Planning how to move businesses to the cloud

Moving your business to the cloud


There’s a lot to consider when moving your business to the Cloud. Our Commercial Director Jude shares his knowledge on the migration process including things to consider before you move, and what questions you should be directing at your IT team (if you have one).

Moving your business to the cloud involves several important considerations. Our Commercial Director, Jude, shares his insights on the migration process, highlighting key factors to think about before making the move and the questions you should ask your IT team.

Since 2020, with the rise of remote working and lockdowns, small and medium-sized businesses worldwide have been recognising the advantages of moving your business to the cloud. Despite this, many businesses continue to rely on more server infrastructure than necessary. The two main reasons for this are:

  1. Lack of clarity on how to phase out old infrastructure. Often, businesses simply haven't formulated a clear plan for this.
  2. Dependence on on-site server hardware for essential business software applications.

While there are other specific concerns such as security, connectivity, costs, and complexity, these often stem from the two main reasons mentioned above.

In brief, we aim to outline the fundamental considerations before moving your business to the cloud. The goal is to provide you with a basic understanding of what to think about and what questions to pose to your IT team, without delving too deeply into technical details.

Moving your business to the cloud checklist

1. Connectivity

2. Communications

3. Line of business applications

4. Remote access

5. Workstations and devices

6. Security

1. Connectivity

Before considering moving your business to the cloud, it's crucial to have fast and reliable internet connectivity. A good starting point is Fibre to the Cabinet connections, which typically offer faster download speeds compared to upload speeds. This option works well for small teams of around 10-15 staff.

Fibre to the Premises is becoming more widely available and provides even higher performance, with download speeds of up to 500Mbps, offering good value for money. However, it's important not to confuse this with Fibre Leased Lines, which offer “private bandwidth”. The previously mentioned connections are shared, whereas Leased Lines offer a completely private connection, not suffering from the noisy neighbour effect.

For those in areas with good coverage, 4G/5G connections can offer excellent speed. However, they can be expensive, especially for heavy users, so it's essential to seek advice based on your usage patterns before committing. Additionally, ensuring a strong signal is crucial for reliable connectivity.

2. Communications

Email, instant messaging, file sharing, telecommunications and video calling are all essential for teams working together. While many are familiar with Outlook for managing emails, contacts, and calendars, it's important to think about how you'll share data with colleagues and customers and collaborate on documents. Relying solely on email to share documents isn't sustainable in the long term.

Microsoft and Google offer comprehensive services (Microsoft 365 and Google G-Suite) that bundle these tools together in a single subscription, priced per user per month. At Resolve, we prefer Microsoft 365, but whichever you choose, it's crucial to align your user accounts with your chosen service provider. User accounts are like keys that unlock access to everything else. While you can set up sign-ins between platforms, it's easier to keep everything in one place.

Having a centralised location for storing and sharing data, accessible to all team members, is ideal. Additionally, staff should have a space to save their own files without cluttering the main file share or sacrificing privacy. Since cloud providers charge based on storage usage, it's important to plan your storage layout carefully to avoid unnecessary costs.

When planning your cloud migration, a good technology partner can help with communication systems. Consider moving your business to a cloud-based phone system to eliminate the need for traditional phone lines. Email and instant messaging are readily available in the cloud, but for convenience, ensure they're part of the same platform provided by your chosen service provider. Keeping everything integrated can simplify operations.

3. Line of Business Applications

According to Wikipedia, a "line-of-business application" is one of the essential computer programs necessary for running a business smoothly. This refers to software that the business heavily relies on and couldn't function without. Most businesses use line-of-business applications for tasks like accounting, although some still stick to traditional paper-based methods.

Many of these crucial applications are now fully cloud-based, meaning they are accessed through a web browser, a setup commonly known as Software-as-a-Service, or “SaaS”.

When planning to move your business to the cloud, it's important to carefully assess your applications. Take stock of all your software: Are they already cloud-based, or do they require on-site servers to operate? Consider how these applications perform when accessed over the internet.

Some organisations still use applications that depend on Microsoft SQL Servers, for which there isn't a genuine Software-as-a-Service option from the developer. However, this doesn't mean you can't migrate them to cloud-based infrastructure. Services like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS are excellent options for moving these server workloads from your physical infrastructure to the cloud. It's worth noting that this shift will impact your options for remote working, which we'll discuss in more detail shortly.

4. Remote Access

Typically, moving your business to the cloud means you no longer need on-site IT infrastructure. Your data, user accounts, communications and identities are all handled through software and services delivered directly to your computers. This setup is a reality for many businesses and achievable for others. Suppose your planning shows you don't require your own servers for any tasks. In that case, you can manage everything using tools provided directly to your computers, often referred to as Modern Workplace tools, especially in the Microsoft world.

In this scenario, accessing your work remotely is simple – just log onto your laptop and connect to the internet. This ease of use is a major reason why businesses opt for cloud migration.

However, there's another common scenario: if your business relies on applications needing servers, remote access gets more complex. Many of these applications don't support direct internet connections like SaaS applications do. Instead, you host them on servers managed in the cloud.

