Seven factors to consider when designing a cloud migration plan

Cloud Migration Plan

Once a business has decided to migrate to the cloud, the most critical process of planning and developing cloud integration starts. But despite knowing how essential it is to thoroughly plan how a business will move from on-premises IT setup to a cloud-based system, most companies give far less thought and time to it. The reason can be tracked down to lack of appropriate resources to incorporate computer storage solutions or IT support.

Having a poor migration plan is next to having no plan. Without planning the move properly, no business can reap the advantages of the cloud server and complete the procedure in time. Contrary to what most business owners think, cloud migration is not a little up-gradation of existing hardware and software instead it involves redesigning the entire IT systems and applications to facilitate communication of systems with end users. Since small businesses lack IT assistance and support for cloud migration, many IT support firms provide small business it support services.

When migrating to the cloud, a business needs to consider factors that are critical to its success. Here is a list of things to keep in mind before planning cloud migration.

  • Resource usage versus availability:
    Most often, the bare minimum requirement for applications to be compatible with cloud exceeds the actual usage requirement. For a cloud environment to function correctly, it is essential that its specification and utilization matches with the resources and applications available with the business.
  • Licensing:
    How the applications are licensed has a direct effect on its cost. Licensing cost can significantly increase if the licensing model necessitates accounting of all the applications whether or not allocated to the business. Likewise, if the licensing model is based upon per core and the cloud service provider does not provide the service of configuring the cloud infrastructure per core, it will adversely impact the total cost on licensing.
  • Existing access mechanisms:
    One of the most essential things to consider when migrating to the cloud is how the users access the applications in the current scenario and how it would alter once you move to the cloud. It is also important to consider how the cloud will affect user experience and how to prepare them for the shift better.
  • Security:
    Besides networking systems, an organization needs to make sure that an adequate level of security measures are deployed in the cloud system. You might need to alter your security policies or adhere to industry compliances to ensure that your business is protected from threats.
  • Integration:
    Most often if not always, businesses find out application dependencies too late when processing cloud migration. This results in unplanned outages and reduced productivity of systems. Thus, when planning cloud migration, it is essential to understand how applications communicate with their users and themselves.
  • Replication:
    The architectural design of a cloud is also determined by the requirement for data protection, how and when replication occurs and the need to align RTO and RPO.

How to Get The Most From a Managed IT Services Provider?

IT infrastructure services

In any business whether big or small, online retail store or brick and motor outlet, a service provider or good supplier, the technology runs at its core. As businesses from around the world are getting increasingly dependent on IT, hiring a managed service provider VA to outsource the company’s IT support needs is the best way to go about. The job of an MSP has evolved from being a subset of IT services to an integral part of a business’s environment. Its usage and acceptance have increased so much so that companies are using MSP as a part of their IT support to free themselves from the hassle of IT and focus more on generating revenue.

But to reap the optimum utility of an MSP, it is essential to form a healthy partnership with your network staffing Norfolk VA. Let’s take a look at how businesses of all kinds can make the most of their MSPs to ensure their business’s growth.

Resist the urge to bargain shop for managed IT services.Big corporations and small business alike are turning to MSPs for their IT expertise and letting them handle the complex support needs of IT. Many companies prefer having an agreement with their MSPs on the basis on fixed monthly or annual charges. Most of these companies are getting dependent on MSPs for services like network monitoring, cloud storage, data backup, CRM or email hosting. But with many IT firms providing Manage Service provider facility, there is an oversupply of IT professional in the IT market. This, in return, has made CIOs to bargain shop for managed services. But, if a business wishes to use the expertise of MSP optimally, CIOs should control the urge to bargain. Instead, choose an MSP that understands the needs and requirements of your business. Since tying hands with an MSP is a partnership, your partner should talk more about your gain from a business point of view rather technology.

