7 August 2020

Tips for Transitioning to the Cloud

Tips for Transitioning to the Cloud

The use of cloud computing, applications, and storage is becoming increasingly popular, even more so now that so many people are expected to work from home. Cloud solutions enable ease of access and security for companies and their remote workers.

But before you jump all in and make the switch to the cloud, you should be aware of some best practices. Let’s take a closer look at them below.

Evaluate how cloud computing will benefit your business

When making the decision to transfer some or all of your assets and processes to the cloud, be aware of why you’re making the change instead of just jumping on the bandwagon.

There are many benefits to utilizing cloud computing, including:

  • Reduced IT costs
  • Scalability
  • The ability to back up information and optimize business continuity
  • Efficiency in collaboration and simultaneous access to files
  • More flexibility in location and work practices
  • Access to automatic updates

However, it is essential for you to evaluate the types of applications that you are using and whether any of your applications or processes may be better off remaining on your own servers. An experienced Managed Service Provider can help you determine the best way to manage your assets and space when transitioning to the cloud.

Public or private cloud?

When it comes to choosing a cloud provider, you first need to choose between using a private cloud solution and a public one. For simplicity we will ignore more complex hybrid solutions and focus on the main choices, but your IT consultant should consider all options for your needs.

Using the public cloud will give you greater ease of scalability; many small and medium-sized businesses utilize pay-as-you-go public cloud services that allow for growth. These resources are generally offered on demand, so any changes in activity can be managed very easily. Platforms such as AWS and Azure are especially popular with enterprise organisations with virtually limitless scalability available.

But an even better solution can be to use a private cloud, especially for businesses that need more customisation options or the ease of a completely managed cloud service. For example, our privately hosted Smart Cloud offers the same solutions of a public cloud—including scalability, accessibility, and more, but with even greater customisation options and higher performance, at no higher cost.

The advantages of our private cloud include:

  • A local security guarantee—we host all your data in Australian data centres
  • Capacity to customise Quality of Service (QoS) profiles to nearly any requirement e.g. for high-priority traffic.
  • Direct access options to management consoles and connections to PABX or other Data Centre infrastructure
  • Suitable managed telephony, VOIP, and unified communications
  • High-speed, effective off-site backups

As an MPLS provider, we can also connect your office with a point to point network link, providing complete control and direct access to your private cloud infrastructure for faster network performance.

These benefits make a private cloud solution ideal, especially for companies that require tailored IT solutions or prefer the ‘one-throat-to-choke’ of a fully managed service.

Perform data backups prior to the transfer

There is an element of risk for your files during large data transfers, especially if you attempt them yourself. Although they are safe once on the cloud, your files are at biggest risk during the transfer. This means that it is imperative to ensure they are backed up before making the switch.

At First Focus, we look after all file transfers and any security concerns during the process by saving secure backups before beginning a transfer and using secure channels. If you are attempting a transfer yourself, any zipped files should be password-protected, and you should only use a non-public, secure network. For extra security and efficiency, you may want to use an ethernet connection and complete your transfer in steps instead of all at once when dealing with large amounts of data.

Don’t move all your applications at once

When you transfer your data, you should also avoid transferring everything at once; we take an application-by-application approach, considering what needs to be moved first, whether some services (such as email) can be migrated to the cloud first to minimise disruption, and other considerations regarding the specific applications you use.

Attempting to transfer vast amounts of data and applications simultaneously can slow the process down and increase your data’s risk during the process.

Get help from an experienced managed service provider

Transitioning to the cloud can seem like a mountainous task. However, an experienced managed cloud expert like First Focus can help you make decisions and come up with tailored solutions to suit your business.

A managed service provider can also help ensure you’ll receive end-to-end support, so your assistance doesn’t stop at the cloud server. Our technical account managers understand your entire configuration and are available to help with any IT issue, backed by the full resources of our service desk and on-site technicians.

With the right advice and support, transitioning to the cloud can be a simple step on your path to greater efficiency and productivity.