As we continue to adjust following the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations of all sizes have been for forced to adapt to changes in consumer habits, business regulations, and the ongoing uncertainty of long-term outlooks.
In fact, 47% of IT decision-makers reported in an Equinix 2021 survey on global tech trends, that they have accelerated digital transformation plans because of the pandemic, with over 60% of respondents claiming the pandemic forced them to revise their overall IT strategy. In both instances, cloud migration is central to improving digital systems while avoiding the need to build and maintain on-premises infrastructure.
What is cloud migration?
Cloud migration is the process of moving your company’s digital services, assets, applications, and IT resources either partially, or fully, into cloud-based systems.
For almost all businesses, this is a process that will drive business efficiency and lower operating costs. However, every business is unique and migration to the cloud should start with planning, following an overall assessment of your business needs and goals.
What are the benefits?
Effective use of cloud services will enable more flexibility and agility within your business, which are vital to meeting ever-changing market and consumer demands. Some of the core benefits of migrating to the cloud are:
– Reduced operational costs
– Increased agility and flexibility
– Increased scalability
– Effective collaboration
– Disaster recovery
– Data loss prevention
– Automatic software updates
– Insights and AI analytics
Beyond these benefits, cloud migration supports business-as-usual with a distributed workforce, improving employees’ digital experience, and ultimately both productivity and job satisfaction.
Building a strategy
Cloud migration requires plenty of advanced preparation. Cost may not be the only factor driving this change, there are also considerations such as system availability and accessibility, flexibility, scalability, and security involved, and all must be analysed.
1. Outline your objectives
Before you begin transferring systems into the cloud you should first consider your objectives.
For example, are your aims to improve productivity? Reduce downtime and increase agility? What collaboration tools are you already using, and which of these will be suitable to move to the cloud? Lastly, are there any elements of communication, collaboration, or customer experience that you’re currently missing? Now is the ideal to consider incorporating new systems.
2. Prioritise which systems to migrate
Prioritising which systems are central to your business and that you should start adding to your cloud infrastructure first, will help you to migrate with minimal disruption. Consider which parts of your digital infrastructure your business simply couldn’t function without.
Email system: A cloud-based email system is easy to deploy, and immediately protects company information being exchanged among employees. Cloud-based systems automatically archive everything on all connected devices, even deleted emails. This will prevent data loss, as well as freeing your IT team from time-consuming maintenance.
Collaboration tools: Cloud-based file sharing and collaboration apps allow employees to share project information, large files, edit documents, assign tasks, communicate effectively – all from any location with a good internet connection. This is particularly important if you, like many businesses still have at least some of your workforce working remotely either part or full-time.
VoIP Telephony or UC platform: A cloud-hosted telephony system enables teams to connect and collaborate in the ways that work best for them, through voice, video, instant messaging, call recording, online meetings, screen sharing, and more, with a host of ways to connect, through desktop clients, mobile apps, and traditional desk phones. They are purpose-built for modern working, designed for office, home, and hybrid working environments – and they can save your business a lot of money.
3. Consider your network capabilities
As cloud-based systems are dependent on internet connectivity, make sure that the connection is stable, consistent, and fast. For most businesses, there should be a wide number of providers who can support you.
As well as testing the overall speed and stability of the network, make sure to test the actual systems you plan to migrate. Any VoIP, video, or even chat capability should be given trial runs to ensure no hidden issues arise.
Lastly, alongside your network capabilities, ensure you review the security of your network. Systems being hosted in the cloud usually means a strong level of protection from specialist vendors but there may still be some privacy and data protection risks, or compliance considerations.
4. Monitor your implementation
The end goal of any cloud migration is of course getting as many employees to use the systems as possible. But make sure you consider if there will need to be a transition period, or any end-user training required before your employees are comfortable using your new systems.
Make sure you allow for employee feedback on how the network is working thus far and remember the easiest time to make changes to your strategy is during the testing and implementation phase. Once systems are bedded in, it may be more difficult to make changes to their architecture.
5. Continue developing your systems
Once you have migrated all the systems needed to efficiently run your business, you have done the hardest part – but the journey is never over when considering your tech stack. New products and services come online daily, and most SaaS (Software as a Service) vendors will have a roadmap of improvements and bug fixes.
Remember, while they may only launch in the future, new solutions may prove to make your existing investment in the cloud even more effective.
To learn more about how TelcoSwitch can support your business with industry-leading cloud-based communication, collaboration and compliance solutions, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on 03301227000.