Moving to the cloud is exciting: you’re about to get some of the best business benefits possible. From reducing costs to improving your time-to-market, you’ll finally be able to put into practice all the innovative processes and services you’ve seen online. Not only will you gain business benefits, but you’ll be able to react to customer demand quicker, and push ahead of competitor offerings. However, despite all the benefits, cloud migration can pose huge risks to your business. If done wrong, you could put the entire company under. You could lose all your data. You could alienate your employees. Luckily, there are ways around these risks. Every big business change carries some level of risk, it’s just about managing it properly, eliminating unnecessary challenges, and reducing the overall risk factor.
Moving to the cloud is a big change, and like with all big business changes, you’re going to have some unhappy employees. So, you need to make sure that your employees are treated the right way in the run up to the move. This will start with giving them plenty of notice that the business is going to change. Follow this up with an ‘open door’ policy, so your employees can ask any questions they may have. You should try to reassure people about job safety with this too – automation and the cloud often bring up concerns over job losses.
Likewise, ask your employees for help. Not only will it show you’re listening to them and value their opinion, but if newer employees have experienced cloud migration before, you’ll be able to take advantage of their expertise. The more onboard your employees are, the smoother your transition to the cloud will be.
Moving to the cloud is a journey, and it’s one that you need a partner for. While there are platforms available that let you do everything yourself, unless you have prior experience of cloud migration, it’s best to let the experts take over. You’ll cut down on the stress you go through when things go wrong, as you won’t be the one dealing with it. Plus, you’ll have a specialist company come in and analyze your business and create a plan specific to your current set-up, your future needs, and your business aims.
Yes, you might save money by moving to the cloud yourself, but the risk is far greater – and you’ll be shouldering it all yourself. Using a cloud service provider removes the need to experiment with your business, and instead, you can learn about the process while it’s done in a low-risk way.
Your data is the most precious, valuable asset your business has. So, when it comes to cloud migration, losing your data is the worst thing that can happen. Before any move, ensure that you have a solid disaster recovery plan in place, and back up your data to regulation standard.
This often means backing it up to three different locations. This is usually divided into on-cloud storage, storage on tape, and storage in a physical location. That way, if anything goes wrong, you still have the majority of your data to fall back on.
You can also take this time to understand what your data is made up of. There’s no point moving to the cloud and spending huge amounts of money protecting and securing all your data, if only part of it is valuable and sensitive.
Moving to the cloud will be a big learning curve for many people at your company – and for you too (if it’s new to you). So, you can expect some fraught moods and short tempers when things go wrong for the first time. When you conduct your move to the cloud, it’s a good idea to have your service provider run through common problems, and how to solve them. That way, you can share knowledge and ensure that small issues don’t hold you back.
For example, if you can’t login to your NetSuite account, you need to know either where you can get help from, or how to solve the problem yourself. Most of the time you’ll be able to find information online and teach yourself, but sometimes the problems are harder to solve.
Of course, if you’re not sure of the answer, there’s no point experimenting with different solutions. Speak to your provider, and they’ll be able to sort you out and show you how to do it in the future too.
Moving to the cloud opens your data up to a number of new threats, including hackers and data breaches. This means it’s vital to put in the right security protocols. Ensure that you have end-to-end encryption on your data – even if it’s not particularly business critical or sensitive. Using Single Sign-On (SSO) can be a good way to minimize risk too: the fewer accounts you have, the safer your set-up is. Also, it means IT administrators don’t need to worry about deleting or creating accounts when people leave the company or join it. Plus, employees don’t need to worry about remembering multiple passwords.
You could look at working with a security specialist as a third party if you don’t have the capacity to hire a professional in-house. When working with the cloud, it’s vital to have a data security specialist on hand at all times.
In addition, train your employees on how to spot potential ways in for hackers: this could be anything from knowing how to recognize suspicious email attachments, to knowing what to do in the case of a data hack.
The cloud offers many benefits for employees, including the ability to work anywhere. Remote working is gaining in popularity, and will no doubt become a winning feature of your business. However, with remote working comes new threats: if your employees are taking devices around with them, the risk of losing said devices – with access to sensitive company data on them – is high.
So, to combat this, think about upgrading your devices to ones with high-security settings. You should look for ones with two-factor authentication, as well as biometrics, to ensure complete security.