Cloud Migration: A Guide for Small Businesses

Cloud migration for your small business is a big step in your digital transformation. And while the move will take time and effort, it will also provide benefits that you can’t get anywhere else.

A big reason to consider moving to the cloud is long-term cost savings through decreased maintenance of on-premise software. Cloud migration also delivers scalability by allowing you to adjust infrastructure size and licenses as you need them. You can pay for what you need and adapt as often as necessary, whether scaling up or down.

The opportunity for these potential benefits only makes your migration process more critical, though. Make your move easier with ample research, preparation, and prioritization of your technology needs. Consider your company’s business and technology requirements, assets, and objectives. Then keep them top of mind as you make decisions throughout the process.

Some companies will need to consider their specific digital transformation objectives, while others should balance their data storage flexibility with any needs for an offline solution. A well-planned cloud migration will save your company time, simplify business tasks, and help keep your business secure.

Best Practices for Migrating Your Business and Data

Migration is a process in which you transfer your legacy applications or data from an on-premise infrastructure to an online platform hosted by a third-party service provider, like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

A proper cloud migration allows your business to grow, increase its remote workforce, and decrease long-term technology costs. However, migrating your business’ data and processes to the cloud should be a strategic decision, not a quick cost-saving one. A clear strategy and a plan for migrating software and data to the cloud are necessary for seamless cloud migration, particularly for small businesses.

If that seems overwhelming, we can help you evaluate your needs, assess the costs, and decide which migration method is best for you. We have found that companies should first consider both the potential benefits and drawbacks that each migration method has before committing to it.

You will need to make an investment to set up cloud infrastructure with third-party services or tools. A cloud migration specialist can help you assess your company’s best options before you take your first step.

Preparing for Your Small Business’s Cloud Migration

In the meantime, to prepare for a cloud migration, you should:

  1. Identify your current data, application, disaster recovery, and business process needs
  2. Conduct research on service providers
  3. Determine your starting point, typically focused on a data source, specific operations workflow, business application, or hardware replacement
  4. Identify and manage risks

Small business owners should remember that migrating is not just about transferring assets from one place to another. It’s about taking advantage of your new environment and the opportunities that innovation, scalability, and efficiency offer.

As you plan, consider building these best practices into your project to help you maintain a secure, consistent service with an uptime acceptable to your business:

  1. Back up and document all data before the migration.
  2. Test the new location and make sure new solutions meet your needs.
  3. Build redundancy into your infrastructures, processes, and systems
  4. Consider migrating cloud services with active workloads offsite, such as backups, test environments, training labs, data centers, or disaster recovery centers.
  5. Take an agile, iterative approach that allows you to learn and adapt as you progress

Migrating software and data to the cloud does not always mean that you need expensive services and tools. Instead, focus on services that fit your purpose and a partner that will provide guidance tailored to your business. Remember, the pay-as-you-go model available in the cloud can flex with your business needs. For example, if your business application needs to support different workloads or sets of users seasonally, you can decrease your costs in the off-season.

How to Choose a Cloud Provider for Your Business

Choosing the right cloud provider for your company is an important decision. There are several factors you should take into account when choosing a cloud host: support, responsiveness, scalability, security, storage capacity, and cost. Also, consider your technology needs: how much storage space you need, what features are available (such as low-code solutions, artificial intelligence, or automation), what business processes could be optimized, and your annual budget.

A good cloud services partner will advise you on all of your options to best serve your business goals.

While doing your research for a provider, take note of these three factors for each:

  1. Expertise in the type of service or solution provided
  2. A pricing model that covers what your business genuinely needs
  3. Support that truly meets your needs

You don’t want to get mired in low-cost cloud providers that offer lower-cost options for storage space or processing power but lack rich features or expertise to help you expand these solutions as your business continues to evolve.

Find a Trusted Partner for Your Small Business Cloud Migration

Digital transformations and migrations will always require detail and research. It is no surprise that many organizations find themselves either quickly in over their heads or that they got started without pre-migration analysis and are locked into services that do not support them as needed.

Remember, cloud migrations are about more than just changing to new technologies. They should improve your bottom line in the long run, decrease your internal IT labor costs, provide you with more cash flow flexibility, and allow you to adopt new ways of thinking about, interacting with, supporting, and serving your staff and customers.

Make your business more agile, competitive, and sustainable with a partner like us committed to your success. Let our experienced team help you choose the right path, whether you’re just starting your migration journey or choosing to update your platform.

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