Does migrating to the cloud mean downtime?

We’ve already talked about whether or not the cloud is good for business, so now we’re going to look at whether migrating to the cloud means you should be prepared for downtime.

The short answer is yes. Yes, it does mean a bit of downtime. Don’t panic though, all this means is that when bringing in the cloud as part of your IT infrastructure, you need to make sure you have a plan. You might also hear this plan being called a ‘cloud migration strategy.’

What is a cloud migration strategy?

Migrating to the cloud takes a bit of thought, which is why it’s best to work with an IT provider or make sure the person in charge of the project knows exactly what they’re doing. It essentially involves moving some, or all, of your sensitive business data from your local storage to the cloud. Much like hiring a removals firm for moving house, you want to make sure that your data is well protected to avoid breakages, and secure to avoid thefts.

It also allows for the most important data to be prioritised, and downtime to be kept to an absolute minimum. No one likes interruptions to their workday, and too much disruption can be costly. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” as your middle school geography teacher probably used to say, and it could not be truer in this situation.

Make sure it’s the right time for migrating to the cloud

If you’re working with an IT provider, or you have an in-house IT professional, they’ll almost definitely be working with you on this. They won’t just jump in with both feet, getting ready to shift your data to the cloud willy nilly.

There are a lot of factors to consider here, from your short and long term business goals, to what you currently have by way of an IT infrastructure. Sometimes waiting a little bit longer and making a few more changes before taking the leap to the cloud might be necessary to make sure everything is plain sailing.

There’s also the question of the applications you rely on for your business. Some applications might not be compatible with more modern cloud services, which means updates of new software might need to be thought about before a migration takes place.

The rise in flexible working since the start of the pandemic is one thing that’s made it a good time for lots of businesses to be looking at this over the last few years. Around 34 per cent of the workforce prefer home working, and there are many workers who are changing jobs rather than remaining in roles that see them required to return to the office.

Other ways to ensure migrating to the cloud is a success

Take stock of what you have already

If you already have an IT provider that you work with, they should know the setup of your IT infrastructure already. However, if you’re looking for someone to work with on the migration, they’ll have questions about what you have already and what you’re looking to achieve with the cloud, in order to give them an idea of what to recommend going forward. Knowing roughly what you already have and what your future needs are will help you get what you need, for a realistic budget.

Pick a project leader

If you’re working with an IT provider, chances are they will assign you a main person to liaise with to keep the project running smoothly. If you’re organising this in house, it can be easy for bits to get missed in the melee of day-to-day things like holiday, sickness, or someone assuming someone else is going to pick something up. To avoid this, pick a leader who will oversee the whole process from beginning to end. You’ll be glad of the organisation!

Have you been thinking about how moving to the cloud could help propel your business forwards? Book a call with us, we’ll be happy to talk you through the pros and cons.