5 Disaster Recovery Disasters to Avoid

No one likes thinking about bad news. Maybe that’s why planning for disaster recovery often doesn’t get the attention it requires. But without a solid plan that’s been documented and tested, your disaster recovery process can turn into a disaster of its own. Take the steps you need to ensure you don’t experience these disaster recovery disasters:

1. Recovery site not ready

There are two backup sites you need to think about when you create your disaster recovery strategy.

The first backup site is where your backups are stored. You need your backups to be stored securely, but also to be available quickly when they’re needed. It often makes sense to keep backups in at least two locations—one, onsite at your primary data center for use in small outages, and two, at your secondary location or in the cloud for use when the primary site is unavailable.

The second backup site is where you bring up your systems when your production site is down. Whether in the cloud or a secondary data center, it’s a good idea to keep this site relatively current with applications and data to allow the recovery process to happen more quickly.

2. Backups not available

You can’t restore systems to their production state without backup copies of systems and data. The problems go beyond potential inaccessibility of the site where backups are stored. Common backup problems include data that was never backed up or backup media that has been corrupted. Another potential problem is that the data backup doesn’t let you easily isolate the exact elements to be restored, forcing you to spend time restoring files that haven’t changed.

3. Recovery process not known

In the middle of a crisis is a bad time to discover you don’t know how to restore your systems. Not being documented at all is a worst-case scenario, but even a thick binder of recovery procedures doesn’t guarantee the process will run smoothly. This isn’t a process your staff is familiar with; maybe they remember it from a once-per-year test scenario, or maybe they didn’t participate in the test and have never executed the process.

In addition, no matter how detailed the recovery documents are, they may not be a match for your situation. Sometimes you’ll need to recover just a single file or a single server, not your entire data center, and comprehensive disaster recovery plans typically focus on the biggest possible outage. You’ll have to figure out a smaller-scale recovery process on the fly.

4. Recovery process takes too long

Every minute your business isn’t operational costs money, so restoring systems as quickly as possible is critical to minimizing the impact of a disaster. You should have a recovery time objective for every system, and conduct tests that verify you can meet those requirements.

5. Recovery process is error-prone

A manual recovery process is vulnerable to user error, and every recovery process is vulnerable to poor communication.

Take steps to avoid disaster recovery disasters before you experience a crisis. Let CCS Technology Group develop a disaster recovery solution that gets you through your disaster without creating new disasters along the way. Contact us to learn more about effective disaster recovery planning.

Additional Disaster Recovery Resources

Craft An Effective Disaster Recovery Plan

The Differences Between Backups, Disaster Recovery, and Archiving Matter

5 Changes to Make When You Switch to Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

IT Services that Meet Routine and Special Needs

The vast range of managed services available means you can get help for every technical challenge you face. Managed services can help you handle the everyday support and maintenance your technology needs or address unusual special circumstances.

Managed Services for the Routine

Managed services shine in handling the routine tasks required to support technical infrastructure. Whether applied to networks, the cloud, desktops, or any other type of technology, the routine services handled by a managed services team include:

  • monitoring. No matter how much you wish it were different, technology can’t be left completely unattended. Problems develop, and the earlier they’re caught and corrected, the better. Managed services can ensure there’s appropriate monitoring of system activity and logs to trigger alerts that allow problems to be addressed as soon as they develop. Developing problems such as low capacity can be identified and handled before they create issues for users.
  • maintenance. It’s even better to prevent problems from developing than to fix them fast. Routine maintenance services ensure upgrades and patches are applied in a timely way.
  • backups. Every business should be routinely creating backups. Managed services can ensure they’re created reliably and stored where they can be accessed when they’re needed.
  • support. Users have questions every day; a managed services team can provide the answers they need to use their technology effectively.
  • security. Ensuring security is a critical IT function that’s made effective through execution of routine procedures such as installing patches, keeping firewall rules current, and reviewing log files.

