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How the Cloud Migration Process Works for Business

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 1:13pm | by Guest Contributor

When it comes to topics like how to make cloud migrations work for business, don't feel bad if the first thing that comes to your mind is, "OK, how about someone explain to me what 'cloud migration' is first?"

It's a fair question because technology definitely has its own kind of language (and own kind of people who are fluent speakers of it). In Layman's terms, it's basically taking a part or all of a company's data or services, removing it from the protective barrier of a firewall onsite and making it available on the Internet so that more people can have access to it as needed.

There are obvious potential security risks that come with making this transition, but a lot of businesses are willing to make that move because cloud computing (using a service's data and software to compute over various networks like cell phones and laptops) is an effective way to cut down costs and expenditures. This is because it frees up company money that would customarily be spent on expensive hardware and software; instead, options like subscription-based online applications can be used rather than having to license software to individual computers.

Now, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to providing you with an explanation of what cloud migration is and how it can work for your company, but with that foundation laid, now we can build. In knowing a bit more about cloud migration, now you may really want to know how the process can work for your business. If so, here are a few things to consider:

Decide what applications need cloud migration and how your staff should use it. Because of the potential security risks that we previously discussed, when it comes to transitioning to a cloud migration, you first need to determine what applications need to go into the cloud. Is it company content? Is it the business's database? Is it the financial records? Whatever you decide, do keep in mind that not all applications are currently "cloud compatible". So, at some point, you may need your developers to create applications to support the additional information that you want to go into the cloud. However, no matter what, when determining what staff needs to have access to the process, make sure that they are thoroughly trained to understand all of the security procedures while operating within the cloud. There is very little room for negligence when tapping into this kind of system.

Determine the "risk of the risk" and the costs. Anytime to make data more accessible, you also make it more vulnerable to security breaches. You must discuss with your development and engineering team the options that you have in protecting the information that is a part of the cloud migration. It's best to test little bits of information at a time until you are satisfied with the security measures that have been put into place. Don't send large files until you are confident that smaller pieces of data have not been compromised. Also while generally cloud computing is a relatively inexpensive process, that's only the case when you do it the correct way. Therefore, you must make sure that your properly assess all of the costs involved with migration beforehand.

Check to make sure that you're (cloud) migrating the appropriate items. Whatever you decide to put into the cloud, first ask yourself if it is information that will bring about dire consequences if the data ends up lost or leaked onto the Internet. The data that falls into that category may not be what needs to go into a public cloud. Whatever you place within your cloud migration, just be extra sure that your cloud application can thoroughly meet your regulatory requirements.

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