Step-by-Step Guide to Cloud Provider Selection & Migration
Migration to the cloud is a big commitment, especially to a small enterprise. With limited resources and time, small enterprise leaders need reliable and consistent support – especially when it impacts core technology availability and functionality.
To ease the load of migration to the cloud, we’ve prepared a list of crucial considerations every small enterprise decision maker should assess when choosing a managed service provider.
Small Enterprise Cloud Provider Selection Criteria
Cloud hosting providers support their client’s data and storage requirements via a complex array of infrastructures. That means the cloud hosting provider determines the integrity of your business data.
Following a set of criteria helps small enterprises understand their unique infrastructure needs and ensure data will be backed up and available when needed. The following list of questions, prepared just for small enterprises, will provide a starting point for a move to the cloud.
Cloud Migration Preparation
Developing a Small Enterprise Cloud Strategy
First, develop a cloud strategy. Your small enterprise has unique needs, and those must be reflected in choosing a cloud hosting solution.
Identify the short, medium, and long-term motivations for moving to the cloud.
Prioritize your motivations
Know what matters to your technology migration most, and what can wait. A service provider can also help rank these priorities, but it’s important to start a conversation with a service provider knowing what matters to your business.
These priorities may include:
- Cost reduction
- Infrastructure upgrade and reliability
- Application availability
- Risk mitigation
- Improved customer experience
Know your team
Understand how your current IT team uses their time. Identify the gaps in your team, and how a provider might help fill those gaps.
You’ll need an expert provider that understands your goals, your team, and your capacity for change management.
Ask the Questions
To ensure a provider meets your needs, take the following actions.
- Review a prospective provider’s technology offering. How frequently do they upgrade their offering?
- Understand the provider’s infrastructure. What’s their approach to compliance and data protection?
- Ask questions about development practices. How much time do they require to make changes to your cloud solution?
- Inquire about solutions provided. This can also help you understand the team you’re hiring – not just the products they use.
- Look into service level agreements (SLA). Ensure they meet your regularity and reporting requirements. How frequently does the provider back backup copies of your data? What is the downtime tolerance?
- Review accepted payment structures and service bundles. Look to maximize your budgeting efficiencies.
- Consider the provider’s risk management policies, audit compliance record and vulnerability analysis. Data security is paramount to businesses of all sizes.
Migration to the cloud: Take a long view
Careful consideration of a prospective cloud provider ensures your small business will maximize its technology spend.
The ideal cloud solutions provider will offer expertise, experience and a wide range of infrastructure. You understand your business requirements – make sure you communicate these to a prospective provider. Ensure you are 100% satisfied with the infrastructure and the proposed service offering.
If you’re looking for expert advice on your move to the cloud, HostedBizz offers a professional planning service and a wide range of cloud solutions. Get in touch today for more information!