Migrating your nonprofit business to the cloud can bring a host of benefits, including cost savings, improved data security, increased collaboration and flexibility, and enhanced accessibility.
However, cloud migrations can be overwhelming and may lead to unnecessary disruptions without proper preparation. If your nonprofit is planning to move to the cloud, here are some key elements to consider for a successful migration.
1. Current IT infrastructure
Before embarking on a cloud migration, it’s important to assess your organization’s current IT infrastructure and determine which workloads and applications are best suited for the cloud.
Conduct a thorough analysis of your current hardware, software, and network systems to identify any potential compatibility issues with the cloud environment. This will help you determine which applications can be moved to the cloud and which may require additional updates or modifications before migration. For all you know, certain applications may not even be suitable for the cloud at all, particularly those that handle extremely sensitive donor information or require high levels of customization.
2. Network performance
Considering that cloud-based services rely on internet connectivity, it is crucial to evaluate your network performance before migrating. Check whether your current bandwidth and latency can support cloud-based operations without interruptions or delays.
If your current internet connection is not optimal, you may need to consider upgrading to a higher bandwidth or implementing measures such as load balancing to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud.
3. Storage requirements
Understanding your nonprofit’s storage needs is also essential. Assess the volume and type of data your organization generates and stores, and determine if your current storage capacity can accommodate these needs in the cloud.
Keep in mind the scalability options offered by various cloud providers to ensure that you have enough room for future growth without incurring additional costs or disruptions.
4. Cybersecurity and compliance
Since nonprofits store and manage sensitive information, you must make sure your cloud provider’s security measures are up to par with industry standards.
When shopping around for a cloud provider, inquire about their security protocols. Ideally, they should have advanced security measures such as multifactor authentication, role-based access controls, regular patch management, data backups, and end-to-end encryption.
You should also ask for evidence of certifications and compliance with data privacy regulations if possible. Trustworthy cloud providers will typically have certifications that demonstrate their compliance with robust security standards including ISO 27001 as well as industry-specific regulations such as HIPAA or PCI DSS.
5. Software licensing
Review your software licenses before migrating to the cloud, as some software licenses may not allow cloud deployment, while others may require specific configurations. Consult with your software vendors and check if cloud-based alternatives or licensing options are available. Properly managing software licenses can help you avoid legal issues and unnecessary costs.
6. Access mechanisms
Determine how your nonprofit’s staff, volunteers, and stakeholders will access the cloud-based resources. Explore different access mechanisms, including web-based interfaces, mobile applications, and virtual private networks. Ensure that your chosen access methods align with your organization’s security and usability needs.
7. Training and testing
Migrating to the cloud introduces new tools, interfaces, and processes to your staff. That’s why you should provide comprehensive training programs to familiarize your team with the new cloud environment. Training should cover not only the technical aspects, but also security best practices when conducting operations in the cloud.
Additionally, testing your migrated applications and services before finalizing the migration can help identify any potential issues or areas for improvement. Conduct performance testing, security testing, and user acceptance testing to validate that applications and services perform as expected in the cloud environment. This approach helps minimize disruptions and ensures a seamless user experience during and after migration.
There’s a long list of things nonprofits have to do when transitioning to the cloud. But with proper planning and with support from the cloud experts at Varsity Tech, you can achieve a smooth, secure, and cost-effective migration. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our cloud migration services and how we can help your nonprofit reach its goals in the cloud.