Managed Services for the Unusual

Most of your IT needs are routine and they’re well-handled by managed services. One-off occurrences and unusual needs are also a good fit for managed services:

  • new technology. A managed services team can help you introduce new technology into your data center. No matter how much training you give your team, by definition they lack experience with a new technology. Managed services teams have expertise that comes from working with multiple clients, and they can smooth your transition to a new technology.
  • disaster recovery. No one want lots of experience with disaster recovery. Developing a solid plan is tough and executing it in the middle of true disaster is even tougher. Managed services can calmly guide you through resolution and restoration of services.
  • planning for the future. Staying competitive requires more than keeping your current technology operational; it requires assessing your needs and opportunities and developing a strategy for the future.

If you’re facing an IT challenge, managed services from CCS Technology Group can help you get on top of it. Contact us to learn more about how our range of services enable you to solve your IT problems.

Additional Managed Services Resources

5 Reasons Managed Services Are Good For Your Business

Choose the Right IT Service Type to Best Meet Your Business Needs

6 Big Benefits from Using Managed Services

Measuring Warehouse Productivity: Top 5 Metrics to Consider

Warehouse management has a lot to do with balancing two competing needs: speed and accuracy. If you manage a warehouse, you typically want your people to work as quickly as possible without injuring themselves or causing damage to products. At the same time, if you achieve speed at the cost of accuracy, your business will experience customer complaints and costly restocking and re-delivery procedures.

Warehouse productivity is a measurement of how well you manage this conflict, together with factors like on-time delivery and warehouse utilization. The industry’s professional association, The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) studies this issue, among many others, that affect distribution companies.

Their DC Measures 2019 annual benchmarking study highlights the importance of warehouse productivity. Here are the top five metrics from the report:

1. Order Picking Accuracy (percent by order)

This metric shows how accurately warehouse employees pick products for orders. Order picking accuracy can drop with multi-part orders, where the employee has to pick products from multiple bins. The metric is also a measure of the quality of order picking instructions. For example, if the order says “Product X,” but the employee finds two bins, each with Product X in a different color, this creates a problem. He or she can take a guess at what color is needed, and then have the company suffer the consequences of a return. Or, the employee can send the order back for confirmation, which creates churn and delay.

2. Average Warehouse Capacity Used

A warehouse is a financial asset. As a result, its rate of capacity utilization is an important number for senior management. If a company is only using 10% of its warehouse capacity, that’s a problem. It means they’re paying for the rent and upkeep of unproductive space. This may seem like an easy-to-spot problem, but with multiple sites and changing seasonal inventories, it can be difficult to measure accurately without the right software and procedures.

3. Peak Warehouse Capacity Used

It’s also helpful to know your peak warehouse capacity utilization. The number itself can be revealing, like if it’s too low. But, unless its 100%, then there’s room for improvement. Peak warehouse capacity used is a target, a basis for doing better. If the number was 70% last year, then maybe this year, it could be 75%.

4. On-time Shipments

Shipments reaching customers on-time is a critical success metric for warehouses. It’s important on its own, because it reflects if the warehouse doing its job right. However, late shipments also create hidden costs and difficulties elsewhere in the business. They cause customer service calls and complaints. They cause package tracking and other wastes of time. Ultimately, late shipments can damage your brand and cause customers to defect.

5. Inventory Count Accuracy by Location

Are the inventory counts accurate in each location? This is another stealth issue that is more important than it looks. If there are fewer items in a bin than the system says there should be, that might indicate theft or unreported damage. The results of miscounted inventory include unforeseen stockouts and fulfillment problems that negatively customer attitudes.

Strong warehouse productivity metrics arise out of good management overall, but also by means of software. This is especially true for business with extensive product catalogs and high rates of inventory turnover. Software and related technologies, like barcode scanners and RFID readers contribute to tight measurement and control of warehouse operations.

