If you recently read our article all about the reasons why you should ditch your server, then you might now be contemplating taking your business IT to the next level and moving your apps, data and infrastructure to the cloud. If you haven’t already read our previous article, then we deem it to be a worthwhile read.
Becoming a serverless business is a significant step forward in the right direction, but does require meticulous research, scope and planning from you and your IT provider. Here is our guide on how your business should and can become serverless.
Divide & Conquer
When fully converting to the cloud, the best way to approach this is to initially identify which of the services, apps & data you’re currently running on your server and then split the migration of these services into several phases. This way, the impact & disruption to your business is kept to a minimum and your staff can get used to the modern workplace that you are evolving into.
Crawl, Walk, Run
The first step (the crawl phase) would often be the low hanging fruit, which is the easiest to migrate. If you’re still hosting all your email on an Exchange server, migrating these to a cloud solution, such as Microsoft Office 365, would be the first step. Email migrations are straight forward and if done correctly, will have little to impact to your staff’s day-to-day work.
Once you’ve migrated all of your emails to the cloud, the next logical step would be moving your documents to a central cloud storage location such as SharePoint. We often call this the ‘walking stage’ and would involve slightly more preparation compared to the email migration. You’ll need to consider what data needs to be moved, what can be archived and how should it be structured. As with any change to your IT environment, user adoption (UA) and user experience (UX) is a key factor in making your cloud transition successful. Subsequently, it’s essential to prepare staff for the upcoming changes, providing them with sufficient training and learning materials in order to drive the adoption.
The last step, and possibly the most involved and/or complicated step, is the ‘running phase’. Now that 50-70% of your business data is stored in the cloud, the last step is identifying which applications you are running on the server and how to migrate these, and their data, into the cloud. If you’re using a CRM or practice management application installed on your server, chances are that there is a cloud version for this software already available.
Alternatively, it’s always worth looking at competitors to see what they’re doing in the cloud space. Cloud applications such as Xero (for accounting) or PropertyMe (for property management), who are both miles ahead of their competition, are great examples of what can be achieved in the cloud. For applications that do not offer an explicit cloud alternative, there’s almost always a way to move them to a cloud service such as Microsoft Azure. Furthermore, ‘Platform as a Service’, or PaaS for short, can deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications.
Becoming a Serverless Business
The above steps should give a good baseline to what is needed to start your journey to becoming a serverless business. Your IT provider should be able to provide you with a clear path and breakdown of the steps required for your particular situation. For more information about our Cloud Migration S