Six mistakes not to make when transitioning to the cloudBigger isn’t always better. Referrals can be wrong. And cheaper isn’t always the right choice.

When it comes to cloud migration, there are many factors to consider. After all, your organization has unique needs; as such, you should always look for a cloud provider most capable of meeting those needs.

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But in the rush to join the other millions of organizations who’ve already made the move, some organizations fail to avoid some common pitfalls.

  1.  Making it all about the money.

There’s a reason we’re mentioning this pitfall first. Choosing the lowest-cost provider is the most common mistake any organization can make (not too surprising, as many making the move are doing so in an effort to save money). And while cost is always going to be a factor, organizations also need to consider performance, compliance, security, uptime, and a host of other factors.

And like they say, you pay for what you get. You’ve likely seen cloud providers boast 99% uptime or 99.99% uptime. “What’s the difference between a few nines when I’m saving a bundle,” you might be tempted to think. Turns out, quite a lot.

99 or “two nines,” in industry terms, means you can expect over 3 days worth of downtime per year. 99.99, or “four nines,” means you’ll only experience about 50 minutes of downtime per year. With the majority of enterprises estimating that downtime costs them between $300,000 and $400,000 per hour, those extra nines can really make a difference to your bottom line.

  1.  Thinking all clouds are created equal.

“Move to the cloud!” It’s a battle cry for organizations looking to keep up with the over 65 percent of organizations that have already made the move. However, what some key decision-makers fail to realize is that these organizations aren’t just “in the cloud,” they’re utilizing one or several different clouds.

Public, private, virtual private, hybrid...which path you take depends greatly on the needs of your organization, because as we’ve said before, one size does not fit all. In fact, today 85 percent of enterprises using cloud computing have adopted a multi-cloud strategy.

  1.  Going all in, too fast.

For some organizations, diving into the cloud with both feet first is just fine—and with the right provider, it can be done without incident. But for others, dipping their toes into the cloud first may be the better option. After all, moving to the cloud marks a significant change in your infrastructure and your balance sheet.

Ask yourself, what data needs to be moved? Then, take a gradual approach before making a complete transfer. It gives your IT pros time to evaluate the move; it allows your finance team time to adjust; and it’s less disruptive for all employees in general. It also allows you to get a feel for your provider; if they’re not the perfect match, moving on will be easier if you haven’t made a complete crossover. And the right provider will also understand your need to test the waters first.

  1.  Not taking out the trash.

Think about it: if you’re moving out of your old digs into a brand new house, are you going to pack up the garbage and bring it with you? Of course not! But that’s just what many organizations do when they make the move to the cloud. They’re in such a hurry to turn CAPEX into OPEX and reap the rewards, that they fail to do proper housekeeping and evaluate what’s needed and what’s not.

The result? Wasted money and wasted hours moving useless or dated data that could have been cleared out prior to the move. And once it’s moved, you’re going to be paying a monthly fee for capacity to house “electronic garbage.”

  1.  Leaving the door open.

The odds of experiencing a data breach are one in four, making security a top priority for most organizations moving to the cloud. However, cost can become such a concern that security can slip off the radar; don’t make this mistake—it leaves the door open for disaster!

When bringing aboard a cloud provider, you are basically outsourcing infrastructure security to a third party and putting your trust in them. So before you do, review their security protocols carefully and be sure they align with your internal policies. The majority of cloud providers specialize in business, but others offer special services to healthcare organizations which must follow HIPAA legislation, or they may cater specifically to government entities that require explicit compliance conditions per their central agency; other providers are considered “full service” and can provide the necessary protections to organizations of all types.

  1.  Choosing a provider, not a partner.

If you’ve got a top-notch team of IT experts on staff, simply finding a hands-off cloud provider may be an option. But for small and mid-size organizations, you may be better off with a provider that will be there every step of the way, offering anytime support. This includes everything from initial consulting and advice through training, troubleshooting, and direct assistance. They may offer support via email, phone, or even on-site. Of course, the “white-glove” service may cost a bit more, but you often cannot put a price on peace of mind.

And that bonus tip we promised.

One final mistake some organizations make: tossing out their old physical IT assets. “There is a $312 billion secondary market for used IT gear,” says Frank Muscarello, Co-Founder of MarkITx, an online IT hardware exchange service. “Cloud-bound companies can recoup a non-trivial amount of IT budget for equipment they have otherwise deemed worthless.” Bottom line? Your hardware is hardly worthless!

Considering a move to the cloud? DSM, Florida’s preferred cloud provider, will work with you to ensure you avoid these common pitfalls and make your transition to a cloud-based infrastructure seamless. Speak with one of our experts today to learn what we can do for you.

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