In our previous post, we discussed the advantages of choosing cloud-based tools and the benefits of utilizing the Internet to transfer, store, and access data off-site. By essentially outsourcing your primary IT functions, you can provide your employees with comprehensive and reliable services, including email, cloud storage, and video conferencing. These services can be tied to your primary Internet domain (the same domain used for your website) and are easily scalable if your company grows or shrinks from month to month or year to year.

Keep Your Information Secure

One of the main concerns that entrepreneurs, business managers and even IT experts have with both cloud and SaaS solutions is the integrity and security of company data, as it is always concerning when valuable and sometimes irreplaceable assets are stored offsite by a third-party. While the reliability and dependability of cloud services has vastly improved over the past few years, there is still one specific window of time when concerns over accidental data and file loss are justifiably elevated – when companies, especially small companies without a dedicated IT manager, migrate their data from one provider to another. What can you do as an entrepreneur to reduce the risk of data loss when migrating your data and files stored in the cloud?

Prepare Well In Advance

While the task of transferring your data from one cloud and/or SaaS provider to another isn’t a prohibitively complicated process, it can take some time, and most migrations are not free of errors, incompatibilities, or unforeseen problems. Although many services that you and your employees use on a daily basis are based on open standards and common file types, many service providers do not make the migration process completely straightforward and easy. It’s incredibly important to backup your data before attempting to migrate it from one provider to another. While you should be creating regular backups of your data normally, doing so immediately before a data migration is crucial for ensuring that there is little to no data lost during the process. It is also important to plan for delays, as unforeseen problems with migrations can result in the process taking longer than originally planned. It is never a good idea to migrate your data right before a big project or event, as not having a stable foundation during a crucial period for your business can be disastrous.

Know Exactly What You Are Cancelling, Before You Cancel It

If you are unhappy with your current cloud or SaaS provider, it’s likely that you are eager to discontinue your old service as quickly as possible. However, cancelling your existing provider should be the very last task on your migration list, and it should only happen once you are completely sure that you have a complete backup of all of your data and you are aware exactly what services are being disconnected. When it comes to IT, there are few things more disastrous than cancelling a hosting or cloud services account and then finding out that your Internet domain registration was part of that service. Even if you end up returning to your previous service provider, it is also important to note that you may not be able to reclaim your old account, and some features or even entire services you were previously using may no longer be free or even available to new customers. Before you pull the plug on a provider, always know exactly what you are discontinuing and ensure that no assets, data or “grandfathered” plans or features will be irretrievably lost.