We work with many distribution businesses on the implementation of Acumatica Cloud ERP for distribution and warehouse management. This software solution enables you to measure the five key warehouse productivity metrics described above, along with many others. If you want to learn more about how Acumatica can help your distribution business function better, let’s talk.

Additional Distribution Resources

Recommendations for Selecting a Distribution ERP Solution

Looking at 2020 Distribution Industry Trends with ERP in Mind

Benefits of ERP Software for Distribution Business Management

Everyone Is a Participant in Information Security

The information security team may have security in their name, but that doesn’t mean they own it. Security requires the active participation of everyone in the company, from management to facilities staff, in order to prevent and respond to incidents.

Preventing Security Incidents

Everybody has a role in preventing a security incident:

Management: Management sets the standard of behavior for everyone else in the business. If managers are seen treating security casually, no one else will take it seriously, either. This means managers, including senior executives, need to participate in the security training that’s mandated for everyone else; they need to demonstrate safe computing practices, like not writing down passwords and sharing them with their admins; and treating compliance audits as beneficial, rather than a necessary evil.

Finance: The financial team needs to understand the value of spending on security and authorize the appropriate expenses. In addition, the financial team needs to understand the sensitivity of the data they work with and take steps to avoid falling for targeted spearphishing attacks that seek to steal account numbers or trigger funds transfers inappropriately.

Human resources: The HR team, through its training programs, is responsible for ensuring everyone receives the necessary information security training. In addition, the HR team has the responsibility for ensuring the hiring process employees appropriate background checks and handling disgruntled employees to minimize insider risks.

Facilities: Physical security of your premises is an important component of information security.

Information security: Of course, the information security team has a major role in preventing breaches through developing security strategies and implementing tools to protect valuable corporate data.

Everyone else: All employees are responsible for using safe computing practices, including creating strong passwords and not sharing them. Employees are responsible for paying attention to the mandated information security training and taking those lessons back to their workspaces.

Responding to Security Incidents

If you unfortunately experience a security breach, you need a solid incident response plan. Multiple teams will have roles in the response, including:

Management: Management is responsible for ensuring that the incident response plan is executed, as well as overseeing related activities.

Marketing and communications: One of the biggest challenges in responding to a breach is communicating the event and how you are responding to it. In addition, your teams may need to ramp up marketing to mitigate reputation damage and minimize lost business.

Legal and compliance: A data breach isn’t just an internal matter; depending on your industry and location, you may have to satisfy legal and regulatory mandates regarding notifications, compensation, and other breach-related events. Your legal and compliance teams will make sure you follow the letter of the law on these actions.

Information security: Your technology team needs to complete several different activities. First, they need to identify the impact of the breach and determine the extent of the data loss. Second, they need to discover the root cause that allowed the breach to occur, and implement a strategy to prevent that type of attack from recurring. In addition, they should conduct a thorough review to identify other vulnerabilities and take steps to reduce the risk you’ll be victimized through a different form of attack.

Learn more about creating a disaster recovery plan.

Contact CCS Technology to start developing a comprehensive information security strategy, or browse the additional resources below for more information on getting started.

Additional Information Security Resources

Create An Information Security Culture to Protect Your Data

Don’t Overlook These Information Security Basics

7 Common Mistakes That Place Your Data in Danger

Cloud Resolutions for the New Year

The new year is a great time to review the technology you’re using and make changes, either introducing new technology or improving how you use your existing technology. Here are four things to look at to help you get more out of your cloud technology:

1. Get cloud spending under control

One of the biggest advantages of cloud is its cost savings, but you need to take steps to make sure spending doesn’t exceed expectations. Because cloud is self-service, it’s easy for users to initiate services without much review. Free trials are tempting, but when they aren’t canceled, they turn into ongoing expenses. Buying excess capacity is a good practice when you house resources in your data center, but it’s unnecessary and a hard habit to break when it comes to cloud, where capacity is available on demand. Choosing a more expensive data tier is another source of unnecessary expenses. Finally, remember cloud is pay-per-use, so make sure resources are shut down when not needed. This includes permanently shutting down development and test environments after the project is complete, as well as turning off applications that aren’t needed overnight. Learn more about controlling your cloud costs.

