The decision to adopt different platforms is often influenced by a number of factors, including the desire for greater efficiency or a wider selection of capabilities. Office 365, for example, is among the most popular platforms available today thanks in large part to the versatility of its applications. Yet another motivation for cloud-to-cloud migration is the need to complete a digital transformation. Organisations interested in expediently fulfilling transformation goals often consider new cloud platforms.
But even if an organisation pinpoints a platform that’s worth migrating to, there are a few risks that need to be addressed before a migration takes place. From exposing sensitive data to welcoming unauthorised devices, shadow IT can keep organisations from making a secure migration and finishing their digital transformation.
Solving for security
Shadow IT is not unique to any one organisation. Regardless of their industry or size, businesses can expect to see some employees using technology that hasn’t been approved by their IT department. In some cases, the desire to leverage unsupported apps or devices is driven by convenience. Instead of trying to grow accustomed to technology that comes with a new cloud platform, employees may find it easier to continue using solutions from a previous platform.
While familiarity with technology may lead to greater productivity, the decision to forgo approved solutions can open the door to serious security concerns. For example, customer or employee data might fall into the wrong hands if unauthorised technology is called upon to complete a task or transaction.
Organisations can limit the risks tied to shadow IT by conducting an internal audit of tools that are approved – and, more importantly, those that aren’t – to determine what’s most popular among employees. Once it’s clear which devices and apps are preferred, organisations should ensure features from such solutions are included within approved technologies moving forward. With everything they need to do the job, employees will be less inclined to look elsewhere.
Choosing an approach
When it comes to optimising cloud-to-cloud migration and ultimately completing a digital transformation, shoring up security is a good place to start. However, there’s still more work to be done. Organisations should carefully consider which migration strategy meets their needs. From the amount of information that will end up being migrated to the timeframe in which a migration must be completed, assessing specific parameters in advance will help prevent problems later on.
If there’s a scenario in which speed is essential, a lift and shift approach may be the way to go. Designed to take advantage of tools like Office 365, such a strategy can help sort and organise data following a migration. The best part? There’s no need to scan, analyse or classify each piece of content before it’s transferred to a new platform. Office 365 helps ensure the correct data is delivered to a new cloud platform faster than ever before. Alternatively, search result accuracy can be improved through continuous data management in the new cloud destination.
The increase in speed and efficiency resulting from a lift and shift approach could also benefit organisations that aren’t forced to adhere to strict security regulations. Rather than worrying about whether they’ll face potential fines for moving more quickly, organisations can increase the speed at which cloud-to-cloud migration occurs.
Given recent advancements in cloud migration technology, there’s plenty of opportunity for organisations to reduce the time it takes to complete a migration. Transfer speeds of up to 100 terabytes per day can go a long way toward ensuring data moves freely from cloud to cloud. Perhaps even more importantly, organisations won’t have to worry about whether the right files are being delivered to a new cloud platform. Hours spent waiting for feedback may now become a thing of the past thanks in large part to advanced migration tools that organise data after a migration takes place.
Getting the word out
The more familiar employees are with a cloud platform, the better chance they’ll start to use it. Organisations stand to drive adoption of newly authorised solutions by outlining each of the ways in which they help employees complete specific tasks. Spreading the word about a solution through a wide range of methods – such as online training or in-person demonstrations – is an organisation’s best bet for ensuring new technologies within a cloud platform don’t go unnoticed.
By now, most organisations have adopted cloud technology of some sort. But while that may have been enough in years past, the bar is being raised through cloud-to-cloud migration. From combating shadow IT to finding the right cloud migration strategy, organisations can pave the way for the secure transfer of data and completion of their digital transformation through a few simple steps.
Mary Leigh Mackie, VP product marketing, AvePoint
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