Some simple answers
- may be that your email server is crashing every week and you need something more reliable
- desire to collaborate more efficiently with partner organizations on documents
- a new business continuity requirement from your organization’s Board
Note: cloud services are just another IT resource.
The easiest systems to migrate to the cloud generally are, in order of priority:
- Test Environments
- Constituent Relationship Management (CRM)
Note: Smaller organizations can more quickly move their IT resources into the cloud than larger organizations with more developed business processes
- Check with our Tools and Wizards
- Here are some typical questions you should answer as part of evaluating a new solution:
- Who owns the data?
- How can data move into and out of this system?
- What happens to my data if we close our account?
- What format can data be retrieved in?
- How much uptime can I expect?
- Do you offer service credits if there is a problem with your service?
- What type of support is provided?
Note: Each situation is unique and there may be specific reasons for why an IT system is setup in the manner that it is.
Once you’re satisfied that you know, understand, and are happy with the terms of service provided by your solution vendor, it’s time to migrate
- Try to get free 30 day trials of any service (This is a benefit of many cloud services)
- During this trial period it is also key that the executive level at the organization is in support of any proposed change
- If your trial is successful, the next step is to pick a date for the migration and make the jump.
Note: While it may be appealing to have a phased migration, we’ve seen that there is little to gain and much to lose from that approach. Apart from the technical challenges, having staff work in multiple platforms will slow down the learning and adoption of the new.
Focus on Contract, Support and New Roles
- Identifying and planning for the role of an expert to help resolve the problems that inevitably arise and to use the system to its fullest
- You’ll likely need to have some ongoing support and, depending on the agreement you signed, you may be entitled to web, email, or phone support.
- The promise of the cloud is that you don’t have to worry about servers anymore. The reality of the cloud is that you have a lot of other things to think about.
What you have to think different about
- Critically evaluating your IT staffing to make sure that the skills you have on-staff match up with your new requirements
- Instead of needing hard computer repair skills you may need soft effective use skills.
- Instead of server admin skills you may need information systems management and contracting skills.
Result: Focus more attention on how data is being used instead of making sure that the underlying systems are available.