Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

The many benefits of embracing cloud technology include increased efficiency, simpler administration and management, profitability and ease of access. However, before any business can begin to take advantage of such benefits, it first has to manage the move.

Migrating your business to the cloud need not be overly complicated. The key is being fully aware of the main challenges you are likely to face and having a strategy in place from the very start in order to successfully overcome them.

Define your objectives

While there are many reasons to move a business to the cloud, the reasons your enterprise wants to undertake such a move are likely to be quite specific. In the same way that different computers are put together with different components, so cloud offerings vary between providers.

With a multitude of options and choices available, it’s essential to clearly define your business objectives before undertaking a migration. This will enable you to make all the key decisions based on the factors that most closely match the vision you have for the future of your company.

If you are unsure how to proceed, start out small. One of the most appealing aspects of the cloud is that it is infinitely scalable and therefore capable of matching your business needs at any level. You could, perhaps, begin by moving your accounting and payroll systems to the cloud and follow on from there.

Address security concerns and resistance

Although the benefits may be clear to them, it is possible some members of your workforce will be resistant to the idea of digital transformation. In particular, there may be doubts about the security of such a move with some members of staff expressing a preference to keep data on local servers.

Deal with any such concerns at the earliest opportunity by bringing the entire workforce together and having someone on hand who can answer all their questions. You can also use this as an opportunity to highlight their role in maintaining security.

While your cloud provider will do everything possible to keep your data safe, you as a customer also share some of the responsibility. This means that once your business has moved to the cloud, it is important to follow the best practices outlined by the provider. For example, AWS Security best practices include enforcing strong password policies, granting the fewest privileges possible for users and enforcing a single data loss prevention policy across all systems.

Consolidate and realign

As organizations grow over time, the need to keep up with fast-changing business requirements often leads to IT departments adopting less than optimal solutions. Rather than simply migrating your entire system to the cloud, take the opportunity to do some housekeeping, eliminate wastage and reduce the level of “technical debt” in your systems. This will ensure your cloud-based systems run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

The run-up to the move is also the best possible time to evaluate the current suite of tools you are using, such as word processing or other office software, and see whether you can boost efficiency and lower costs by switching to a different system.