We get it. Relationships are hard and breakups are never easy. Everyone assumed that you and your existing cloud service provider (CSP) would be together forever. But you’ve grown up and have lots of “Big Data” to prove it. And now it’s time to pack up your assets and move them to an industry-leading cloud provider who is worldly in the ways of data migrations.
But how to make sure this partnership sticks? Below are rules to follow to ensure your relationship with a new CSP ends with happily ever after:
Rule #1 – Find a CSP who understands your needs
The explosion of mobile devices, combined with an increase in company mergers, has organizations finding themselves with a plethora of data. And a lot of it is really useful. The problem is that many CSPs can’t determine which data assets are business-critical and which are just “baggage.” So before you commit to new a cloud hosting company, go on a few dates with them to see how much they really know about your business and your data. Bring a friend along – someone from your organization who is using the data now and will be using it after cloud migration. Theycan help you ascertain if the CSP really understands your needs or is just putting on a good “first-date face.”
Rule #2 – Review the “rules of engagement”
Your potential CSP will be on their best behavior during the first few dates. They may not reveal their true processes or work style under after you get engaged. So before you sign that contract, lay out the details regarding data governance and organizational structure. List which team members have the rights to create, approve, edit or remove data from the system. Map out the business process for managing the data lifecycle. No we’re not advocating that you be particularly bossy or demanding. We’re merely suggesting that you set expectations in advance so that your potential cloud partner doesn’t view you as a “cheap date.”
Rule #3 – Be prepared to go “make-up free”
Sure it’s fun to get all dressed up, but everyone knows that beauty really is skin deep. So take a deep breath and let your CSP suitor conduct an “as-is-assessment” of your data – flaws and all. Revealing the “real you” will help your new CSP determine if the existing data will support new users, uncover what data is missing and help you leverage the data in the future. A detailed data assessment will also make it easier for you and the CSP to estimate the amount of work required to migrate legacy data successfully.
Rule #4 – Don’t forget to validate and redefine business rules as necessary
OK, so it’s been a while since you’ve been out there in the dating scene. No worries – just put away the sweatpants and Haagen-Dazs, and make sure your business rules map back to your existing data.
Also take the time to ensure that the data you’re moving from a legacy system has been validated, especially when a migration involves critical information such as financial inventory and payroll data. Your auditors will love you for it!
Rule #5 – Validate and test the data migration process
Before you bring your new CSP home to meet the “folks” – i.e. the C-suite – be sure to test him out in different social settings. Many companies don’t spend enough time aligning the data testing, validation and migration timelines to the project timeline. So run these key questions by the CSP first:
- How are you going to test the data?
- Who will test and evaluate it?
- Who will sign off on it?
Following these five dating rules will help you avoid the pitfalls of entering into a bad relationship with a CSP. If you’re in the market, request a quote today to learn how HOSTING can help you migrate and manage companies business-critical assets. We’ll even buy the first round.