Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Part 2: Considering a move to the cloud? Here are 5 of the 10 conversations you should have.

Guest Author

By Stephanie Hlavin, Senior Content Strategist Integrated Marketing, Cloud Technology, Oracle

Welcome to part two of the original post about conversations you should have before moving to the cloud. In this follow up, I’ll net out the remaining things you should talk about. Here’s the nutshell recap of conversations from post one:

  1. Determine overall business strategy.
  2. Discuss what you should move to the cloud.
  3. Level set on current state.
  4. Figure out where you can get an early win.
  5. What is your adoption path – and do you need more than one?

Conversation 6: Select the correct cloud provider.

Once you’ve determined what you want to migrate and where (most likely a mix of on- and off-prem), then it’s time to interview vendors. This is a big one. Talk amongst yourselves and to more than one vendor.

Ask: Can I move any and all workloads? Can I migrate as is and not forego any of my current investments? Will I be able to migrate to another provider if necessary? How do you handle data that is co-located? How do you handle patches and how often?

These are but a few of the questions you’ll need to ask a potential cloud provider. Expense, ongoing costs, support, security, data protection and others should also be explored.

Conversation 7: Conduct a trial.

You may want to begin implementation with a trial run, migrating an individual business unit rather than the entire company. This will help stakeholders see the benefits and you’ll have advocates and a game plan for the rest of the business.

Ask: Which processes will function well in a hybrid cloud configuration? The answer to this question will jumpstart your trial decision.

Learn about Oracle's small-to-medium business cloud solutions.

Conversation 8: Communicate and plan for next steps.

Nothing new here. With most change, there is often discomfort so expect it. But you’ve done the homework – gotten consensus, buy-in and input – now it’s time to communicate the value of your cloud plan to the rest of the organization. Take the time to explain (and provide) needed education and training at all steps of the implementation – before, during and after.

Ask: Who can be advocates?

Think of this one from a social media standpoint: instead of followers, identify colleagues (and not just peers) that others look to for guidance. Talk to them, help them understand your vision and plan. Getting them on board helps grow your ability to affect change.

Conversation 9: Execute the plan.

The fun part. And yes, possibly the nail-biting part too. But because you’ve had these conversations you’re in good shape. You’ve devised a plan, you know what you want to move to cloud and how you’ll do it. Now it’s time to execute, which includes deploying, migrating and testing.  

But before you do, backup. You don’t want to lose anything – so be sure to backup everything – data, servers, all of it.

Ask: Did I backup everything?

Conversation 10: Review and adjust.

Granted, there are a lot of steps that will take place between conversations 9 and 10, but your next question should focus on the state of your migration.

Ask: How did the implementation go? What do we need to fix or tweak?  

Step back and consider the advantages that moving to the cloud will afford: fewer IT constraints, elimination of mismatched systems, an end to manual processing, reduced operating and support costs, and fewer impediments to rapid business growth.

These conversations are a good starting point. A move to the cloud requires thorough planning and thoughtful execution. By selecting the right partner to help with your plan, you’re more likely to realize these benefits in the short term, and prepare for continuous growth over the long term. 

And I would be remiss to omit sharing that Oracle understands the space you’re in: 75% of our customers are small-to-midsize businesses.

If you’re ready to begin your migration and integration to cloud, start now – and for free.

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