You may know the nuts-and-bolts of Azure migration, but what about your Azure migration strategy? Deploying a critical change in operations demands that you have a comprehensive plan in place. Here are some of the most common mistakes businesses make when they're trying to plan out their Azure migration.
1. Not Performing a Complete Azure Migration Assessment
Your Azure migration is going to impact key processes throughout your business. It's not enough to have plans in place on a technical level: You need to assess how the migration is going to change your company's day-to-day operations.
An Azure migration assessment will go over your current solutions and how they will transfer to Azure on a one-to-one basis. Through an Azure migration assessment, you can identify potential gaps in support, and potential complications, before they become major issues.
2. Not Preparing Your Company for a Switch to the Cloud
Cloud-based applications require a mindset shift compared to on-premise solutions. You may find that some employees are remarkably reluctant to adjust to cloud technology, and this reluctance is best addressed before the switch even occurs.
It can be a radical change to shift to an environment in which everyone can work together and collaborate on the same files, and everything is always saved redundantly across multiple systems.
Make sure your employees have undergone thorough training regarding cloud environments, from both productivity and security standpoints. Additionally, ensure that they know who to ask if they need help.
3. Not Considering Increased Bandwidth Load
Is your data on the same line as your VoIP? You're probably going to need to upgrade that, because a cloud-based solution is going to require less by way of on-premise technology and more by way of bandwidth and internet speed.
Many companies don't consider the fact that an Azure migration means that they're going to experience tremendously increased data loads. Make sure that your current ISP is able to support your new needs.
4. Not Planning for Downtime
Most companies plan for their Azure migration to occur during out-of-office hours, such as during a long weekend. But that doesn't mean that there may not be complications. The systems could potentially be down longer, or something could come up that demands system access (even though the system is, of course, down).
Tell your customers and vendors well in advance that your systems will be down and that you're completing a routine migration. Plan ahead in terms of excess downtime; If the system goes down for an extra day, do you have contingencies in place? Some companies will continue using their on-premise systems until their Azure systems are up, but this introduces an additional level of complexity when transferring data.
5. Not Thinking About Third-Party Solutions and Compatibility
Do you know whether your existing solutions are going to work well with Azure? You need to. Make sure that your third-party solutions are compatible with your Azure suite, or that they have been replaced with solutions that are. If you're going to have any gaps in your technology once the transition has been made, you're going to need to fill those gaps with other solutions — whether you create them in-house or go for a third-party add-on.
Don't forget: Most security issues occur because of third-party solutions. If your existing solutions aren't fully compatible with Azure or haven't been updated in some time, now is the time to replace them.
6. Not Backing Up Your Data
It's surprising, but many businesses forget to back up their data entirely. After all, they're transitioning from on-premise to the cloud, so they may think that there's no reason that any of their data could get removed or corrupted. But anything can happen. Having a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan and backing up data continuously is incredibly important.
Before you begin your switch to Azure, identify your most important digital assets. Make sure these assets have been backed up or synced, and that they aren't at risk of data loss. Remember: There are countless issues that could disrupt your data, from the migration itself to potential security leaks. Developing a disaster preparedness plan now will also protect you in the future.
Developing Your Azure Migration Strategy
A migration strategy should first begin with an assessment. Migration itself can often be done with ease, especially with the help of an experienced partner. But once your Azure solution is in place, you need to be well-equipped to use it. That requires that you make sure that your third-party solutions are compatible, that your employees have been effectively trained, and that your infrastructure can support a jump to the cloud.
With a thorough migration strategy, you should be able to move seamlessly from your on-premise solution to a cloud-based solution, and you will be able to empower your employees to leverage the solutions to their fullest extent. Without a migration strategy, things can easily go wrong; While Azure will still be an effective solution, it may not be as effective as it could truly be.
Are you thinking about your Azure migration strategy? Now is a great time to adopt Azure; not only does it come with fantastic features that can help your organization scale, but it's being improved all the time. Contact Red River today to find out more about switching to Azure the right way.
About Red River
Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in security, networking, analytics, collaboration, mobility and cloud solutions. To learn more, visit redriver.com