Minimising business disruption when migrating to the cloud

Moving your business operations to the cloud?

Everybody’s doing it, but not everybody is doing it right!

It’s true that moving to the cloud can be highly disruptive, but it really doesn’t need to be. And here’s the proof: Broadridge, which owns 98 per cent of the stock trading proxy business in the US and settles a quarter of all New York Stock Exchange trades every day, managed to migrate to the cloud disruption-free with IBM.

If Broadridge can do it, you can do it too! Plus, the benefits you reap from making the move are worth a bit of work behind the scenes anyway. If you don’t know much about the benefits of cloud computing, check out our past blog ‘What is cloud computing and why is it important?’

So, if you’re planning to migrate to the cloud, there are three things you need to do – plan, account for risk, and use the tools available. We’ll go through each of these in a bit of detail below.

Plan
To achieve a flawless transition to the cloud, you need to plan. A smooth path to migration will be structured, but not too structured – there should be room to move if things change. Start by determining exactly which data you need to migrate, then determine the quantity. With this general number in mind, you can plan a staged approach of what to move and when, cleaning and shedding whatever you no longer need as you go.

Account for risk
Risk is a natural part of shifting large quantities of data. However, once you’ve made the full migration, your risk of data loss will be greatly reduced – so the trade-off is worth it! Enact a risk-management plan for your cloud migration with your IT provider. They will be able to track what data has been successfully migrated and when to easily trace any losses. They will also be able to manage incompatibility with your existing architecture, back up all your data to avoid corrupt files, address latency, mitigate any compliance violations, contractual breaches, malware or misconfigured servers and much more. If all of that sounded like Vulcan to you, you definitely need an IT provider to manage your migration!

Use the tools available
There are hundreds of tools on the market that can make your migration simple. Some estimates suggest migration apps can actually cut deployment time by up to 80% – so they’re well worth the initial outlay! This quote from an IBM article on cloud migration explains why:

‘Many legacy applications in an organization’s network are not optimized for the cloud, so they must be prepared for the transition with tools designed specifically for the task […] Migration tools are necessary because they simplify and accelerate the migration process with minimal disruption to your day-to-day operations. Automated tools, specifically, are designed to remove the complexities of migration and speed the process.’

You have a few solutions here to chat through with your provider. You can use SaaS (software as a service) options, which are automated and very easy to use. You can use open-source software, which can be customised to your specific needs and is usually free or cheap, but you do need to have strong IT experience. Thirdly, you can consider batch processing, which simply transfers large volumes of data after hours to prevent network congestion. The tools you select will depend on your business, but a good IT provider will help you pick a solution that’s fit-for-purpose and easy to understand.

With careful planning, risk management and a tool-based approach, you too can minimise disruption to your business when moving to the cloud. That means no network drop-outs, missing files, system errors or lagging connections to ruin your day (or week)!

Looking for more support on cloud migration?

Reach out to Xenex for a chat – we’re always happy to help!

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