In the past 10 years, cloud services have become one of the most talked-about technologies in the IT world. You never stop hearing about it — cloud this and cloud that.
But is it really the best solution for your business?
Here are five questions to ask your IT managed service provider before you jump headfirst into a cloud migration.
1. Does the cloud fit our current business needs?
It is true that, for many businesses, the cloud is the way to go. Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, has said that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-Internet” policy is today.
This is the kind of hype that makes it seem like everyone who matters is already using the cloud, and those companies who have remaining physical infrastructure will be left in the dust. But that may not always be the case. Cloud migration doesn’t make sense in all scenarios.
For one, moving systems to the cloud may complicate security measures and/or unique regulatory compliance considerations. In some cases (i.e. HIPAA, instances of national security, etc.) extreme information security is necessary and having direct control of an on-site system is critical.
Alternatively, a cloud move could be cost-prohibitive for your business to implement at this time. Cloud migrations can be fraught with risks, so going into them unprepared is a recipe for budget disaster. Enterprises need to plan for project expenses — both expected and unforeseen — while also establishing a game plan for the impact that the move will have on its systems, users and the organization as a whole.
2. Are applications essential to our business operations cloud compatible?
Some applications may not run as well in the cloud, as Internet bandwidth issues may impede performance. It isn’t enough to have a high-performance hosted application server if your Internet bandwidth limitations will deliver a bad user experience.
Another consideration to keep in mind is application portability. Although it is often easy to migrate an application server to the cloud, the application might have external dependencies that complicate the move.
Finally, older applications that run on legacy operating systems may not have cloud-friendly functionality. Before initiating a transition to a virtual infrastructure, it’s essential for you to check in with your MSP partner about each application’s cloud compatibility, as they should do rigorous lab testing to identify issues in advance of a move.
3. What investments have been made into existing infrastructure?
You may have already put a lot of time, effort, and money into your system. If your on-premise solution and existing technology investment are already meeting your needs, stick with them! As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke…
But there are some investment considerations to make:
- Does your company have physical servers, and will abandoning these on-premise assets actually result in a loss?
- On the flip side, if your existing servers are ready to be retired, would this be the right time to make a move to the cloud?
And if you’re wondering whether you really are getting the most out of that investment, it might be time to call in a managed service provider to take a closer look. Your existing solution probably has untapped potential that you aren’t making the most of.
4. How does a move to the cloud fit into our existing IT roadmap?
Technology is the backbone of modern business. That said, your IT roadmap should complement your business goals.
Cloud infrastructure allows the right systems to be quickly and efficiently implemented across the business. Whether you’re looking to expand your client base, attract top talent, or all of the above, using technology that boosts your business’s capabilities can be a huge asset.
5. If we move to the cloud, will our IT managed service provider be able to provide us with the same level of service?
Pending a move to the cloud, your MSP must be able to accommodate and support your new infrastructure. Consequently, if you’re certain that a move to the cloud is in your future, you need to be confident that your MSP can guide you through this process.
This includes establishing budgetary expectations and a comprehensive transition plan, as well as spotting potential pitfalls and stumbling blocks along the way. In short, they should act as your partner.
And if you are not sure that your MSP is ready or able to support your impending move, it is time to find one that is.
At the end of the day, moving your business’ infrastructure to the cloud is a big decision — one that can help to make everyday processes run smoothly, if implemented properly. Let YJT Solutions help to make it easier.
Download our Business Leader’s Guide to the Cloud today to get the information you need.