Journey to the Cloud & Myth Busting

To cloud or not to cloud? Here, we tackle some common myths around cloud migration to help our community successfully navigate through this transformation.
There continues to be a lot of excitement around Cloud Technology, but what does it really mean? What are some of the common challenges in the transition? What are the real benefits?

In 2022, there is no Chief Information Officer who does not have a strategy that features a move to the cloud.  It's been one of the exciting shifts in technology in the last decade.

We have all seen how quickly the world can change with COVID-19 and how it has accelerated digital transformations and the cloud's adoption. Let's dive in and explore this further.

The cloud enables your team to worry less about the technology and focus more on your mission. The StarRez Cloud empowers your organization and community with the best cloud-native technology features while providing a secure and resilient platform.

In this blog

  • Myth 1: I don’t have the time or resources to think about managing the transition from on-premises to cloud
  • Myth 2: Buying servers is cheaper for us
  • Myth 3: Too much downtime is required during cloud migration
  • Myth 4: Cloud servers are not data secure
  • Myth 5: My custom tools and integrations will no longer work on the cloud
  • Myth 6: I’ll risk losing data in the move

Myth #1: I don’t have the time or resources to think about managing the transition from on-premises to cloud.

We know you are busy and the thought of migrating to the cloud might seem daunting. Don't worry; we have helped hundreds of customers with this change, and we are there every step of the way. From the moment you choose to make the switch you'll be assigned a dedicated project manager to oversee your migration. Our team of implementation specialists will be here to ensure your data and integrations seamlessly transition to the cloud. Working closely with your project leader and IT team, we’ll collaborate on the project plans and ensure considerations such as IP addresses, email configuration, file transfers and interfaces are managed throughout.

See how our residential housing cloud software supported users through COVID-19.

Myth #2: Buying servers is cheaper for us.

In the past, updating servers every five years seemed like a reasonable approach while now technology is moving faster than ever. Your systems are mission-critical, downtime is a costly disruption, and the older your servers get, the more likely a hard drive or another component is to fail.  Moving to the cloud you no longer need to agonize over when to replace servers; you will simply always be on the latest from a trusted tier one provider – Microsoft Azure. You will benefit from 24x7x365 support for the platform backed by a large team of resources and Microsoft to ensure the uptime. Can you expect the same level of support for your own servers?

There are lots of other hidden costs with on-premises servers that can also be factored in. In today's world, updates, hotfixes, security patches and upgrades are coming out faster than ever. It takes a significant amount of IT resources to keep up to date with these upgrades and applications.  Servers also become more energy efficient every year, so the longer you run old hardware, the less efficient it becomes and increases your operating costs. The cloud is designed to be much more efficient with its use of storage and power. Standalone on-premises server rooms and racks do not have the same level of cooling, energy efficiency and scalability.

Myth #3: Too much downtime will be required during cloud migration.

We have refined this process so its just a one-time migration that is completed in less than 24 hours. While this is happening, the data in your system will remain accessible, but not editable. Meaning you’ll still be able to access all of that critical data if you need to. It all starts with a conversation. We'll work together to identify when system downtime will have the least impact on your operations. Then, we’ll create a plan that ensures your migration downtime window occurs at the most suitable period. This might mean starting the process on your lunch hour and finding it complete when you return to your desk in the morning. So, while the overall migration project can take between 60–90 days from kick-off, the downtime period itself is minimal, and your operational efficiencies are kept well intact.

“We converted to web and cloud in Jan 2019 and decided on a hard cut off of legacy client all at the same time. The StarRez team did a superb job of creating a great timeline about weekly zoom sessions with housing and IT to make sure we were staying on task, and the migration itself is seamless - you can still use StarRez as you convert.”

Emily Belote, Housing Assignments Coordinator, Chapman University

Myth #4: Cloud servers are not data secure.

It’s long been a myth that cloud servers are less data-secure than their on-premises counterparts. But while the thought of your data being stored elsewhere and not in your own environment may seem counterintuitive to safekeeping, the risks associated with being on the cloud are far less than those associated with being on an on-premises solution, especially with a trusted partner like StarRez and Microsoft Azure. When it comes to data security, StarRez invests heavily in technology and compliance to ensure we’re leaders in our sector. We’re SOC 2 Compliant and Level One PCI Service Provider and hold Microsoft's 90+ compliance certifications. This means that all of our products, including our cloud-based solution, meet the highest data security standards. In fact, our cloud solution uses one of the most trusted, reliable and scalable platforms, Microsoft Azure, which allows us to take care of backups and data recovery for you, so you won’t need to rely on your team and resourcing to ensure your data is kept safe, secure and disruption-free.

