When it comes to conversations around the cloud, the question we get asked most often is "how easy is it to move to the cloud?" Wonderfully, in most cases, the answer is that it is very simple, quick and easy. For example, to move your backup to the cloud, it is usually a case of installing the software and setting the backup to run – and this can be completed in hours.
However, moving your entire IT system to the cloud can obviously be more complex, depending on the size of your organisation and the systems that you use. In the past three years, we have moved over 100 organisations to the cloud, so we have quite a good idea of how to make the switch. This is how we approach moving businesses to the cloud…
Do your research
Before doing anything it is vitally important to check cloud systems will even work for a business’s IT requirements. Sometimes things like slow internet speeds and reliance on old software can get in the way. So, we always begin by understanding the individual needs of each organisation before making any recommendations. At this stage, it is vital to gather all the information about the current IT, which will include a full audit of all the software and hardware and what it is used for. We also take into consideration who will be accessing the system and from where. This helps to build a picture of what needs to change when moving to the cloud and which systems can be moved easily.
Make a plan
It is a good idea to make a plan before embarking on anything, especially if you are about to move a giant part of your IT infrastructure. We have close partnerships with software suppliers, like Microsoft for example, and they can recommend the best route when moving to the cloud.
Typically, when planning the project, we break it down into stages and attach timescales to each stage. The project plan will include steps like:
• Upgrades to any system, hardware or software that needs to happen before the move.
• The stages and the detail behind the system changes – what needs to happen and when.
• Liaising with software suppliers who might be involved in the migration.
• Downtime planning. Most migrations are done out of hours to minimise disruption but if it is unavoidable plans need to be put in place to communicate with and train staff.
Procure a team of trusted individuals
Once it is time to actually make the move you need a good team of trusted IT engineers on hand to help you out. In our opinion, there are several things that make a great team when it comes to moving to the cloud:
• Experienced – An experienced engineer has been there and knows what they are doing. Consequently, they are fast and efficient at getting things done.
• Great communicator – This is vital as it is important that people know what is happening (often behind the scenes), and software suppliers need to kept in the loop too.
• Problem solver – With every project there are always things that come up that are new. A great team has problem solving skills at its heart, so they can find a way around any issues.
During the implementation stage your trusted team of engineers will be working through the plan. This will typically involve building the new system in the cloud, testing it and then moving the systems to the cloud.
Hopefully by now you have moved to the cloud and it’s happy days, but it is a good idea to have ongoing IT support just in case there is a hiccup or something needs updating. At Resolve we support entire cloud systems, which includes monitoring the systems to make sure they are running properly, keeping an eye on backups to make sure they are completing correctly and also doing all the day-to-day things like adding new users, changing settings and generally keeping a watchful eye on IT. Security is also very important to keep a handle on, and we watch over the security of cloud systems, proactively making suggestions on how improvements can be made (such as 2FA, scanning or breach monitoring).
Having moved a huge number of customers to the cloud, we are fully aware that every migration is different and very often requires expert consultancy. Before hurtling through the four steps above, we’d definitely recommend chatting to some IT experts, and we’d be more than happy to help.