One of the most important changes in business technology in the last 10 years has been the shift to cloud services. By lowering your costs, increasing your options, and making it easier to manage your network, the cloud can make your business operate more efficiently.
The biggest innovator in the cloud computing space is Microsoft, offering their platform Microsoft Azure. On top of the basic cloud computing services that it offers, the seamless integration with Microsoft 365 makes migrating to Azure a worthwhile endeavor.
That said, migration to the cloud is something much easier said than done, and without a solid plan for how to execute it you may find yourself in trouble. In this article, we will tackle everything you need to know to make a successful migration to Microsoft Azure.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is Microsoft’s platform for cloud computing, offering hundreds of services to your business. Rather than being a single hammer or screwdriver, Azure is an entire toolbox that will elevate what your business can accomplish.
On top of cloud data storage and consumer networking services, Azure also highly specific services meant to acutely help specialized industries such as Healthcare and Industrial IoT. In addition to that, Azure’s security features help keep you and your data safe and secure.
Planning a Migration to Azure
Cloud migration is a complex undertaking. If it is not planned well, it can prove both risky and costly, as technical staff get bogged down in troubleshooting, configuration, and security concerns. That’s why it is important to identify any issues that might occur during the migration, and then build a detailed action plan to tackle them in the right order.
Trying to migrate to Azure without an effective plan is like trying to build a house with no blueprints—it’s not going to go very well. Not only will it be risky, but the extra time spent overwhelmed with troubleshooting and configuration concerns will make the experience very costly as well. To best avoid the negative consequences of a difficult migration, you must look at the obstacles on the road ahead of you, and plan for what you will do when you come to each one.
Ask These Questions
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before making the move:
- How will you keep your data secure during and after the process?
- What laws and regulations exist in regard to data use and storage in your specific industry? How will that change your approach?
- How much will Azure’s services cost? Are any cost-saving methods worthwhile?
- When will you have downtime to complete the migration? If your business runs 24/7, how will you handle the downtime?
On top of answering these important questions to give you a strong foundation for your migration, the following tips should give you more of an advantage in your switch.
Determine Which Services to Migrate First
Due to various circumstances such as legacy technology or other programs that are not yet compatible with Azure, it may be that not all of your services will be possible to migrate easily. Some of your services might not be able to migrate to the cloud at all.
Here is what your planning should include:
- Identifying which services you want to migrate
- Reviewing each service to find out what programs it depends on and if it is possible to migrate
- Researching the cost of your list of services to migrate
While Microsoft does offer a guide for users to complete these steps on their own, you should probably only consider doing this by yourself if you are very confident in your technical skill level. If you find yourself wanting some help, reach out to our team here at Solzorro where we have professional experience helping businesses like yours make this migration.
Mitigate Negative User Experiences
Because your services will be moved to a cloud instead of being hosted by an on-site server, your latency is bound to increase by at least a small amount. This added latency may frustrate your employees who have grown accustomed to the way their workstreams have operated until now.
For example, data entry employees at a Healthcare office may find it frustrating that they need to change the way they do their work when they have been doing it the same way for their entire careers. If they don’t understand why you are deciding to make the change, these changes could dock their morale and make them feel unimportant and uncared for. Identifying what issues your users may encounter and communicating and preparing properly is crucial to your success.
Prepare for Cloud Cost Structures
Microsoft Azure will bill you monthly for the services that you end up using.
This may change your IT costs from capital expenditure to operating expenditure, possibly raising concerns from your accounting department which is accustomed to budgeting for IT annually.
The shift can be difficult for executives in industries such as construction, where the norm has been to acquire and own physical assets like heavy machinery. Skillfully navigating these cultural adjustments is a crucial additional component of the process of migrating to the cloud.
To be safe, each business should do a projection of their cloud computing costs based on the networking, storage, and compute resources that they plan on using, and build a plan for controlling those costs.
To help with a smooth migration, you should research and project your costs based on your planned use of Azure’s networking, storage, and computing services. This will help you proactively control the costs and ensure that everything stays within your budget.
Switching to Azure can be a daunting task, but it is necessary to help your business take crucial steps into the future. At Solzorro, we are prepared to help you make the switch to Azure and overcome all of the obstacles and difficulties that you will face. Reach out to us today to get help with your migration.
Make the switch to Azure with certified Microsoft consultants. Contact Solzorro in Salt Lake City today!