2. Consider going native

Probably most organizations take the “lift and shift” approach to transitioning to cloud. In this approach, you don’t rearchitect applications; you transition them as-is. The approach has the advantages of being simple. It’s also relatively fast and relatively low-risk. However, most existing applications aren’t designed to take advantage of all the cloud’s features. In particular, they don’t usually have a services-oriented architecture and aren’t able to take advantage of automatic scalability in the cloud. If you’ve already migrated applications to the cloud and things are running smoothly, take time this year to review the applications and identify where going cloud-native will offer advantages. Learn more about approaches to moving to the cloud.

3. Improve your security

Cloud security remains a top concern for many businesses, and there’s a good reason: cloud means shared resources and more points of access, meaning potentially greater risk. While your cloud provider takes many steps to protect the cloud, protecting your applications and your data remains your responsibility. Spend time reviewing your security posture, checking the tools and configurations you already have in place, and consider adding new cloud-centric controls such as a cloud access security broker. Learn more about ways to keep your cloud secure or information security basics.

4. Design your hybrid cloud

Almost no one, except for brand-new start-ups, has a pure cloud environment. Everyone else is working with a mix of cloud and legacy infrastructure, resulting in a confusing, difficult-to-manage hybrid architecture. Stop the chaos by taking a step back to evaluate the mixed infrastructure and plan how it can smartly evolve to let all the different elements work together in support of your business. Learn more about the flexibility of a hybrid cloud.

CCS Technology Can Help You Achieve Your 2020 Cloud Resolutions

If you’re ready to tackle any or all of these cloud resolutions in the new year, contact CCS Technology Group. Our cloud solutions help you design, implement, and manage the cloud you need in 2020 and beyond.

Additional Cloud Resources

New Year, New Cloud Choices and Challenges

Don’t Overlook These Aspects When You Plan Your Cloud Migration

Calculating the ROI of Moving to the Cloud

Why Growing Companies Need ERP Software

Growing companies need Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Put another way, if your business is growing, you may need to upgrade your legacy ERP software. While software alone won’t make your business grow, executing a growth plan without the right software will be a bigger challenge than it needs to be.

What’s New in ERP?

ERP is not new. You could even argue that it’s middle aged. The core of ERP, which was created to help run big factories and logistical operations, came into existence in the early 1970s. ERP’s origins lead some to consider the software to be a “heavy iron” technology, suited to global giants and industrial processes. There is still some truth to this, but we are now into a new generation of agile, powerful cloud-based ERP solutions.

Cloud ERP, as exemplified by Acumatica, makes it possible to deploy sophisticated business management solutions without installing software or buying any hardware. It’s available over the Web, via a browser. Acumatica is an extensible system. It can do basic ERP workloads like accounting and financial management, orders and invoicing and so forth. However, from there, you can add a significant portfolio of modules. These include software for warehouse management, field service, Customer Resource Management (CRM), HR, industry-specific applications and on and on.

Grow Revenue with ERP

Used the right way, ERP can facilitate revenue growth. This happens when you take advantage of sales management tools and functionality like quote-to-order and product configuration. With these capabilities, you can engage more closely with customers, responding to their needs quickly and closing more deals. The order fulfillment and subsequent customer support features in cloud ERP keep the customer relationship on a solid footing—leading to more repeat business and client references. This is possible without ERP, but it will be a lot more work.

Save and Invest for Growth

Modern cloud ERP drives savings across the business, including Operating Expense (OpEx) and Capital Expense (CapEx). You can use the proceeds of these savings to invest in strategies that promote growth, e.g. marketing campaigns, new hires and so forth. In terms of OpEx, cloud ERP enables people to work more productively, using automated workflows to speed up business processes. The connected nature of the extended Acumatica system reduces manual process steps and re-keying of data into the solution.

