For the last few years we’ve been hearing about the benefits (and all the permutations!) of the cloud. And at this point, many of us agree the benefits are sizable.
So let’s say you’ve finally agreed that it’s time to move to the cloud—what’s next? Here are six tips to help you transition to the cloud.
1. Be Clear on the Problem You’re Solving
Moving to the cloud should be driven by a real business problem, not by an abstract desire to be in the cloud. Need a new data warehouse? An HR management solution? CRM? Consider starting with cloud there. You’ll likely have a faster implementation by going cloud, which means you’ll get value fast. You’ll also be able to start transitioning without ripping out something that’s working. And chances are you’ll save money in the bargain.
2. Leverage the Cloud to Rethink the Way You Do Things
One of the major advantages of cloud services is that they offer a completely new way of doing things, whether in capabilities or pricing. If you’ve decided to move a system to the cloud, don’t just replicate what you already have. Think of ways to leverage flexible pricing, elasticity, and instant provisioning.
3. Be as Flexible as the Cloud Itself
The cloud is in a stage of rapid evolution. You have the possibility of prototyping as you go, and adding volume when you’ve got it right. Keep an eye on new technologies and see how you can fit them into your workflows.
Your best architecture today may not be your best architecture in a year, or even six months. A bit of tweaking can save you a lot of money. You can take advantage of different services to change your cost structure.
4. Plan for Growth
One of the advantages of a cloud infrastructure is that you can scale up easily—as long as you’ve got the right infrastructure. Take the time upfront to get your systems working as you want them. If your business starts growing, a good system can go a long way with you, but a bad one will only add to your headaches.
5. Give Your Users a Hand (or at Least a Single Sign-on Solution!)
Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions like OneLogin and others let your users have just one password for many applications. This can significantly reduce user headaches and make them more open to adopting new solutions. It’s a good idea to favor solutions that use SAML or OAuth so that you can make use of an SSO solution when you’re ready.
6. Enable Your Organization Broadly
Consider ways to allow many people to leverage the cloud. The cloud makes mobile access easy, so think about which applications would be more valuable if better integrated into the flow of business. Could you give your sales team mobile access to the CRM system or your recruiters access to the HR system?
You can add even more value by broadening access to data via an analytics platform that can connect to multiple different kinds of data. This helps those who know your business and have the appropriate security access to get value from both your data and the cloud. And you won't have to change your analytics platform every time you adopt a new data service.
For more information on transitioning to the cloud, check out our whitepaper.