Migrating Clients to the Cloud: How to Ensure Peace of Mind
If you’re a systems integrator, reseller or managed services provider, there are two things you can be certain of as we head into 2017:
· If customers haven’t yet asked you about moving a workload to the cloud, they will soon.
· Those who successfully help their clients transform their IT infrastructure to benefit from the cloud will create clients who last a lifetime.
If current trends hold, nearly all businesses are going to soon be cloud-based organizations. The prospect of using cloud computing offers enticing possibilities for most – from boosting efficiency to improving customer engagement.
Organizations are rapidly increasing their IT spend on cloud services or preparing to do so as they plan for the year. Over the next three years, in fact, enterprises are expected to move more of their workloads to the cloud.
Companies that have adopted cloud-based technologies into their business routines are benefiting from higher efficiency and more operational agility. But the cloud also raises a host of new considerations for organizations, not the least of which centers around the IT controls and policies that they will need to put in place to ensure secure access to data and services.
Creating a Cloud Migration Plan
It is important to understand how cloud differs from traditional technologies and the considerations involved in working with it. For instance, think about the support structure that needs to be in place to handle user questions and ensure that there’s a rapid response when employees encounter problems.
The adoption of cloud computing means more information and processes than ever before will be in transit beyond the confines of the firewall. Does the cloud migration plan include sufficient measures to ensure that applications and people are able to communicate with each other and get access to the data they need?
Also, as the number of endpoints climbs, will there be sufficient flexibility and scalability in the system to handle more complex scenarios or is the idea to stick with relatively basic SaaS to SaaS connectivity? If there are going to be tradeoffs between the new cloud capabilities and ease-of-use, get them on the table right from the start.
How does the service level agreement (SLA) handle performance requirements? Terms and conditions ought to be made plain so that the parties to the agreement fully understand each other's expectations.
Are there extra or hidden costs in the fee structure? By the same token, clients need to know whether there are caps that limit rate increases. When it comes to the contract, is there flexibility that allows the option of annual or monthly payments? And if the user decides to terminate the contract, what happens then and how do they get back control over their data?
As we see here, there are many items to consider when planning a cloud migration. Westcon-Comstor, a leading global IT distributor, has provided “Migrating a Business to the Cloud” assessment tool for free to help resellers discuss these items and more with their customers.
This article is sponsored by Westcon-Comstor.