Consider how many times a day you check your mobile phone, smartwatch, smart TV, and/or other connected devices. How normal does it seem to be reaching out to an external source, not actually sure where this information is stored, or even coming from, but that it’s there, accessible and ready to be taken in? Organizations wishing to migrate to a third-party cloud solution (‘the cloud’) need to understand this point well. When migrating, where is this data being stored, and do the benefits outweigh the risks?

There are definitely benefits, increased availability and decreased hardware costs, just as a few examples, but there’s still the maintenance, validation, configuration, and more. We can’t just ‘migrate to the cloud’ for ‘cost reduction reasons’ that aren’t clearly identified and validated.

When migrating to the cloud, it’s a journey that needs to be assessed and carefully considered:

  1. Why are you moving to the cloud? It seems almost foolish to ask this simple question, but have you considered the benefits and challenges honestly? Consider such things as the skillsets of your in-house or outsourced maintenance and operations teams. Are they equipped to transition to different workflows, and do they understand the new challenges and possible risks associated with cloud environments? Do you need to provide any upskilling?
  2. Once you know why you’re migrating, identify which data is suitable to be hosted externally. Remember that the cloud isn’t on-premises, so once this data is transferred over, you have lost control of it. Because there is no simple ‘take it offline’ button, data classification is vital to effective cloud solutions; once it’s live, it’s online.
  3. Where do responsibilities lie? Once data has moved to the cloud, who will be the data owner, and are they confident in their abilities to maintain said data? Which systems owners will (Read more...)