The Cloud Series (IV): Ensuring a smooth, risk-free transition to the cloud

Our previous blog – Planning your path to cloud computing success – examined the critical role that planning plays in making your journey to the cloud as easy as possible.

Here, we look at the considerations you need to address to ensure your actual transition is a low risk, low hassle process.

The first consideration is security and compliance. While, in many ways, public cloud platforms provide stronger security and easier regulatory compliance than on-premise infrastructure, you still need to be sure that you’ve got effective safety measures set up.

The better your platform and provider, the stronger your security

One of the advantages of transitioning to a leading cloud platform is the fact that most of them are already designed to be compliant with regulatory standards. But you should double-check this is the case with your chosen platform.

You should also review any contractual requirements relating to your existing customers. These may impose obligations on you, particularly regarding how you manage your customers’ data.

And make sure that your cloud platform provider is up to scratch with best practice security. Check that they have relevant industry accreditations (such as ISO27001), effective controls to ensure your data can’t be accessed by other platform users, and data centres with the highest levels of physical security.

 
 

Cloud computing provides an attractive and achievable alternative to running your own infrastructure. What you need to know and how to make a simple and successful transitioning to the cloud for SMEs:

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The Cloud Series (III): Planning your path to cloud computing success

4 steps for managing your migration

  • Joint working: From start to finish, your migration will involve your IT staff, your cloud provider, your external IT provider if appropriate and your users. Successful joint working relies on keeping lines of communications open and ensuring that everybody is always up to speed.
  • Proof of concept: Proof of concept testing means that representative systems/data sets are agreed and dummy migrations carried out to check interoperability, latency and migration timings. Potential issues can also be highlighted as early as possible.
  • Dress rehearsals: A fully manned dummy run should be carried out at least once, to ensure that your migration schedule is accurate and can be completed in your allocated window (such as a 48-hour weekend).
  • Business/operation engagement: To prevent your migration from being solely owned by technical teams, keep your business and operations users involved in the process as part of your acceptance testing teams. These teams will have the ultimate sign off on whether the project has delivered its promised business value, so they need to be fully engaged.

Not all suppliers are the same

Your choice of supplier is paramount. Obviously price will be a consideration, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

Bear in mind that, if you’re a smaller business, you don’t want a provider whose primary focus is large enterprises. And ensure that your provider offers robust SLAs, covering availability and response times in the event of a problem.

Look for a well-established provider with a proven track record of delivery over a sustained period of time. And check what processes are in place for ordering and provisioning, plus what systems are in place to support ongoing management and monitoring of your service?

Make sure that your configuration options allow you to consume just what you need – no more and no less. You need to be able to easily scale up and down, without any cost penalty.

Also, ask yourself whether you want a supplier who only offers cloud computing services, or would it be easier to work with someone who provides a broader level of support? For example, would you prefer working with someone who can provide end-to-end support through the process?

Delivering an easy, low risk, low hassle transition to the cloud, Gamma Cloud Compute has been designed specifically to meet the needs of SMEs.

For more information on planning your transition to the cloud, visit our web page or contact our experts on 0333 014 0000. You can also watch our 60-second quickfire Q&A on Cloud Compute here.

 

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26 September 2017 | Stephen Ashley-Brian

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The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.