If your company has transitioned into cloud or thought of it, there are three vital questions you ought to be asking regarding getting in, getting on and getting out.
1) Exactly how straightforward is it to migrate my data… and applications?
Depending what type of business you operate, you’ll presumably have emails, files and in several cases a line of business application that you use on a daily basis. Therefore the first question you ought to ask your cloud provider is exactly how easily you will be able move everything into the cloud and get it working as efficiently as possible. It’s a good question to begin with, because basic as it is, it will give you an honest indication on what form of cloud provider they are.
Without setting out on a negative, a cloud migration is far from lightweight and fluffy. as much as you ought to expect professionalism and efficiency from your cloud service provider, anyone who takes the “it’ll all be done in the morning!” type of view, can be considered to be either dangerously optimistic, or doesn’t work in IT. Within the same respect, if you’re bombarded with technical jargon, advanced process diagrams, and long excel rating matrixes – back away, quickly.
What you ought to expect is simply:
Assurance that you will really run all of your applications within the cloud
Consultation on however best to approach the migration
To be kept well informed at each stage of the process
an easy pricing structure, with no hidden fees
A friendly and local support line you can ring should you have any initial teething issues
For example, once on boarding new purchasers onto some cloud platforms, some companies use (MCITP) Microsoft Certified IT Professionals to ensure that their responsibilities are clear from the outset and know exactly what stage they are at within the set up process. They are ready to host all line of business applications so that they appear on your desktop as per usual and once you’re successfully within the cloud, with a friendly United Kingdom based help desk that is available 24/7/365 to take any queries you may have.
2) Where exactly is my data?
You’ll get a spread of different answers depending on who you’re dealing with…
“We keep all of you data hosted inside the cloud of course!” – Definitely not a good enough answer.
“It’s all keep in our secure data centres” – that is wonderful, however it still fails to answer my question
“Your data is keep in our network of data centers, run by global Foundation Services and strategically located around the world. For customers within the European union, that could be Ireland, The Netherlands or the United States” – therefore not within the United Kingdom then?
Keeping your information within a secure perimeter is fundamental to being in control of it which we know could be a big concern with cloud services. you should be asking potential or existing cloud service providers where your data is and they should be ready to literally take you to it.
3) How straightforward is it to retrieve my data?
It’s rare that corporations who adopt the cloud want to manoeuvre back to an on premise solution, however circumstances do change and it should be a pain free process to essentially acquire your data and leave.
But how straightforward is it really? Don’t be afraid to place your cloud service provider to task. You ought to expect a clear exit strategy, recommendation on the implications either way and guidance throughout the process. Not an aggressive sales person on the other end of the phone telling you you’re making an enormous mistake. And not a metaphorical ‘good luck finding it all!’. Some cloud packaged available on the market are completely scalable either way, and permit you to scale up or down should your necessities change. Should a client commit to leave the platform altogether, they will be assigned a technical account manager who will guide them through that process making certain that all data is retrieved as efficiently as possible and within a predefined SLA.