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Top 5 mistakes to avoid when moving to cloud for SMBs

Top 5 mistakes to avoid when moving to cloud for SMBs

Moving to the cloud can be a pivotal transition for small and medium-sized businesses. The enterprise-grade technology that supports well-known organisations all over the world can now be used within your own brand to unlock the same benefits. With all of the excitement, it is easy to miss critical components that aid the migration process itself and supports a smooth transition for the months that follow.  

As this is one of the most important time periods for your company, where both your employees and customers get the first taste of these new cloud-based services, it’s crucial to start off on the best foot possible. In this blog post, Ant Holland, ANS Pre-Sales Lead identifies the five most common cloud migration mistakes for SMBs and explains how to prevent them. 


  1. Undervaluing the human element

With access to a range of new technologies and processes that streamline your business and IT functions, it can be tempting to undervalue the impact of the people behind what you do. Understanding the significance of the people who carry the technical knowledge of your business is really important, especially when you’re making a big change like cloud. They understand the nuances and complexities behind your existing environment and how it will impact any major changes, they can explain the ‘why’ behind your configuration and will help you to take the next step with the least possible impact to your business.  

The key concept here is to use some of the tools available in cloud, such as automation, to free up time for people inside your organisation to concentrate on the high value tasks only humans can do. However, we also understand that upskilling employees, though a valuable investment, can be a lengthy process. That’s where ANS’ managed service comes into play. You can gain the insight and technical expertise of our specialist engineers, who work alongside your current staff as an extension of your team. This ensures that you gain the tailored expertise required to keep your cloud migration working well, while also keeping your existing staff informed and present for any actions or changes 


  1. Failing to put governance in place

Implementing governance means establishing a tailored set of rules or standards that your company adheres to when using cloud technology. The significance of cloud governance is the fact that it ensures that your cloud architecture is focused on boosting the main areas that you want to develop, optimise, or grow. Many businesses, for example, employ cloud governance to make sure that they are making the best judgements possible when it comes to the services and technologies they use, such as considering whether resources can be deployed only in the UK or elsewhere, a decision which can heavily affect the sovereignty of a business’s data. Whether this focuses on data security, return on investment, or comparing advantages to risk, exercising cloud governance helps to guarantee that your cloud plan remains efficient and cost-effective. 

At ANS, we provide a pre-defined governance for our customers as part of our Cloud Platform Landing Zones. This helps us to ensure that all our customers begin with the same configuration, with modifications being made where required. As a result, this ensures our customers get exactly what they need in terms of governance, without needing to understand every facet of the cloud provider’s governance options.  


  1. Getting carried away

While a cloud migration may seem like the obvious solution to all your IT challenges, it’s not always as simple as it first appears. Not all applications or workloads will work in cloud without some fine tuning, and in some instances, they won’t work at all! During our early engagements, we work closely with you and your technical team to understand the ins and outs of everything you have. We then make recommendations early in the process to ensure we can give you an accurate reflection of what each workload might look like in the cloud. If it can’t go to cloud, we’ll also let you know what else we can do.  

When it comes to cloud migration, it’s critical to consider both the bigger picture and the specifics. By working with a reputable digital transformation partner like ANS, you can gain access to a tailored cloud plan to prevent you from losing sight of the broader picture. For SMBs specifically, when you start to see all the benefits of cloud technology is largely dependent on your reasons for the move, as well as the provider you choose to partner with.  

Essentially, take your time! If you have multiple workloads, you won’t always need to move everything at once. Take things slowly to ensure you have enough time and space to conduct all necessary testing before your consumers and users experience your new platform.   


  1. Not keeping track of a budget 

Moving to the cloud is an exciting time for most small and medium sized businesses, but there really can be too much of a good thing. While it can be tempting to utilise all the new tools and tech at your fingertips, it’s crucial to keep track of your budget to avoid overspending. 

A great way to ensure your budget is well allocated is to track performance metrics alongside your spending. By reviewing this, you can see what areas are proving to be the best investments in terms of maximising your business. This, combined with your cloud governance, helps to ensure that you’re optimising your cloud strategy for best performance, while remaining cost-effective.  


  1. Not implementing a proper backup strategy

While the majority of cloud migrations are straightforward, it is critical that you back up all your data, both before the move and once you’re in place on the new platform. Creating a backup of all your data not only guarantees that you have a recovery strategy in place in the event of a power outage or data loss, but also gives you a point in time to roll back to in the event your migration doesn’t quite go to plan.  

While needing to resort to a backup is a rare occurrence, especially if you’re partnering with a certified and reputable cloud managed services provider, having this backup in place is beneficial for data protection, gaining security accreditations, as well as offering peace of mind. Your backup system can be as basic or as complex as you choose, but the important thing is that you have this insurance policy in place in case data recovery is ever required. 


Cloud migration summed up 

Many of our customers are completely comfortable with their cloud operation and need minimal input from ANS. However, because we’re on hand 24/7/365, we’re there to help anytime you need us, just like a cloud Emergency Service. Due to this, some of our customers want us to take the lead and have their technical teams learn from ours, allowing them to take a more outsourced approach to their Cloud experience. As we offer both engagement models for businesses large and small, we help our customers find a working partnership that suits them.  

With our investment in automation tools, pre-configuration and process streamlining we can make cloud migration hassle-free. However, being aware of the common pitfalls can make the process even smoother. And of course, our managed services team are here to help, upskill your teams and generally get you there faster.