Myth #5: My custom tools and integrations will no longer work on the cloud.

A majority of traditional StarRez integrations work just fine on cloud, and moving to the cloud makes a significant number of additional integrations, tools and features available that you could never run on-premises. However, it is true that some of our older tools and integrations may not be transferrable, particularly if they are connecting to systems that are not themselves cloud-enabled. If you fall into this category, this presents an opportunity to streamline and modernize your integration processes.

Our team will review your custom or complex integrations and help facilitate a smooth transition to the best solution for you that is easier to support long term. This might look like implementing a newer cloud-native solution, leveraging the StarRez API to re-implement your integrations, or simply updating to our latest standards for easier support and new modification opportunities. Whatever challenges arise, your dedicated project manager and our team of implementation specialists will work closely with you to identify solutions and guide you through the process. It won’t be long before you’re able to take advantage of the many benefits of being on the cloud.

"We are definitely happy that we chose to move to the cloud! I was afraid at first because I was concerned about losing access to the Client, but it has been a much easier transition than I ever expected. Also, I really like the automatic updates and implementations that occur instead of planning out updates that may or may not affect our specific processes. Thanks for your help with this implementation! We are happy to have StarRez on our team and they are really expanding the use of the portal and new modules in ways that I am not sure that we could have done if we hadn't moved to the cloud."

Tracy Foss, Director of Housing Administration, Clemson University

Myth #6: I’ll risk losing data in the move.

Like moving to a new house, migrating all of your data from your on-premises solution to the cloud can feel overwhelming. You might be worried about things being left behind or essential data being lost, or the sheer volume of data that needs to be migrated may feel like a bridge too far to cross. While StarRez will always bring your critical and essential data across in the move, the migration process can also present an opportunity to remove any unwanted archival data. Clearing out old system logs and correspondence or removing any outdated data before you make the switch may be reasonable solutions. Or, if accessing historical data for analytics purposes is important, you may also want to take advantage of our Data Connector tool which can improve access to this information and streamline your reporting and analysis capabilities. No matter how much or how little you need to bring across in the move, you can rest assured knowing StarRez will always keep your data secure.

Ready to migrate? Rise to the cloud in seven steps.

Download our Journey to the Cloud brochure to find out how we can help your team make a smooth transition to the cloud.

Your trusted partner

While making the move to the cloud can feel daunting, our team of technical experts and implementation specialists are here to ensure the journey is as seamless as possible. We’ll help you navigate each stage of our cloud migration process and collaborate with you and your team as challenges arise, working towards realistic solutions that will help you make the most of all the cloud has to offer.

Once you're set up, all of your concerns about making the switch will be replaced by the confidence of knowing you're always on the latest StarRez version – with access to our cloud-only features (like Rez 360 - a complete view of resident activity and engagement) and all supported by advanced cloud monitoring technology. So, while migrating the cloud may feel like a significant change, with a trusted partner like StarRez, you'll feel supported from beginning to end.

Hear from Gregory Whitmore, Senior Associate Director from the University of Chicago, on the benefits of migrating to the StarRez Cloud.

If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be using tools and solutions that help us work smarter, not harder. Rapid response and the ability to quickly pivot as a business are crucial to growth. In a time when remote working solutions and technological resilience are most needed, the cloud is the safest place to be.

To sum up final thoughts, here's a summary of our top five reasons for moving to the cloud.

  • Faster Support – No more waiting for Remote Access. Our StarCare team can quickly access your system and provide amazing help.
  • Latest and Greatest – New features and value delivered frequently is the hallmark of cloud technology. We have a range of new features that are exclusively available in the cloud so your team can access those to gain efficiencies, increases in service, and satisfaction.
  • No more worrying about security and compliance – We got you, PCI DCISS, SOC2, Privacy Shield and Microsoft Azure’s 90+ compliance levels will keep your data safe.
  • No more budgeting for large capital expenditure.
  • This is the future, but the time is now. You will love it! join the rest of the community.

Let’s chat to explore how the transition can work for you.

Angelo Romero
Angelo has been working with our StarRez Cloud Community for over 8 years. Angelo enjoys helping integrate external systems and automating business processes.


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