Transferring your community bank's data and applications to a cloud-based internet computing system can transform your business. Not only will a successful cloud migration boost your organization's performance, security, and efficiency, but it can also be a cost-effective way to remain competitive in an increasingly digitized market—one where even the tiniest local credit unions are going (and staying) online.
Struggling to migrate your company's data from a local center to a digital cloud infrastructure? Here are three helpful strategies to keep in mind.
3 Cloud Migration Strategies for Community Banks
1. Prepare for the inevitable challenges.
Every organization needs a variety of systems, protocols, and contingencies in place to help them avoid or mitigate issues as they arise during a cloud migration process.
Common challenges to cloud migration include:
- Choosing the right cloud provider to entrust with your company's data
- Ensuring performance and security standards are met
- Handling massive volumes of data while remaining compliant with industry regulations
- Figuring out how to maintain operational continuity or "business as usual" while the transition is ongoing.
This last point is important—after all, your clients and employees will likely be thankful that you're optimizing your business's data systems, but not if the steps taken to do so put employee productivity and customer satisfaction, privacy, and protection at risk.
So, be sure your cloud migration team has preemptively prepared for challenges that may arise and has discussed the action steps that would be needed to manage them. Recruiting a professional business and technology support firm early on in the process is an essential strategic move here that can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary headache, since you'll be afforded real-time input from experienced IT specialists.
2. Create a game plan.
There are several methodologies you can use to initiate your cloud migration process. These include the "big bang" method, in which data is transferred in one big launch (such as over a weekend), the "phased approach" method, in which data is moved in a step-wise manner over time, and a "parallel" method, in which data is transferred on both the original source and the new target cloud system until the migration process is fully executed. Banks with smaller volumes of data tend to do well with big bang approaches, whereas larger banks with more data and applications to move may find that a phased or parallel approach is a better fit.
Whichever method you chose, be sure to agree to it and map it out prior to moving any data, since it will help you and your team maintain realistic expectations. Some key steps involved any cloud migration plan include:
- Big-picture planning (e.g., getting key stakeholders and team members on board, setting clear goals, analyzing system requirements)
- Initiating and configuring the migration process (e.g., choosing your methodology, protocolizing with migration scripts, configuring migration tools and target system)
- Testing and mock trialing
- Final cloud migration (e.g., loading and verifying data transfers)
Remember, cloud migration affects far more than just your business and IT team. Your entire organization—from front-end client users to in-house employees—will all be impacted by changes made. So, you'll want to use a methodology that suits your company's resources and audience, as well as implement training all along the way.
3. Launch the right roll out approach for your company.
No cloud migration process, however smooth, would be complete without a successful launch that allows your company to integrate the cloud into daily operations. This means personnel and clients must be prepared for when you "go live" with your new system.
Once your target cloud system is ready to use and the full migration process is complete, monitor the system closely for glitches, fix any errors or anomalies as soon as possible, and prepare to have manpower standing by to provide real-time support for users.
Does your bank's digitalization needs have you feeling like your head's up in the clouds? Contact Integrity Technology Solutions at 309-664-8150 to get in touch with one of our friendly representatives.