Cloud Hopping? How to Make a Smooth Transition
Cloud hopping is becoming the new norm in the enterprise market. As IT spending continues to grow, enterprise buyers shop around for turnkey solutions that satisfy their needs for file sharing and storage. As the competition between cloud providers stiffens, enterprise buyers are capitalizing on the power of choice.
For some, a shiny new feature or a more attractive price tag is reason enough to leave one cloud provider for another. While that might work initially, switching service providers without doing due diligence often creates more problems than solutions. That’s why you need to pinpoint your company’s distinct cloud needs before taking the plunge.
Your reasoning could range from a minor usability inconvenience to an important security issue. Understanding why you want to leave your current provider can help determine where you need to go.
One issue you might encounter is scaling. As your company grows, you need more robust solutions as your data needs also grow. A small business solution may no longer cut it. Sometimes, you can upgrade your current solution; otherwise, you might need to switch to an enterprise-grade service.
Issues with balancing access and control can also play into this decision. As more departments move online and shadow IT continues to take hold, IT has to strike a balance between offering easy-to-use solutions to internal customers while retaining IT administrative and management controls. For enterprise file sharing, IT needs to provide folder structures for employees without losing control over sharing inside and outside the organization. The right cloud provider should do both. If IT is struggling to provide structured access and maintain control, it might be time to look elsewhere.
Your rationale could boil down to a matter of security. As more hackers flock to the cloud, security capabilities become more critical. A lack of advanced security features, such as two-factor authentication or strong encryption, should entice you to switch — especially if your industry is highly regulated. Shadow IT could lead to data breaches, fines, and a violation of customer trust. If your current cloud provider has already been breached, look elsewhere fast.
Your reason for changing providers might fall under one of these categories or be completely unique to your business. To nail down the characteristics you need, think through the business goals you’re hoping to achieve through this technology and any issues you have with existing solutions. Outline the key attributes that are most important to you.
How to Successfully Make the Change
Armed with these insights, it’s time to vet solutions. The migration process tends to be the biggest hurdle when switching providers (and it’s often a provider’s best defense against switching), so investigate this process. If you’re dealing with quality enterprise solutions, making the change can take as little as a week. If not, it can take months or even years.
If the hassle of migrating is keeping you from making a change, remember that the longer you wait, the more data you’ll continue to amass — and the more dependent you’ll become on a solution that doesn’t meet your needs. Some providers offer professional services to help with migration and deployment, which are worth considering.
When assessing an enterprise-grade file-sharing platform, you should look for a variety of options, including the ability to transfer and store files on multiple cloud solutions (depending on the requirements of your employees and IT department). Specific use cases sometimes call for unique deployments; other times, they don’t take much extra effort. In any case, the cloud solution you choose should be flexible enough to adapt to your business, not the other way around.
Most importantly, do your research. Ideally, your new cloud solution should seamlessly integrate into your current IT setup while still addressing your security and compliance policies. Finding a service that supports the folder structure and permissions you have in place and that allows you to operate with any storage, any cloud, any device, and any application environment can also ease the transition. Switching cloud services shouldn’t mean you have to restructure the way you store and access information. While you’ll likely encounter some bumps, if there are too many incompatibilities, the solution might not be right for your company.
By knowing why you want to switch, anticipating future needs, and picking a solution that will adapt to your company, you can ensure a smooth transition and get on the path to a more efficient and secure future.
About the Author:
Vineet Jain is the CEO and co-founder of Egnyte, a platform that powers adaptive enterprise file services for thousands of customers worldwide. Vineet has 20 years of experience building nimble, capital-efficient organizations. Prior to Egnyte, Vineet founded Valdero, a supply chain software solution provider funded by Mohr Davidow Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. He has also held a rich variety of senior operational positions at companies including KPMG and Bechtel. Vineet earned a B.S. in engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and an MBA from Santa Clara University.