Just a few years ago, the idea of cloud computing was considered a luxury by many – an option that would give teams greater access to resources, business owners lower overhead costs and CTOs less to worry about at night. However, the pandemic shifted that transition into overdrive, and the on-demand availability of computing resources has become a necessity for businesses around the world.
The advantages of cloud computing are easy to see (figuratively)
The benefits show themselves everywhere, from monthly overhead savings, to proactive disaster recovery planning that could keep as much as $117,000 in your business account. Moving everything into the ether means you don’t have to reserve space in a physical server. You only pay for the resources you need and scaling upward is a seamless process. All of your data is (or should be) backed up regularly. Because multiple people can access the same tools at the same time, you’re encouraging greater collaboration and inspiring productive engagement from your team – whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
The choice is simple – it’s time to take to the skies and harness the power of cloud computing. However, the process isn’t always that easy. It takes comprehensive planning, expert-level execution and a little upkeep after everything goes live.
Five major pitfalls to watch out for when migrating to the cloud
We’ll be the first to say it: you’re without a doubt going to run into bugs, hiccups and glitches. Some minor; hopefully nothing major. So, to help prepare you for the great migration, we’re looking at the major pitfalls of migrating to cloud computing and highlighting when you should pull in an expert to help out.
This is one of the most common, costly and anxiety-inducing situations that we have seen. The move isn’t instant. Propagation takes time. Transferring large amounts of data to a new location can increase the risk of creating a network outage. For some bigger companies, that downtime could cost them upwards of $5,600 a minute.
Back up everything you have. Migrate during the lowest periods of usage. Try to work “locally” as everything is moved over.
Broken apps and not knowing what you will be capable of
Once you’re on the cloud, you will quickly learn what applications will still work and which ones will fail with the move. Without proper planning, you may be without the functionality that these apps provided for a few days or until you find a cloud-based alternative.
Before taking off, do a thorough audit of every piece of software or application you and your team use on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. What utility do they bring to the table? Will they remain operable after the move? Is there an alternative and, if so, is that alternative more robust and cost-effective than what you’re currently using?
Improper bandwidth expectations
Before setting out on your journey, you will want to know how much data you’re currently working with and how much you are likely going to grow into. Without this knowledge, your team may endure some pretty painful latency issues and your customer experience may suffer.
Take inventory of your daily speed-based headaches. What applications were slow to load before? Where were the productivity hang-ups? When were the hang-ups? Instead of faltering by failing to prepare, you can improve the efficiency of your business from every angle. Get the most out of this move.
We know – we said that cloud computing saves money. However, there’s going to be a short-term period of time where you will overlap between the old costs and the new ones. Cloud computing often requires the purchase of software licenses, which are usually purchased on an annual basis. Small and midsize companies typically spend anywhere between $10,000 – $50,000 a year on technology.
In a single month, you may rack up an IT tab that includes, for example, eight different platforms for your entire team for the entire year. But remember: your team will be more productive and profitable. You will save on hardware costs, repair costs, office space rentals and the daunting bill that will eventually come from accruing technical debt. You’re becoming future-proof.
Lack of in-house understanding
Part of cloud computing is knowing that everything is working the way it should! This means network testing, data monitoring, routine maintenance and almost constantly looking for the next cloud-based “thing” that will give you the competitive edge. If you’re reading this, then the odds are that you do not have a dedicated IT guru or department on standby – and that is okay!
There are folks out there who are skilled managed IT service providers; BPM happens to be one of them. These teams are immersed in cloud computing every single day. They’ve completed countless successful migrations and have seen problems that most couldn’t even imagine, let alone fix. They know all of the technical jargon, carry all the accreditations and, most importantly, stay abreast of all cybersecurity standards, regulations and compliance updates.
If you cannot afford an in-house IT director, there’s no shame in outsourcing the duties to a dedicated professional. If something happens to your systems, you’ll want these people on speed dial; and chances are, they know about the problem before you have even had your cup of coffee.
So, when should you seek outsourced help?
This question hinges on three factors:
- Do you have an internal expert ready to help?
- Is your execution plan airtight?
- Can your business withstand being knocked offline for any period of time?
If you answer “no” to any of those questions, we suggest that you have an experienced managed IT service provider help you plan and oversee the execution for good measure. This will save headaches, time, money and your reputation. These folks won’t just ensure a smooth transition, but they will likely highlight new advantages and insights to cloud computing along the way.
A real person in your corner as you move forward
Depending on what you find out during the planning period, it could be wise to consider hiring an internal talent to manage tasks and support related to your newfound cloud computing power. You can also keep that outsourced agency on retainer if you’re looking to save on overhead costs without losing expertise.
As mentioned, BPM has a team of managed IT service specialists that can help oversee your migration to the cloud and act as your virtual advocate as the world of technology continues to evolve. BPM is more than just tech support — we protect your IT infrastructure at all angles, instantly update software as upgrades are pushed, modernize your systems without causing outages, find new ways to save money and help you scale your tech as your business grows.
Looking for a proactive IT partner to help with your migration? Contact us today.
Learn more about how to leverage BPM’s managed services to realize your organization’s vision. Visit our interactive guide.