Important considerations before moving to the cloud

Important considerations before moving to the cloud

Making a business case for the cloud is easy given that it is capable of increasing mobility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. In fact, plenty of businesses have already realized these benefits and early studies predict that 78% of small businesses will adopt the cloud by 2020.

But while deciding whether to move to the cloud is a no-brainer, the migration process is not.

Far too often, companies spend too little time planning how they will move their workloads onto a cloud platform. Usually, their migrations end up dragging out for several months to complete, with the expected benefits taking even longer to appear.

The proper way to migrate to the cloud is nuanced and requires a clear understanding of the following technical considerations.

Choose your cloud environment

The first step in ensuring a smooth cloud migration is to ask yourself whether you need a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment.

Public cloud solutions are managed and delivered by a third-party vendor via the internet. These platforms are ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses because they allow for changes to processing power, storage capacity, and user account settings at anytime, giving them the flexibility to scale up and down as required.

In a private cloud platform, you get dedicated infrastructure managed by either your internal IT team or third-party providers. This gives you far more control in terms of how data is managed and secured, making it perfect for businesses with strict data compliance obligations. The downside, however, is you need to purchase and maintain your own servers, which may not be optimal if you’re on a tight budget.

With hybrid environments you get the best of both worlds. For instance, mission-critical applications and data can be stored in the private cloud while heavy workloads like graphics-intensive applications can run in the public cloud.

Enact cloud security standards

Regardless of the cloud environment you migrate to, user accounts and sensitive files still need protection; so make sure to install security measures like:

  • Intrusion prevention systems - that work alongside your firewalls to detect and block abnormal network behavior.
  • Access privileges - to prevent unauthorized users and devices from accessing cloud applications, accounts, and files.
  • Encryption - which protects the contents of your files even if they fall into the wrong hands.

Create data backup and recovery plans

It is also important to meet with your cloud provider and discuss the recovery time objectives of mission-critical files and applications.

If your company focuses on sales and customer service, your cloud provider should prioritize the recovery of your customer relationship management software, for example.

And apart from the recovery time, tell your provider to replicate your data frequently and automatically to ensure your backups are always up to date.

Evaluate application architecture

If you’re planning to migrate to the cloud, you need to make sure your software applications are cloud compatible. Old versions of accounting software, for example, are not designed for the cloud, which means you’ll need to either switch to a newer model or reconfigure the app.

Should you choose the former, you must back up and move all your data to the new database. But if you opt for the latter, your provider needs to alter the app so it can utilize native cloud features like direct access to offsite storage, centralized databases, and compatibility with other cloud software.

Note that customizing legacy software for the cloud is more expensive, so assess the cost benefits of both options carefully before going any further.

Prepare your network

In order to work efficiently in the cloud, it’s vital to have a fast and stable network connection. There’s usually no hard-and-fast rule for how much bandwidth you need, but if you use applications like Skype for Business and Office 365, you should provide at least 300 Kbps per user.  A minimum internet circuit speed of 10Mbps is recommended.

Start small

If a company-wide cloud migration seems daunting, it’s a good idea to start small and scale up as you need more features. A simple cloud-hosted platform like Office 365 is a good place to begin, and during this phase, you should monitor how employees are adapting to the new platform and acquire user feedback. Once users are familiar with the software, you can then add more features and applications.


There may be a lot to consider when moving to the cloud, but partnering with an expert managed services provider like Founders Technology Group can simplify the process. Call us today to smoothly transition to the cloud.