October 8, 2021 Office 365

Four things to consider as you move to the cloud

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Microsoft 365 has become a powerful platform for businesses to do something previously not possible (at least not easily or at a reasonable cost): move to the cloud while simultaneously staying secure.

While Microsoft 365 has made the transition from traditional server to cloud much more seamless, there are still many options to weigh and much to consider, as we recently addressed when we debunked some common myths about moving to the cloud. 

However! You’re not alone in this transition, and the team at SUCCESS has the breadth and depth of skill and experience necessary to ease your mind as you make this change to this business.

So what do you need to do to move entirely to the cloud? A disclaimer: there are many ways to get there, but SUCCESS follows Microsoft best practices and adheres to a security framework, both of which we consider essential to getting this transition done the right way.

“There are several key considerations when evaluating your company’s move to the cloud,” says Jamie Wolbeck, Vice President of Technical Operations at SUCCESS. “While on the surface the message can be simple—“take what I have in the office and put it in a hosted service so I no longer have to worry about it”—there are multiple layers and criterion you and your business need to take into account.”

Data Ownership
This might seem like a non-starter—if it’s your data, it’s your data, right? In theory, yes, but moving your data to the cloud does in fact place it in the hands of a separate company, and it’s critical that this point is established before you begin the data migration process. The key question to ask any vendor in this regard is “Is my data still under my control, and is it always available to me?” Another question to ask a potential cloud provider is about their ability to migrate your data back to you, in the event that you choose to use a new vendor or return to an on-premise server.

“Accessibility and security are of paramount importance,” Wolbeck says. “What happens when your cloud provider performs maintenance, or has an outage? You need to stay connected with what your provider or cloud service is doing, so your staff can know what to expect. 

Cybersecurity
We know we might sound like a broken record with this one, but assessing your cloud service’s cybersecurity practices and monitoring mechanisms is vital. SUCCESS recommends access to dashboards or notifications in the event there is a problem or degradation of service. Additionally, your channel for connecting and transmitting to the cloud should be secure, and once data is stored, we recommend that it’s encrypted.

Compatibility and Performance Expectations
Cloud-hosted services are generally slower than on-premise; they also interact and communicate differently with applications like e-mail plug-ins and Word or Excel add-ins, for example. There’s no one-size-fits all solution here, but it’s important that you understand these factors when you consider what is best for your business’s unique needs.

Keep it Backed Up
While a cloud service might be hosting your data, that does not mean it is automatically their responsibility to back up your data. That still falls squarely on you, and just as you would with an on-premise server, it’s important to have a robust data back-up plan in place in the event of a failure.

If you identify a cloud service provider and ultimately decide that this is the right route for your business, it’s still important to seek out guidance and have an expert like SUCCESS at your side. 

While cloud computing can be a game-changer, Wolbeck cautions that there is much to consider, and for most users, he explains, “It’s not as easy as it sounds, and it is usually a completely different experience from what you’re used to.”

Want to move to the cloud?
SUCCESS Computer Consulting’s team of consultants can help you design and implement a roadmap to the cloud that aligns with your business goals.