together a list of things to consider when it comes to the justification and timing for moving to the cloud.

Reasons to make the move to the cloud

In terms of timing, there are some obvious points in time when a business might logically look to the cloud. Perhaps the most obvious is when your server or other hardware is approaching the point of renewal. Servers have a life cycle of between 4 – 6 years depending on a variety of factors and when faced with the cost of renewal, shifting to the cloud and Op-ex payment rather than Cap-ex is very appealing.

Equally, software could be the driving force. As software developers release new versions, some are opting for cloud only SaaS distribution models, meaning you have no choice but to look to the skies if you want access to the most up-to-date software.

For some businesses a flexible approach to server load is often critical. If your business has times when usage peaks – for example seasonal ecommerce sales, then you need to be sure your infrastructure can handle the demand. For in house servers that means a permanent capability, even though you might only need it for two weeks a year. Inevitably that means a redundant resource for the rest of the year which costs you money for no reason. Opting for the cloud will allow you to flex up your capability temporarily and then flex it back down and you’ll only pay for what you need.

Another reason is a major change in working practices. For example, additional premises or a move towards allowing employees greater flexibility to work remotely. Both will require a review of existing IT infrastructure as a minimum and that can often promote change.

The list of reasons to change doesn’t stop there:

  • Corporate and social responsibility – the environmental cost of running in house servers
  • Personnel – you no longer have in house expertise
  • Storage – you’ve run out of physical disk space
  • Integration – allowing disparate systems to talk to one another
  • Disaster recovery – the ’discovery’ that your plans are not as robust as they need to be!

Ultimately, the needs of your business will dictate the ’why’ and ’when’ of moving to the cloud, but once the decision is made, what else do you need to be aware of?

Take care when moving to the cloud

As with any major IT project, it’s not as simple as turning it on and away you go. We’d always recommend a measured and well managed approach to a cloud migration. Things to consider include:

  • Ensuring your internal or outsourced tech team are suitably skilled on the new platform
  • Expect a bedding in period so don’t plan a migration at peak times when you need things to work with no issue
  • And never underestimate the needs of the end user – keep them briefed as to what’s happening and what might happen if things go awry.

At Sentis Managed Solutions, we’ve managed cloud migrations for many of our clients and would be happy to help you with yours. Contact us today for a free IT audit.