Technological development often moves so fast that companies have trouble keeping up. The cloud is one of these advancements, where it feels like just yesterday the service was new and untested. But the cloud has been around for a while now, and its worth has been proven time and again. In fact, the cloud is so useful that a Spiceworks survey found that 93 percent of respondents were using it for at least one function.

That said, there are still a lot of organizations that haven’t included a cloud solution in their IT strategy. Many of these businesses want to make the move, but they aren’t sure where to start. To that effect, let’s discuss what you need to do before you can make a move to the cloud:

Know your workload

As with any other change in IT protocol, the first step here is to ensure that you know as much as you can about your current workload. For a movement to the cloud, this means figuring out just how many of your operations have been virtualized so far. Transitioning these kinds of tasks to a cloud environment is much easier than doing so for a non-virtualized workload, so you should also be looking to see if you can virtualize more than you already do.

The hard part of this step is that no one can tell you what your workload looks like. Each company is different, and you’ll need to investigate and speak with your internal IT team in order to get all the details you need. This might end up taking up the most time out of these steps, but it’s more than worth it.

“Should you choose public or private?”

Learn about the different kinds of cloud

Now that you have a deep understanding of the data and workloads you want to transition, it’s time to start thinking about the type of cloud you want to be working with. Basically, this is going to boil down to two distinct options: a public or a private cloud. A lot of people like to include colocation into this discussion, and while this service is certainly beneficial for many clients, it technically isn’t part of the cloud.

That aside, should you choose public or private? Well, the answer to this isn’t that simple as they both have advantages and disadvantages. The public cloud is incredibly popular across multiple industries for the lower cost that comes from sharing resources between separate organizations. In fact, Gartner predicted the public cloud services market to hit $204 billion sometime this year. That said, because these computing resources are shared, many in the industry have noted that public cloud options have certain security issues. This isn’t to say that the public cloud is unsafe. Rather, it’s less secure than the private cloud, which is this service’s main advantage

Because private clouds are – by nature – built with a specific client in mind, they are often viewed as the most secure cloud option. Having your own private cloud also has some benefits in terms of control over the server, which is something a lot of organizations want. On the other hand, all of these benefits come at a high initial cost.

Do you really need private cloud services?Which is best for your company?

Understand your security posture and need for control

There’s no perfect cloud solution that fits all industries and business models, and as such you’ll need to figure out what your company can afford and whether or not you really need the control of your own private cloud. Some administrators who need to be heavily involved in their cloud infrastructure often opt for a private cloud. If you don’t need to be this hands-on and aren’t looking to spend a lot of money up front, the public cloud is probably for you.

In a similar vein, it can be hard for administrators to realize the reality of their security situation. These officials sometimes jump to the conclusion that less security means no security, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The public cloud is a perfectly viable option for keeping your data safe, and it shouldn’t be viewed as a dangerous option just because the private cloud is more secure.

Migration is work

Regardless of which cloud you end up choosing, or even if you go with a combination of the two for a hybrid cloud environment, it’s important to remember that this transition is going to take a lot of time and effort. That’s not to say this process isn’t absolutely worth it, but administrators need to know that moving to the cloud requires a lot of skill and expertise.

This is why company leaders should look to partner with a knowledgeable cloud provider such as ISG Technology. Our cloud experts have years of experience in the field, and can help smooth the transition for your company and its IT workloads.