Cloud Migration

Cloud migration

In 2019 Windows Cloud services really came of age

It’s fair to say the pandemic was a game changer for technology. IT is often only really considered when it becomes problematic, but as more and more staff went to work from home the Board of most companies suddenly realised that it was the enabler for their whole business.

Two years on, many staff do not wish to return to the traditional 9-5 in an office and in many cases they now don’t have to. Cloud technologies, which were always a consideration, now met one really important criteria for adoption, more people working outside the office than inside.

Why should you consider moving to the Cloud?

There are numerous reasons why businesses are moving to cloud computing in ever-increasing numbers. A Deloitte survey from March 2021, details the top three drivers were:

  1. Improved Security & Data Protection
  2. Data Modernization
  3. Cost & the Performance of IT Operations

Aside of these key drivers, there are many more benefits why to move to the Cloud:

  • Reduced Capex considerations (no server replacement)
  • Enterprise Class Data Security
  • More flexibility
  • Greater data mobility
  • Increased access to analytics
  • Improvements to collaborative working
  • Better business quality control
  • Rapid Data Recovery
  • No Downtime for Server Updates

Making the move

Many companies already use various Cloud solutions without really thinking about it. For these companies, completing the transition will only require some licence upgrades and perhaps some set up time to complete the transition. Consideration will be needed around both change management and user training.

Small to Medium Companies that already have significant legacy on-premises solutions will be more complex to move. They will require expert assistance to deliver a smooth transition from On-Prem to Cloud computing; IT Ambulance has a lot of experience and a well proven methodology to deliver this.

Making a Plan

There are several approaches that you can take to transition from On-Prem to Cloud-based operation.

Firstly, there is a mind shift in moving from On-Prem, which has historically involved capital investment in infrastructure, to a Cloud-based system which typically is a subscription model. There may be resistance in your in-house IT Team and current IT Support partner because they have not got the experience required to feel confident in performing such a migration.

Secondly, you need to find a partner, like IT Ambulance with genuine experience in migrating you from On-prem. This includes the consultative and technical skills to both plan and execute your migration to conclusion with minimal disruption; coupled with the ability to support your end users as they change from their familiar practice.

Thirdly, expect to have a specialist support company, like IT Ambulance manage your “Tenant” within Microsoft’s cloud. Whilst there is no server now to patch and maintain, the application and security management of your Microsoft Cloud infrastructure is significantly more sophisticated and it is essential to have this monitored regularly. Microsoft’s solution has, after all, evolved to cope with the modern security threats of our cyber terrorism and warfare age.

How do we perform on-premises-to-cloud?

Your business data is, as is ours, the lifeblood of our operation. It is ever increasing and contains more than just your IP and Knowhow. You will hold information of incredible value to cyber criminals and you have legal obligations to its security under the GDPR Act. So, it may not surprise you that a Cloud migration is significantly more than just moving your operations data from one place to another. Data is increasingly the most valuable asset your business may possess, as modern business processes generate increasing amounts of data. The process will typically be structured like this:

  1. Analysis
    Analyse the network infrastructure and bandwidth. Remediate the existing cloud tenant. Analyse the data that is going to be migrated. Consider the differences between the format of the data now, and what the format will be in the new system. Can we optimise this? Analyse the needs of your users and get a handle on their ability to cope with change. Plan to manage their needs.
  2. Backup Your Data
    It is essential to backup all data before any migration begins so that there is less likelihood of data loss should unexpected issues arise.
  3. Initial Testing
    Use a copy of your production environment and test your migration code.
  4. Extraction of Data
    Use a data loader or ETL application to extract the data.
  5. Transformation
    When doing the analysis earlier you may have identified that changing the format of the data may be required for the new host application. Now is the time to transform that data if it is required.
  6. Loading
    Using the tool selected earlier, load the data into the new system.
  7. Verification & User Acceptance Testing
    In collaboration with your staff, who are experts in your operation we check to ensure that the data transfer worked as planned and that you can access it on the new system as needed. This is now a great time to train your trainers or end users on a subset of meaningful data.
  8. Retirement
    We tend to leave the legacy system disconnected but available for a few months before it is wiped and disposed of in a secure way, in accordance with your business’s asset disposal policy.

How can we support you with your Cloud migration?

IT Ambulance did not adopt cloud services lightly. We pride ourselves on not following anyone’s doctrine and always putting our customers first. Certainly, we watched the early adopters struggle and had some notable success in recovering botched migrations that made absolutely no sense. However, the world has moved on and the threats and opportunities that influence the Cloud proposition have changed. If it’s a good fit for your business we are well placed to make it happen for you, whether that be a full cloud migration or even a hybrid solution that allows your business to have the best of both worlds.

IT Ambulance Ltd has quality systems underpinned by our ISO9001 accreditation that means our methodology for undertaking your migration is sound. Our security procedures are certified to ISO 27001 and our staff are trained and exercised on Microsoft’s solutions daily. A Cloud migration certainly isn’t something to be undertaken having watched a Youtube video. However if you feel that you have the in-house expertise to carry out a Cloud migration yourself, but are looking for some higher-level guidance, please feel free to get in touch with us for a consultation as we would happily share our experience.

If you feel that you need a partner to help manage your Cloud migration completely, then selecting an experienced IT company like IT Ambulance as your provider could be a good idea, saving you a lot of stress and at the same time reduce risks of things going wrong (including data loss or leakage) in the process.