i-MigrationWhen you work in this industry, you hear some real horror stories about data loss. I remember hearing a particularly vivid one from a potential client. He told me how his company was moving offices across town and had loaded everything into multiple trucks. At the end of the hectic day, they realized that one of the trucks hadn’t arrived. This was before cell phones, so it took everyone a while to figure out what had happened. It turned out that the truck had been in an accident and overturned. Everyone was unharmed, but the back of the truck popped open and hundreds of files went tumbling out. It was a disaster. The client related this story to me as a way of demonstrating his reluctance to move to the cloud. After all, if such a fiasco can happen to a truckload of files, who knows what can happen with digitized data? Data migration was to him, despite the enormous benefits, something scary.

The increasing popularity and versatility of the cloud means that more and more business owners are considering pursuing solutions that aren’t hosted on-premise. And while the appeal of the cloud is great, the path to get there can seem daunting for even tech-savvy businesses. Why? Because the fear of something going wrong can overshadow the potential reward. Luckily, a good cloud migration service will follow four major steps to make sure that potential chaos turns into pleasant business as usual.

The Four Steps Of A Successful Migration

First, a migration plan that charts the order of events and the timeline for the migration is key to success. This is where a lot can go wrong, and total communication is key.

Potential Problem: What happens if one worker is still using email at the moment you switch from on-site exchange to cloud-based email? What happens if your automated data backup is running when the old server is decommissioned?

For Example: We had a potential client who had tried migrating on their own. One of the junior partners was somehow unaware of the switch, and picked that exact moment to send a series of memos to every member of the state legislature on a construction environmental assessment report. Half were sent out, half weren’t, and he didn’t know which was which. Needless to say, chaos ensued.

Solution: Creating a plan and scheduling all events, and making sure everyone is aware of them, is critical to success.

Second, having a secure migration path is a must. Transferring data from on-premise hardware to the cloud means transmitting data across the internet.

Potential Problem: Your data being hacked, stolen, or lost during transference.

For Example: We once heard a story about a company that was transferring just between servers, and didn’t update permissions. Everything was suddenly accessible by anybody. Luckily, it was a small firm, and no one acted with any malice, but that won’t always be the case.

Solution: Make sure your connection is secure and encrypted, and again, that everyone is on board and understands the security procedures during this sensitive time.

Third, make sure that the cloud environment to which you are migrating is properly set up for the data and applications that you are transferring.

Potential Problems: All too often we see virtual servers provisioned that don’t have enough memory to run applications, or SaaS solutions that require data in a different format. Your preparation isn’t just about packing up your data and applications. Things need to be formatted and organized correctly, and your cloud solution needs to be the right solution for your business.

For Example: A client came to us and somewhat sheepishly admitted that they thought if everyone just uploaded everything to Google Drive to use that cloud, it would work. While Google Drive is amazing, it wasn’t enough for a company their size, and they quickly ran out of memory. They needed a partner to help them expand their capabilities.

Solution: Make sure beforehand that your data is compatible with where you are taking it, and that your solution is provisioned for your organization’s needs.

Finally, have an assessment and confirmation process for when the migration is finally complete. It’s one thing to think you’ve done everything right. It’s another thing entirely to know it for certain. Don’t just cross your fingers. Cross every item off your list.

Potential Problems: Do you have a surefire way to determine if and when everything has migrated correctly? Ways to explore and test that your apps will function whenever you need them, wherever you need them? Assurance that everything is still on course?

For Example: One point you might not have considered is where your applications need to be accessed, and where they don’t. Have you verified from what geographic locations your apps can and can’t be accessed? Or will you only figure that out when an employee is on a business trip, or when your security has been compromised from within another country? And this is just one of the many considerations to be addressed.

Solutions: From checking systems to confirming that every byte of data has been migrated successfully, your migration is only complete when your detailed confirmation is done. Without verifying the success, your business could go weeks without realizing that an error has occurred, and then it might be too late.

Eliminate Any Chance of Error

Thankfully, cloud migration services from DiamondIT will reduce the complexity and worry that can come with a migration. With a proven IT partner, the four steps above are broken down into even more detail to ensure the success of the migration with the least amount of business interruption. Pulling from a deep set of expertise and experience, our team makes sure that every piece of data makes it safely and securely to the cloud, and performs as expected. The cloud can be a powerful tool for businesses of any size, but getting there can certainly be a challenge–which is why DiamondIT is here to help.