The Small Business Guide to Migrating to Cloud Storage

Before the cloud, company data was tied down by a sea of bulky servers. Today, cloud storage offers the opportunity for companies of all sizes to keep their data secure but accessible without the hassle of outdated hardware and software. Through the cloud, you can improve your small business’s ability to access, share, and secure your company's data, particularly if you have limited resources for managing on-site technology.

Why Move to the Cloud?

  • Flexible access to your data
  • Updated, modern solutions over outdated software
  • No bulky, vulnerable servers
  • Effortless data sharing
  • Eliminate the cost of hardware maintenance
  • Multiple backup servers increase security
  • Enhanced employee mobility
  • Scalable storage as your needs change

However, moving a business to cloud storage isn’t something to take lightly. The cloud is a cost-effective solution, but it can also lead to complications if you don’t prepare your business well for migration. Before you take your small business to the cloud, these are some basic considerations that should guide the decision-making process. With a clear vision in place, you’ll be able to develop a cloud storage solution that’s right for your business.

5 Tips for Migrating to Cloud Storage

1. Understand Your Storage Needs

Selecting the right cloud storage solution depends heavily on your specified requirements that include the applications and infrastructure that you’ve already invested in. Before looking for a vendor, you need to understand your storage needs in terms of cost, performance, features and size. These factors will drive the performance needs of your storage system.

2. Plan for the Long Term

When developing a cloud strategy, many businesses only look at their short-term objectives: what can the cloud do for me right now? If you’re successful, the needs you have today won’t be the needs you have in two years. While you’ll be able to scale your cloud storage as your needs change, pay close attention to rates and features that change with those increases as you shop around. While you may not need advanced packages now, they may be relevant down the line.

3. Start with the Small Stuff

The easiest data to move to the cloud is the data belonging to apps that can be replaced with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application. Begin by migrating modest services that will have limited negative impact should something go wrong. Pick low-hanging fruit for early migration to the cloud, such as a hosted Exchange product from Microsoft. The user experience would remain similar to that of the in-house email applications. If your business has been around for a long time, chances are, you’re used to doing things a certain way. The switch to cloud storage will take some adjustments. Take it one step at a time!

4. Discuss Security Early On

One of the most critical mistakes an enterprise can make is not having a strong grasp of the regulatory structure that governs their data. It’s important to ensure that cloud security protects your business.

That said, one of the big advantages to cloud storage is that is can’t be touched by physical disaster. No power surges, storms, or unfortunate coffee spills are going to cause your company to lose precious data. Just be sure that you don’t skip the crucial step of checking out your vendor’s security features: antivirus software, malware protection, data encryption, and the like.

5. Secure a Reliable Internet Connection

Setup and administration of storage is getting easier every day, but network speeds are more limiting. If you’re moving all your data into the cloud, you have to make sure your way of accessing the cloud is reliable—in other words, you need to make sure your Internet connection is top notch. Moving just one terabyte of data into the cloud could take minutes...or it could take days! It all depends on your company’s connection speed.

It’s important that your broadband connection is able to keep up with the demands of your business’s cloud storage needs. The question is...can yours?