Have local companies experienced fallout/loss/agony when migrating to the Cloud?
The risks with migrating to the cloud are precisely the same when installing a new server, and these risks are significantly mitigated by having a good project manager and documented and well-structured policies and competent engineers. It’s important for business owners to take the time to understand the term “cloud” and that it simply illustrates that the servers you will be using, are in a data centre and accessed via the internet, instead of in your server room, access by your local area network (LAN) via a cable.
What is the reason(s) for such incidents?
The most common incident is a loss of data, which can occur anytime, and usually happens because of a lack of current backups which should ALWAYS be the first step in any project or system change. Second to this is likely a failure in business continuity or “downtime” because the internet connection has not been set up or specified correctly and now the business is not fully functional (or operational at all) because their data is now in the cloud and unreachable due to this lack of connectivity or speed of connectivity.
How can businesses avoid making critical errors when migrating to the Cloud? (practical tips and tricks)?
- The servers, systems, and software that you are now using are accessible over the internet… therefore, uninterrupted, reliable and protected access to the internet has now become the most important requirements of the business and THIS is where mistakes are often made with the most common critical errors being:
- Not upgrading their internet access to ensure it is fast enough to allow the workforce to engage properly with the systems and software that are now “cloud-based”
- Ensuring the staff, the businesses data and the intellectual property is adequately protected with a firewall
- Ensuring internet access is redundant by adding a second (and different) method of connectivity. The most common (and best practice) solution to this would be to have a fibre connection that is guaranteed by the provider under a service level agreement and then have a wireless, microwave or LTE solution as a fall back connection in the event the primary goes down.
What are the most common myths/misunderstandings about migrating to the Cloud?
A common misconception is that the “cloud” is a cheaper solution to buying a server… it is not. It is a change in the methodology that you will follow to consume or interact with the technology in your business and importantly will alter the way you financially operate too. Instead of buying equipment (servers & storage), you will now pay a subscription service to access and use this equipment elsewhere in a data centre that someone else looks after (the cloud). This means that you will move away from a capital expenditure model (CAPEX) to an operational expenditure model (OPEX). Doing the math on a properly built cloud migration should show that the costs of technology are predominantly the same, but they are now shifted to monthly costs.
“All my data is perfectly safe because it’s in the cloud”… it’s not. It is safer than it was in the cupboard of your office… but a majority of the risks you faced when the data was local are still faced by businesses once they are in the cloud. You still need to closely guard access, security is just as important and backups remain the most critical thing in your business.
Who should oversee and guide this process?
An outsourced company is always best suited to take your business into the cloud. They have specialists to engage with on all the facets involved; licensing, connectivity, database access, backups, and security. Even if you have an internal IT team, it’s important to bring in specialists to handle a project of this nature, manage it accordingly and then hand it over on completion once it has been tested and signed off by all parties involved.
Turrito Networks and their subsidiary Dial a Nerd focus on cloud migrations monthly and currently have over 400 terabytes of client data in the cloud and over 4000 operational & fully licensed “seats” of Office 365 or Google across their client base.