Top MSPs extending their reach to meet demand
On the contrary to what most businesses think, use of MSP is not limited to IT infrastructure services. Most companies are looking for MSP that can provide some advance IT services like cloud management, BPO( business process outsourcing, IT application usage and management and much more. Besides these, there is a significant rise in the demand for service providers who can perform critical data analysis, IOT monitoring and business intelligence.

Partners, not replacements
Although companies depend on IT firms for IT service to support their business IT ecosystem, companies should look at MSPs as partners rather than replacement of their internal IT team. Most often, businesses still keep their internal IT staff even after hiring MSPs. To ensure optimal management of an IT infrastructure, most businesses use a mixed approach of utilizing MSPs and well as keeping their internal IT team. This also frees up the existing IT department for more strategic works.

How To Boost Conversions With Multi-Channel Marketing

Digital marketers from any internet marketing agency would agree that monitoring marketing activities is a huge task. With the vastness of digital marketing, there are a lot of data to analyze and prioritize. No matter what businesses and brands are there, increasing the conversion rate is at the forefront.

But as the business scenario is changing, and there is increased usage of the internet, consumers have become more informed. They no longer feed on promotional messages instead want to be in charge of their customer journey.

This has in return made it inevitable to promote brands across channels. Since consumers are scattered across the social media, to gain a more extensive outreach, it is a must to pitch the consumers where they like to hang out the most. It is the coming of the age of multi-channel marketing

Digital innovators from internet marketing agency Virginia Beach emphasizes the importance of making the online buying process as easy as possible for online customers. But before this, brands need to make themselves visible to their customer on as many social media platforms as they can. As per a report, over 72% of online consumers find it convenient to connect with a brand over multiple platforms.

So, let’s find out how businesses and brands boost their conversion by multi-channel marketing.

  1. Create Multiple Touchpoints

As per a study, it takes around 6 to 8 touches before the website visitor becomes an online buyer. If a brand is present over many digital and social media channels rather than just one, there are higher chances of converting a visitor into a sale. With retargeting advertisement, brands can curate customized ads for individual buyers. When these ads are exposed to the audience over multiple channels, they are more likely to make the purchase.

  1. Streamline Your Strategy to Align With Consumer’s Needs

Multi-channel marketing doesn’t mean that the brand has to be present on every single platform. What the brands need is to have a presence on multiple channels that function together so that consumers find it easier to navigate from one channel to another. By serving your brand to consumers through their favorite channel makes those more likely to buy from you.

  1. Make yourself visible to your Potential Customers for ROI

By propagating your brand over multiple channels, your brand would be visible to more and more people. With multiple channel marketing, expose yourself to an extensive social media network. But being present there where your consumers are is not enough.  You also need to make sure that they are engaging with you. A study in multi-channel marketing has shown that businesses and e-commerce brands that use visuals, display, social and other forms of marketing get 500% more ROI.

  1. Reach the Right People at the Right Time to Boost Sales by 27%

The consumers of today are more in control of what and how they spend their money. This has made it relatively difficult for brands to push them to buy a product. Since purchasing anything is a decision a consumer makes, brands need to validate their decision. It has become a must for brands to make their consumer feel right about their purchase choice.

How to Approach Storage Optimization for Space- and Cost-Efficiency

IT services

As per IT support consultants, most companies if not all rely upon a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to data storage. If you are one of them, you would soon realize that this approach doesn’t work for long and is not at all cost-effective. Companies who have not reanalyzed their computer storage solution in a long time are more likely to face data storage inefficiency. These businesses mostly concern regarding network performance, security or cost.

But how can businesses tackle these concerns? Read here to know:

Right-Sizing Data Storage
According to a report, data storage costs continue to go up for companies as IT maintenance budget. Data warehousing, emails, and other online communications on regular basis lead to the creation and accumulation of huge data.

Not all data businesses receive is of equal importance and in particular of any significance to your company. At many companies, they store data but seldom use it. These might not need the same high-performance managed IT services as the current inventory database. Here, the failure to segregate high-priority and low-priority data leads to performance, security and cost issues further pushing your business towards unnecessary expenses.

