March 24, 2021 Managed IT Services

Cloud migration myths: 6 things to (re)consider as you contemplate moving your data

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Touting ease of access, increased collaboration, and cost among their key motivating factors, businesses have been diving head-first into the cloud, migrating everything from their documents to phone services.

At SUCCESS, we’re constantly fielding questions from clients about ditching traditional on-premise servers and shifting into this digital sphere, and when asked “should we?” our answer is almost always: “absolutely!” 

But like any major change to your business, it pays to strategize, plan, and seek out the expertise of a partner like SUCCESS, who can guide you through the ins and outs of this significant transition. 

Are you considering a move to the cloud? Here are six common misconceptions we’d like to clear up as you get started.

Myth 1: Migrating to the cloud will save you money

This is usually one of the first reasons offered up for cloud-based computing. While it might not always be more expensive to use the cloud, if trimming costs is your driving motivating factor, migrating to the cloud is not the best way to do that.

However, that old chestnut “you get what you pay for” is definitely a factor here—if the cloud does wind up being more expensive than your existing onsite data solutions, it’s because it’s bringing more value to the table. 

“Generally, we’re seeing small businesses see a lot more value in the collaboration the cloud enables,” says SUCCESS Chief Technology Officer Brandon Nohr. “You gain access to better data retention, and better sharing and management of documents.”

Myth 2: The cloud isn’t as secure as a traditional physical server 

“It can actually be more secure,” Nohr says. “You have a lot more options in the cloud to control data, implement rights management, those types of things. Those are much more consumable in the cloud for small-to-medium businesses than if they were trying to do it on-prem.” 

This is actually an area where the cloud can be more cost-effective, as security then revolves around access and identity, rather than a physical server sitting behind four walls. It fundamentally shifts the nature of cybersecurity with native solutions that can ultimately reduce your overhead.

Myth 3: When it comes to the cloud it’s all or nothing

That simply isn’t so, Nohr says. 

“It doesn’t have to be ‘today I’m on-prem, tomorrow I’m in the cloud,” he explains. “You might start peeling pieces off and putting it there.”

This lets you tailor your cloud migration to your business’s specific needs—maybe you’re itching to get collaborative on the cloud, but email and files can wait. 

“You don’t have to introduce all that change simultaneously,” Nohr says. “This cadence is much easier than a massive change. You can create structured, repeatable processes out of that.”

Is your aim productivity? Security? Ease of access and collaboration? Not sure?

That’s where a partner like SUCCESS can help you take a step back, assess, and prioritize, creating a cloud migration strategy unique to your business.

Myth 4: Because my data is in the cloud, it’s automatically backed up

Here’s the thing: as with any service provider or vendor, you still need to do due diligence when it comes to the security of your data. And not all back-ups and disaster recovery plans are created equal. 

“Just because your data is in a cloud provider doesn’t mean you don’t have the responsibility of making sure that data is backed up and safe,” Nohr says. “All of those responsibilities still fall to you.” He recalls a recent instance he witnessed, in which data was, indeed, backed up; but it took two weeks to recover.

This means the same cybersecurity frameworks and tenets you apply to every other aspect of data management still hold true when it comes to the cloud, and a solid disaster recovery plan is paramount. (Don’t have a disaster recovery plan? Don’t worry, SUCCESS can assist.)

Myth 5: It’s easier to use 

As with the aforementioned issue of cost, it’s not a foregone conclusion. As with any change, there’s a learning curve and adjustment period. 

“It’s still change,” Nohr says. “It’s not generally like for like, and there’s work-flow processes that will need to be adjusted. 

Adopting a change-management strategy is a good tactic here, as it is with any process or procedural change within your organization. Thinking “deploy it and they will come” does not generally cut it as a change-management strategy, so while ideally a migration to the cloud will increase your employees’ productivity, spend some time on the front end considering training, feedback, and reinforcement.

Myth 6: Cloud migration is too much for my small-to-medium business to handle 

Not if you have the right partners in place to guide you. “I would caution people to not try and do it on their own, because while it is doable, there are some ‘gotchas’ along the way,” Nohr says. 

Whether you’re just starting to consider a cloud migration or ready to jump in tomorrow, employing a thoughtful deployment strategy with an experienced managed service provider can help you steer clear of any avoidable pitfalls.