4 Steps for Migrating to Cloud Storage

There’s a reason why you haven’t gotten started with cloud storage at your organization yet. Maybe you still have questions about how it would fit into your current infrastructure or security measures. Maybe you’re not convinced it will be worth the time and effort to set up, teach your employees, and maintain. Maybe you just have bigger fish to fry at the moment. But there’s still a nagging feeling that you should figure it out.

No matter what your reason is, the idea of migrating to cloud storage can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Now is the perfect time to finally make the change and reap the benefits in an increasingly digital world. Every client migrated from local server storage to cloud storage was skeptical and did not like it initially. Then the benefits become glaringly obvious.

Learn how to migrate to cloud storage today in just 4 steps:

  1. Create a plan
  2. Decide what will be stored
  3. Transfer your data
  4. Train your employees

We’ll take you through each step, as well as how to avoid some common pitfalls.

Migrating to Cloud Storage in 4 Steps

Check out this infographic listing our 4 steps for migrating to cloud storage or keep reading for more information.

1. Create a Plan

The first step to adopting cloud storage is creating a plan. The more information, existing data storage, employees, and security requirements you have, the more complicated the process becomes.

Having a plan can help keep you on track, establish deadlines, maintain your normal business operations, and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. It also ensures you prepare for any costs, such as the cloud itself and any IT services required to set up, manage, or secure your cloud.

If you are lucky enough to have all data in a single location, your plan will be much easier. Collecting data from multiple servers, workstations, or cloud accounts requires much more planning. No matter what your situation, use this time to define structure and permissions that are easy to navigate and maintain.

2. Decide What Will Be Stored

Your next step is to decide what information will be going into the cloud. Do you want to store customer information? Company logins or financials? Business intelligence?

It may be tempting to skip this step and say you’ll just store everything on the cloud. Especially with remote work on the rise, it seems like it wouldn’t hurt to have everything accessible remotely. While we do not disagree with having all information available, files that are no longer needed or relevant should be deleted. Adding garbage could increase storage costs and will cause unnecessary clutter.

Visualization of a cloud and the many items stored on it, underlining the importance of deciding what to store when migrating to cloud storage.

As you compile the list of information to store on the cloud, note who needs access to it. Some information can be available to everyone in your organization. Sensitive information should only be made available to those who need it—and only for as long as they need it. Establish policies for granting, removing, and periodically reviewing who has access to the information in your cloud.

3. Transfer Your Data

Actually transferring your data is going to be the most significant step of this process. We have found that setting up a data sync is the best option, if possible. This gives you the ability to migrate users in phases as opposed to all at one time. A sync allows users to modify files in the original location and the cloud location without risk of losing data.

Allowing users to use the data from both locations helps to identify your power users. Power users can assist with user training and become cheerleaders for the change.

4. Train Your Employees

The last major step is to train your employees. Although it is often overlooked, this step is critical to implement cloud storage successfully in the long term.

Your employees are what keep your business running. If they are failing to save information, saving it incorrectly, or not following security procedures, it can cause big problems for your business.

Train employees on all cloud procedures, including:

  • What information should be stored in the cloud
  • How to save information to the cloud
  • How to make sure information is synced and backed up
  • How to search for information in the cloud
  • Who should have access to what information
  • How to request or grant access to information
  • What security measures they should take

Don’t rush this step! Cloud storage can increase your organization’s efficiency, but only if employees actually understand how to leverage the cloud. Schedule periodic refreshers to make sure everyone is following protocol and use the opportunity to share new tips and tricks for greater productivity.

The Risks of Cloud Storage

As with any technology, there are risks associated with cloud storage. Some of the risks include:

  • Information previously stored offline faces new cyber risks.
  • If you don’t monitor access and enforce policies for granting access, employees may gain access to information without permission.
  • With data backed up and synced across multiple devices, it can be harder to make sure something is truly deleted from the cloud.
  • At the same time, employees still might accidentally delete or alter information, spreading these faulty changes across all synced devices.

However, these issues don’t have to keep you from taking advantage of cloud storage. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce these risks:

  • Keep any information that is too sensitive off the cloud, and implement cybersecurity measures to protect data stored on the cloud.
  • Establish policies for access to data and regular reviews of employee access. Keep track of who has access to what as well as who granted access, creating more accountability.
  • Choose cloud services that allow you to completely delete information when needed and train employees how to properly delete information.
  • Choose cloud services that track changes to your information and allow you to easily restore previous versions.

By learning how to implement cloud storage with these risks in mind, you can be sure to guard against these issues from the very start. If there is anything you’re still concerned about or that your team needs help with, you can also outsource your cloud storage needs to a trusted IT provider!

Get Expert Help to Implement Cloud Storage Now

Having access to your information from anywhere is valuable, especially when employees are working remotely. Our expert staff can help execute this transition efficiently and seamlessly, so your organization can rest easy and simply reap the benefits.

Our team will set up and closely monitor your cloud, run regular performance checks, and apply updates as they become available. If you have specific requirements for keeping your data storage compliant with federal regulations, such as HIPAA, HITECH, the U.S. Patriot Act, CCAR, FINRA, CFPB, OCC, and more, talk to our team about incorporating this into your cloud setup, monitoring, and maintenance as relevant.

If you ever have a question about your cloud or run into an issue, our experts are available to provide direct support over the phone, online, or in person as needed.

Ready to take advantage of cloud storage? Give us a call at 866-488-4726 or contact us online today!