There are various options, but firstly, check if your application supports VPN connections. If so, set up a secured VPN gateway alongside your cloud server for internet access. If not, access the cloud server network through something like Windows Remote Desktop. Microsoft and others offer services like Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365 and traditional Remote Desktop Services for this remote access.

While these services are more complex and need expertise to manage, they offer significant advantages to remote workers. They adapt based on usage, so you only pay for what you need, and they improve security by centralising company data in one location. We'll explore these security benefits later.

5. Workstations and Devices

Moving your business to the cloud allows your business to operate from anywhere, at any time. At Resolve, we noticed a significant increase in interest in migration projects during the lockdowns of 2020. Suddenly, businesses of all sizes began to realise the benefits of having a flexible technology setup. As a result, there was a surge in demand for various products such as laptops, docking stations, monitors, cables, keyboards, mice and webcams, making them difficult to obtain.

When it comes to recommending specific hardware for businesses, we prefer not to do so. It's a matter of personal preference, and we can only offer guidance. However, when choosing hardware for connecting to cloud services, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, ensure it's a portable device if you expect to work remotely. Secondly, it should run an up-to-date operating system and be powerful enough for your needs. Also, consider the storage space available on the device, as many cloud storage systems require local copies of data to be saved temporarily to your hard drive to enhance work speed. Beyond these considerations, factors such as screen size, form factor, colour and ergonomics are all down to personal preference.

6. Security

Your business likely relies heavily on cloud services, so you're probably familiar with securing your account.

When it comes to internet security, think of your identity (your email, username, passwords) as crucial. They're like keys to unlock all your systems, like digital access cards for your company. Most cyber attacks target identities and compromising your credentials means access to your systems and data is compromised too. This is where Zero Trust comes in – IT should question every new connection, assuming it's malicious until proven otherwise. Taking security seriously is vital for a cloud-based business.

Moving to the cloud exposes you to more potential threats. Before, a hacker needed to infiltrate a network, but now, the login page is accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Prioritise security in your cloud migration plan. Ensure Multi-factor Authentication is always on and regularly enforced. New devices should be approved by IT before use. Label and classify data correctly to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. Setting up monitoring and alerts to spot suspicious login attempts is crucial. It might seem daunting, but a good IT partner can simplify things and handle them for you.

Benefits of moving your business to the cloud

There are many benefits to moving your business to the cloud. Hosting your work on the cloud has huge cost reductions as well as more flexibility in working. You can scale your business more easily and optimise more tasks.

Reduction in cost

As previously mentioned, organisations can either host their business on a server or in the cloud. For businesses that choose a server, there is the cost of buying or renting the physical server, the storage space, as well as maintenance costs.

Meanwhile, businesses that choose to go with the cloud can just pay for the storage they need. Additionally, it is no longer the business’s responsibility to maintain the servers used for cloud services, which are housed in massive warehouses all over the country.

Increase flexibility in working

The lockdown sped up a lot of businesses moving to the cloud. This was due to the need for more flexibility and working from home. By choosing to not house servers, employees were able to work remotely from wherever was necessary, only needing an internet connection.

Secure Working

Moving to the cloud enhances online security for businesses. Cloud providers, such as Microsoft and Amazon, have robust security measures that protect your data from cyber threats. Automatic backups ensure that your valuable information is always recoverable, adding an extra layer of security to your operations.

Scalability of business

The cloud offers greater scalability compared to traditional servers. Think of it like an elastic band that stretches or shrinks according to your needs. When you need more storage, you can increase it easily, the same as if you need less.

With servers, you're stuck with what you've got, which can be too much or too little. Cloud solutions let you easily adjust resources as your business grows or scales down, saving you money and hassle.

Optimisation of tasks

The cloud is like having a smart assistant for optimising tasks. It speeds things up and makes life easier. Tasks that might take ages on regular servers become lightning-fast in the cloud. You can access documents quickly and data is readily available. Plus, you can automate processes, so you're not stuck doing the same thing over and over.

How moving your business to the cloud can save your business money

Moving your business to the cloud can lead to substantial cost savings. Here's how: Instead of purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware and software, you pay a predictable monthly fee for the cloud services you utilise. This eliminates the need for significant upfront investments.

Additionally, the cloud's flexibility is a money-saving advantage. It enables you to easily adjust your resources to match your business's demands. When your requirements increase, you can scale up without incurring hefty expenses. Of course, during slower periods, you can scale down, avoiding unnecessary costs for unused resources.

Plus, cloud providers handle maintenance, security updates, and technical issues, reducing the need for in-house IT staff and the associated expenses. By shifting to the cloud, you not only trim initial costs but also enjoy ongoing savings, making it a cost-effective choice for businesses of all sizes.


Overall, cloud solutions are becoming more popular with businesses of all shapes and sizes. You can find out more about the different services Resolve offers to help you with moving your business to the cloud.

If you are looking to move over to the cloud, or are still unsure, our solutions consultants can assist you with all your questions. Fill in our Contact Us page and one of our team will get back to you.

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