This seldom used data and information is what most IT consultants call as Dark Data. Shoveling these data into the storage system that the company uses to store everything else can lead to:

Cost: It could be the case that you might be paying too much for a high-performance storage solution for information that doesn’t require regular access. If you have data that are years old and seldom used, move it to the cloud of tier 2 storage. Doing so will give you easy access to the data while freeing your storage for other uses.

Security: Network security breach and data theft is the biggest concern for any business. If you are not regularly using a data, it doesn’t mean that cyber criminals can’t breach it. Identify the data you have and form an appropriate plan to keep it secure.

Performance: By keeping information that is highly required for regular access can help your storage network to perform well. You can ensure high speed and performance by freeing up your storage by moving data less needed to cloud support or less expensive storage medium.

Three Ways to Cut Storage Costs
Once you have prioritized your data, it would be easier for you to consider solutions for your storage needs.

Reduce data redundancy: Not many years ago, the primary objective for designing databases was to reduce repetition of data. With the fall in the storage prices, this objective saw a shift. But it is about time that businesses make it a priority to work towards the elimination of duplicate data.

Consolidate some data storage: It might be initially costlier for businesses to buy or lease a new high-capacity server but we evaluate the cost of maintaining multiple low-performance servers, it is still cheaper.

Consider different types of storage: Every storage system has different storage capacity and performance. Don’t refrain from testing widely available storage solutions for your business data. With technology becoming advanced, you can even go for a cloud storage solution for 360-degree use.

Network Design and Configuration

network design

Abel’s experienced Network Design and Configuration team can make your LAN or WAN more effective – thus allowing you to make best use of Internet technologies from Intranets, intrasite E-mail to voice technologies (VoIP).  Abel can network disparate office systems to create a more cost-effective, functional and seamless work environment. 

Through networking tasks and equipment, organisations can reduce costs and the time taken to perform tasks by sharing files and resources, such as printers, between workstations.  Central server based storage allows for easy backup of an organisation’s data and the reduced cost of a single backup system.  Use of E-mail within an organisation creates an internal messaging system which is also integrated with Abel Internet’s mail systems to provide external E-mail communications within the office. A single Internet connection can provide web access to all machines and a dial-in system can provide secure, remote access from home to company data. 

Firewall technology can also be implemented by Abel to ensure the utmost security for all levels of office networks.  Abel can implement network solutions across many operating systems.  We also specialise in multi-OS environments integrating file, printer, E-mail and web access across platforms.  For example:

  • MS Windows XP Server/Professional
  • MS Windows 2000 Server/Professional
  • MS Windows NT Server/Workstation
  • MS Windows 95/98/ME
  • Linux (SPARC, x86, Alpha. PowerPC, etc.)
  • Solaris
  • MacOS

Intranet technology can be used to disseminate information both within the organisation and between organisational units.  By publishing information on a private internal website an internal hypertext information base can be easily maintained.  The use of a standard web-browser on the network would be used in the same as with external Internet sites, ensuring cross-platform support and instant implementation on workstations. 

Leased Lines

leased-lines

Leased lines fulfill the needs of organisations which require a broadband, permanent, “always on” fibre-optical circuit to connect their location directly to the Internet.  This would allow:

  • The highest inbound and outbound speeds available on the telecoms market
  • Access to the Internet from every machine on the organisation’s internal network
  • Hosting of the organisation’s web/mail servers, etc. on its own network. The primary benefits of hosting your own servers are twofold: the possibility of integrating a website with internal systems (for example stock availability/control databases on an E-Commerce site) and the possibility of managing your own equipment
    • If required these servers could be managed by Abel’s own system administration team
    • The option of hosting the organisation’s web/mail servers, etc. on Abel’s internal infrastructure is still available in this context – these servers would then be accessed over the leased line
    • Abel Internet’s web and mail servers could also be utilised in a leased line context as another alternative to using your own servers from any location