1. Back It Up!
Migrating data to any new location is a mess and anything can (and usually does) go wrong. Therefore, make sure you have good, recent backup copies of everything before you make the move.
2. Maintain An On-site Copy
At first, moving to the cloud can be a bit scary. What can help mitigate the risk (and the fear) is keeping a local, on-site copy of your data and network image on a NAS (network-attached storage) device. That way you have a local on-site copy in addition to the working cloud copy.
3. Have A “Plan B” To Access The Internet
One of the biggest questions about moving IT to the cloud is, “What if the Internet goes down?” To mitigate that fail point, have a business-class Internet connection as your initial and main way to connect, and then also have a second Internet connection service as a backup. If Comcast is your main connection, you might consider keeping a Verizon wireless account as a backup.
4. Use It As An Opportunity To Do Some Housekeeping
You could just copy and paste your files from your local machines into the cloud, but why not take this as an opportunity to re-evaluate the structure and organization of that data? Here are some ideas:
- Re-evaluate and/or update your file naming conventions and file organization. A good file naming policy will make it much easier to find files and information. Also, consider reorganizing all the folders into smarter, more efficient categories.
- Consider who will be using what and what levels of permissions are required to access files. Revisiting your permission levels will help keep sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.
- Look at old files and consider deleting them or archiving them so they aren’t cluttering up your server and costing you money for storing and backing them up.
5. Phase The Move
Don’t try to migrate everything all at once. Create a transition plan and implement it. Make sure you move your files in bite-size pieces so that the changes are easy to digest for your clients, employees, partners and everyone else involved. This also gives you the opportunity to test the water before taking the plunge, and it allows you to put out one fire at a time instead of having all systems down or broken.