Most companies are looking for cloud providers that offer both IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) capabilities. It’s clear that migrating collaboration applications to the cloud can be massively beneficial for companies. It can increase scalability, is cost-effective, improves application performances, and allows your internal IT team to focus on critical remunerative tasks.
However, in order to maximize the potential of cloud integration, you need to migrate collaboration applications to the cloud with thought and consideration. In this article, we give you an overview of the key factors to consider when migrating to the cloud.
Compatibility with your Existing Systems
What do you gain by migrating to the cloud? What technology and features are you currently using? Are your current systems and applications compatible with those provided by cloud computing?
Oftentimes, companies jump the gun and subscribe to cloud-based applications only to realize that they’re incompatible with their existing legacy applications. For example, if your cloud-based customer relationship management system (CRM) is incompatible with your on-premises enterprise content management system (ECM), you may have a hard time managing your customer information.
When that happens, you fall into a trap and you have to find workarounds. Some companies then opt for middleware tools that can connect the legacy on-premises application with the cloud-based application. That leads to unnecessary complications that can simply be avoided if you ask the questions mentioned earlier.
Your Evolutionary Goals
Before signing on with any cloud-based vendor, you need to consider your evolutionary goals. As your organization grows, your needs will also evolve. Can your cloud provider keep up with those demands and growth? Can they continue offering stable and ongoing services? Is there a risk of vendor lock-in? If you have a falling out with the vendor, can you move your assets to another cloud platform or even access them?
These are important questions to consider in order to protect your company’s future interests. Your cloud provider may seem like the ideal choice at the moment in terms of their offerings and cost. But you need to make sure their technology continues growing so you’re not at a disadvantage and you need to avoid vendor lock-in.
To regain leverage over the vendors and providers, companies have started double-sourcing or triple-sourcing vendors, or they choose multiple cloud providers. Doing so helps you take back control and protect yourself should the vendor not meet your demands.
Cloud infrastructure is generally considered to be far more secure than on-premises applications because cloud providers are generally better at handling security than individual businesses. But there’s also an argument that maintaining your data on a third party’s servers makes it vulnerable to security breaches of that company.
In addition to security, you need to consider compliance regarding where you can or can’t store certain kinds of data. While migrating collaboration applications to the cloud, you can follow these tips to minimize risk:
- Store all sensitive data on-premises either using a private cloud or hybrid cloud.
- Keep your data encrypted with your security keys to prevent the third-party from accessing the data.
- Find a cloud service for which you can choose specific data residency to control the geographic area of the data storage.
Migrating applications to the cloud can be expensive. In addition to that, you also must account for the fact that the migration will temporarily affect your business workflow and you need to calculate or estimate the cost in terms of lost revenue. Furthermore, you should consider the cost of possibly rewriting code for your collaboration application when you move to the cloud if you’re using a PasS system.
Apps to Migrate
Most companies generally move their applications to the cloud one at a time. But how do you determine which collaboration applications to migrate and when? The following are two keys to help you decide:
- Start with on-premises applications that are suffering from performance or security issues.
- Test the migration process by first moving the non-essential or important applications so you get a hang of it and can modify the migration process for the important apps.
When you decide to migrate collaboration applications to the cloud, you need to account for a lot of factors and details. You need to carefully consider which apps to migrate and the sequence in which to migrate them, the direct and indirect cost of migration, the security and compliance issues associated with migration, the cloud application’s compatibility with your on-premises applications, and your overall future goals and security. If you carefully consider all these factors, you’ll be able to successfully migrate your applications to the cloud.