The ERP toolset provides for improved scheduling of production operations and field service. With data analytics and visual dashboards, the ERP solution can help managers anticipate problems and react before they become expensive to solve. Advanced inventory management features give you the ability to conserve cash and cut down on costly mistakes like stocking merchandise for so long that it expires.

Protect Your Business, So It Can Grow

The last few years have demonstrated conclusively that a cyberattack is a costly distraction that then results in a huge remediation expense. A serious data breach, for instance, will probably put a damper on your growth plans for a good six months or more. ERP software does not guarantee security, however, modern cloud ERP solutions offer a number of security advantages compared to legacy systems. For instance, the system runs in a highly secure data center. The cloud architecture also makes possible a level of redundancy that protects you from outages resulting from attacks.

2020 promises to be a year of growth. ERP can be part of your success story. If you want to learn more about how cloud ERP can help your business grow in the coming year, let’s talk.

Additional ERP Resources

7 Important Qualities of Cloud ERP

Position Your Business for Growth in 2020 With Cloud ERP

7 Benefits of CRM Software (That’s Integrated with ERP)

Recommendations for Selecting a Distribution ERP Solution

What is the right ERP solution for your distribution business? Acumatica Cloud ERP has created an in-depth checklist to help you understand your options. Their hope, of course, is that you choose Acumatica, but the reality is they’ve done everyone a service by publishing the checklist. You could work through it and conclude that a different solution is right for your particular distribution business—especially as the industry undergoes a period of digital transformation.

The checklist is also a good reflection of the way we work with clients in discovering the best solution for their distribution businesses. It’s methodical and allows for the prioritization of needs. With ERP selection, it should never be a simple matter of feature-to-feature comparison. The best practice is to weight features by relevance to your business.

Overview of the Distribution ERP Selection Checklist

The checklist contains five categories of comparison for distribution ERP solutions:

  • Productivity—How a distribution ERP solution can make your employees more productive in their jobs
  • Functionality—The specific features and functions of the solution
  • Technology—The underlying technology that affects user experience, customization and administration along with integration with other systems, e.g. logistics, HR and so forth
  • Value—How the product maximizes features and functions vs. cost for the product’s lifetime
  • Risk—How the product minimizes risk and facilitates security (e.g. network and financial security)

Using the Checklist to Select a Distribution ERP Solution

Depending on your business, you may emphasize some of the five categories more than others. Productivity, for example, is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. The checklist forces you to take a hard look at issues like how intuitive the interface is for users. If it’s not easy to learn, people might find ways to work around it, defeating the whole purpose of the solution. Other productivity factors include having a single database, multi-currency capabilities, wikis and so forth.

Functionality is a critical area for evaluation. Even if you totally love a distribution ERP solution, if it doesn’t do what you want, the solution won’t work. Functional check-offs span features like support for multiple entities, financial management and quote-to-cash workflows. Sales order management and cost accounting are on the list, as are purchase order management and inventory management.

In terms of technology, the checklist encourages you to probe whether a cloud-based solution is “True Cloud,” meaning that it was designed natively for the cloud. This can make a difference in how well the solution works and how easy it is to change. Responsive design is also a significant requirement, given today’s mobile workforce and customers. Other technical issues of note include database export capabilities and the presence of a full relational database. This latter technical feature can be important for integration with other systems, audits and more. The value checklist items refer to financial aspects of the solution. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) figures prominently into the value category, but so do non-monetary but value-oriented factors like scalability.

If you’re considering getting a new distribution ERP solution, we encourage you to work with the checklist. We can help you go through it, looking at how your business runs and how it competes to arrive at an informed, wise solution choice.

