Simply migrating to the cloud is not enough; you need to make sure your business will actually benefit from such a migration. There has to be enough compelling reasons to adopt the cloud; else the costs and effort involved would not guarantee the desired result. Not only do you need to decide on whether cloud migration is the right course of action for you, you will also need to decide on the type of cloud which will benefit you.

Here are Some of the Things That You Must Consider Before Migrating to the Cloud:

- Every cloud environment in distinct as it will offer different storage, computing and networking options. So, you must carry out a performance evaluation of the on-site set-up and then compare this to what each cloud hosting type offers. This will help you to choose the right cloud which can cater to your performance needs in the most budget-friendly way.

- It is also important to understand how every vendor is planning to secure your data and network, what certifications it has. With the growth of Big Data and IoT, the need for businesses to conform to data governance policies is all the more. You must see how they are managing their clients, processes and partners.

- You need to analyze your business needs to decide which cloud is best for you. AWS, GSP and Azure will each have its pros and cons and you have to identify the one that can cater to your needs.

- You must also decide on the applications that you want to keep on-site and those that you wish to migrate. This is because some applications are found to be more suited to the cloud than some others. This is true of applications that have variable usage; their fluctuating behaviour may lead to wastage of resources on-site. In such cases, cloud migration is beneficial as it will let you scale up resources automatically. According to consultant Townsend, factors like support and licensing should also be evaluated when deciding on which applications are to stay on-site. For instance, there may be some special software which needs additional licensing to migrate to the cloud. Some applications may not even get a cloud option. Vendor support for software must also be considered in this case because there are some high-end critical applications which need specific infrastructure support.  Finally, there are regulatory considerations too because some governments may insist that specific data cannot leave the borders.

- When deciding on cloud migration you need to also consider the kind of deployment model that is best suited for the business. Each of the vendors is going to provide PaaS (Platform as a service), IaaS or SaaS with varying degrees of flexibility and control. For instance, while the IaaS can offer high flexibility, it needs more resources. SaaS may free IT resources but it will give only limited control over applications and very little flexibility. If you know what your business goals are, you can identify the right kind of model.

- When you have made up your mind about shifting your data to the cloud, you need to see how the policies and roles will change. So, you will require new security policies for managing sensitive data which will become accessible from a variety of devices post migration. You will also have to decide whether to get new talent having cloud experience or to train the current team.

- You need to review the SLA or Service Level Agreement to check for terms of service continuity. Most vendors will not reveal where the datacenters are situated on security grounds, but this cannot be accepted as a viable excuse. Data centers belong to different tiers where the most robust and stringent category is Tier IV. This is capable of supporting mission-critical data and has fully- redundant security and networking systems secured by biometric access. When you find cheap services you can be sure these will not be kept in such premium facilities. So, moving the data to the cloud may not be a wise decision in this case because it puts such data at risk. You must also inquire about the methods the provider uses for conducting backups and data recovery.

- Many providers try to keep costs low by using multiple email domains on one Exchange server. This means that your domain may be at great risk because of virus threats from others. When the Exchange server gets blacklisted, all the domains that have been hosted on it get blacklisted too.

- All nations belonging to the EU have to abide by special laws concerning handling of customer data. Likewise, in the US, there are Safe Harbour Directives which are rules for US businesses for complying with EU storage rules. So, businesses have to be aware of where their data is going to be housed and check whether the host complies with the necessary regulations and laws. Similarly, you may also be subject to authority of jurisdiction at the place where the data is housed.

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