More and more IT organizations are moving to the cloud, drawn in by the many benefits — like on-demand resources, and pay-as-you-go pricing. If your business isn’t already using the cloud, it can feel like a mountainous process to transition operations over. Follow these tips to help you embrace agility, and move to the cloud in the most efficient way possible.
Build a Road Map
Executing a smooth transition requires you to know what you want, and how to get there. Don’t simply jump on the cloud train, and hope it takes you somewhere. Lay out a plan for the short- and long-term. What do you need out of the cloud? Once you have clearly outlined reasons for moving to the cloud, your route to getting there will be easier to define. What kind of backup and recovery plans will you implement? Planning this before jumping in will help you mitigate transition issues, like long deployment cycles, or improper training.
Though you should set long-term goals for your transition to the cloud, you should also allow for flexibility. You can’t see into the future, so it’s impossible to predict which factors will affect you five years down the road. With a flexible strategy in place, you can adapt to changes as they come up within your organization and industry, as well as within the technological and social landscapes. Flexibility will also allow you to scale your cloud solutions.
Taking the leap into the cloud begins with making your development process more agile. For starters, launch a minimal prototype, and use that to acquire user feedback, which you can implement into feature improvements. As you begin to build off this feedback, you can add more functions and test revised versions, to ensure it meets your users’ needs. Focus on short development updates of two to four weeks, to ensure you’re getting ongoing user involvement — this will help you deliver a better end product.
Manually testing your cloud solutions takes a lot of time — working with an automated testing solution, even if it requires more work upfront to implement, will save you time in the long-run. The idea isn’t to leave everything up to automation; but instead, to cut down on some of your time-intensive tasks, speed up the testing process, and leave you (and your team) time to work on other things.
Most people think of transitioning resources to the cloud as an overwhelming task that involves moving everything over. This shouldn’t be the case. In reality, you should move only the resources you absolutely need; and then start over with the rest. The transition is a great opportunity to ditch many of your old systems, and begin anew with faster, more economical resources.
Although cloud solutions are convenient and cost effective, they also come with their concerns — primarily in data security. Be sure to prioritize cloud security, both during and after your transition. Outline potential threats, and set policies to address these potential security issues. Don’t just think about digital threats, either. Detail possible physical threats to your cloud solutions as well; including things like natural disasters.
Consult With Third Parties
You don’t have to navigate your team’s migration to a cloud solution alone. If you need help or you’re feeling overwhelmed, consult with an outside company that can offer you expert training and support, to help you reach your goals smoothly. Not only can you use third parties to help you in the transition, but you can utilize their services afterward — for things like training your employees — to make the entire process easier.