Additional Distribution Resources

Looking at 2020 Distribution Industry Trends with ERP in Mind

Benefits of ERP Software for Distribution Business Management

5 Reasons Distributors Need ERP Software

Position Your Business for Growth in 2020 With Cloud ERP

Will 2020 be a year of growth for your business? While it’s impossible to predict the future, one can still explore how new technology and practices can position your business for growth as we enter this new decade. Cloud ERP in particular, like Acumatica, can make a big difference in a company’s growth trajectory.

How Does Software Enable Growth?

Can software drive growth? No, on its own, software cannot do very much. However, when people, strategy and processes join forces with flexible, powerful cloud ERP solutions, the potential for growth can be startling.

What is cloud ERP? Briefly, solutions like Acumatica are browser-based versions of the classic Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications. Yet, they go much further than legacy ERP. Acumatica, for example, offers add-on modules for manufacturing management, distribution businesses, field service, Customer Resource management (CRM) and more. It’s a complete business management solution, not just ERP. It’s cloud-based, so you don’t have to buy hardware or software licenses to use it.

Here are five ways cloud ERP, used in the right way, can facilitate revenue and earnings increases:

1. Save money and invest in your business

Cloud ERP saves you money on operating expenses (OpEx) by way of reduced IT overhead. You can cut capital expenses (CapEx) because you don’t have to tie up cash or take on debt for servers, storage and data center facilities. You can redeploy that capital, investing in new lines of business, marketing campaigns, money-making equipment and so forth.

2. Get closer to your customers and grow your accounts

With CRM and quote-to-order tools, you can grow your business by improving customer engagement. CRM gives you an overview of sales forecasts as well as the ability to dig deeply into the sales status of specific accounts. With CRM, you can also engage in meaningful marketing campaigns that turn prospects into customers and nurture existing customers so you’ll be top of mind when it’s time to buy. Learn more about integrating ERP and CRM.

3. Improve customer service

When you connect customer service, operations and sales using cloud ERP, you have the ability to deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience. Customers who are well-cared-for tend to become repeat customers. Having a lower rate of customer churn makes it easier to increase revenue. You don’t have to replace customers who defected due to sub-optimal customer care.

4. Be more agile

Cloud hosting translates into flexibility of ERP solutions. Cloud ERP can add functional modules with relative ease. That way, if you want to make a move like adding 24-hour a day live customer support, you can add the software for the capability pretty much instantly. Similarly, if you want to extend your systems and integrate with those of other companies like suppliers or partners, the cloud Application Programming Interface (API) make as this a fairly straightforward, inexpensive and fast process. It’s certainly far simpler than using custom-coded connectors in legacy ERP solutions.

5. Get smarter by running analytics on your data

Your business data contains a wealth of potential insights that can help you grow your business. Modern cloud ERP makes this data available, with rich data visualization, analysis and reporting features.

Grow in 2020 and Beyond With Cloud ERP

Cloud ERP can help you start 2020 on a growth trajectory. You can get started now, working with us to understand your ERP requirements and formulate an effective implementation plan.

5 Reasons Managed Services Are Good For Your Business

Every investment in information technology has as its ultimate goal to help the business operate more effectively, efficiently, and to help the business grow and succeed. That’s true when you invest in managed services, as well—it isn’t just about helping out your overstretched technology team. If you’re evaluating that investment, consider these 5 ways managed services benefit your business:

1. Focus on business

Because your managed services provider handles your technology, you can focus on what really matters to your business rather than stressing over how IT is getting in the way. This is true for your IT employees, too; rather than solving routine technical problems, they can leverage both their technical insight and their business knowledge to develop new ways to use technology that align with your overall business objectives. In addition, the support offered by the managed services provider can scale with your needs, meaning growing business won’t be hindered by a lack of IT support.

2. Cost management

Reducing IT spending without reducing the quality of your technology means you can invest those funds elsewhere. Managed services provide you with predictable expenses for IT services and support.

