Last week, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd announce the company's plans to make almost all of its services--95 percent of its products--available via the cloud by its OpenWorld conference in mid-October.
Not surprising since Chairman Larry Ellison said on an earnings conference call last month that the company's cloud business is growing faster than expected. This move means that an increasing number of businesses are transitioning to storing some or all of their data in the cloud. But before making the move to an online storage provider, here are three best practices to consider:
1. Get your stakeholders onboard.
No matter what the size of your organization, collaboration for moving to the cloud will eventually fail if the initiative doesn't have strong support from the executive management team. Identify decision-makers within the upper management of your enterprise and confirm their commitment. A migration to the cloud requires a team effort to plan, design, and execute all the activities to move the workloads to the new IT infrastructure. Unless executives commit to and are responsible for the coordinated growth of their entire enterprises, including technology adoption, initiatives like moving to the cloud will likely remain departmental activities with limited benefit to the overall organization.
2. Implement security practices
In the wake of recent major data breaches, security and privacy are probably the most concerning issues for enterprises that decide to adopt a cloud infrastructure. When migrating data to a public cloud, the enterprise forfeits control of the security of the data, unless it protects the data beforehand. According to the Cloud Security Alliance, one of the best ways to keep sensitive information secure, is to protect the data using a security solution that delivers data-centric, file-level encryption that is portable across all computing platforms and operating systems and works within a private, public, or hybrid cloud computing environment. Encryption, says the CSA, offers the benefits of minimum reliance on the cloud service provider.
3. Plan tactics for minimal disruption.
For cloud migrations to succeed, organizations need minimal disruption to its end users. IT managers must communicate the goals and expectations with employees prior to the move and adequately explain their limitations during the migration. Thorough communication also requires multiple communications channels to reinforce the message. Finally, mitigate any disruption by assigning employees who can help with troubleshooting during the switch.