3. Increased productivity

With a managed services team looking after your technology, you’ll get more uptime, meaning your employees will be able to complete their work more efficiently. A managed services provider can keep an eye on your systems 365x24x7, meaning the systems are always available for employees to use.

4. Meet compliance requirements

Keeping current with changing compliance requirements is time-consuming; satisfying audits is a distraction from running your business. With a managed services team that’s fully up to date on your industry’s regulatory environment, your technology is kept compliant, making you more likely to easily pass audits.

5. Reduced security risks

Information security presents an ever-increasing risk to your business. Customer expectations are increasing, their tolerance for breaches is diminishing, and new data privacy laws make incidents extremely costly for businesses. In addition to thefts of customer data, thefts of intellectual property can have a direct impact on your business’s level of competitiveness. A managed services provider can focus on implementing security tools and processes that decrease the risks to your business.

Choosing the Right Managed Services Provider

Choosing the right managed services provider requires first understanding your requirements and then finding a provider whose capabilities match those needs. Be sure you understand how resources will be assigned to you, and how you will be charged and billed. Contact CCS Technology Group to learn more about how our managed services can help your business succeed.

Additional Managed Services Resources

How Managed Services Make the Difference

Give Your Managed Services Provider This Information If You Want Them to Succeed

Whatever Your IT Problem, There’s a Managed Services Solution

Don’t Overlook These Aspects When You Plan Your Cloud Migration

Planning for the cloud requires taking a comprehensive look at your infrastructure. There’s more to consider than simply migrating data and applications.

Network

The network is perhaps the forgotten component of the cloud, but it’s essential to success in the cloud. Making sure the network can handle the new traffic demands of your cloud architecture is vital to a successful cloud deployment.

Be sure you estimate the bandwidth requirements when you switch to SaaS or move data storage to the cloud. The network needs to meet both capacity and latency requirements.

Security

The network is closely tied with another aspect of infrastructure that’s affected by the move to cloud: security. Your firewall rules need to be adjusted to allow appropriate communication with your cloud infrastructure.

In addition, you need to thoroughly revisit your security strategy. Understand which aspects are handled by your cloud provider, so you can focus your attention on the aspects which are still your responsibility. In particular, focus on ensuring your cloud resources have appropriate configuration settings—the defaults may make data publicly accessible, along with identity and access management. You’ll also want to make certain data is encrypted and have a process for managing the encryption keys.

Learn more in 6 Ways to Keep Your Cloud More Secure.

Monitoring

Although the cloud provider has responsibility for the infrastructure, you still need to need to monitor your workloads to ensure they’re performing appropriately. Cloud providers offer tools for monitoring, and you can also consider third-party monitoring tools. Ideally, your cloud monitoring tool will integrate with your on-premises monitoring so there’s a single screen that reports your total system status. Whatever monitoring you use, your employees need to be trained in how to respond to outages and other problems in the cloud.

Backup & Recovery

Cloud providers include backups that let them recover your systems to another instance in case of a problem, but their backup strategy might not mesh with your data preservation requirements. In addition to potentially losing more intraday data than your recovery objective requires, they don’t create an archive of historic data that you may need for compliance or analytics purposes.

In some cases, responding to an outage requires recovering services elsewhere—despite the high availability that comes with cloud, you still need a backup and recovery solution. This may mean failing over to another region managed by the same provider or failing over to a different cloud provider or on-premises environment.

Learn more about the different cloud options for backup and recovery.

Cloud Migration

Both you and your cloud provider hope the cloud migration will be successful. However, it’s prudent to plan for migrating out of the cloud if the provider can no longer meet your needs. While you don’t need a full-fledged out-migration strategy on the day you switch production over to the cloud, you should have at least investigated it to become aware of the potential costs of data transfers out of the cloud.

CCS Technology Group can help you address all aspects of your cloud planning, as well as provide ongoing cloud services once your cloud migration is complete. Contact us to learn more about successfully transitioning to the cloud.