Cloud is more of a necessity than an option for businesses these days. It helps a struggling company keep up and even obtain a competitive edge. It isn’t solely for well-established companies or multi-national organizations with money to spare for added expenditures. Contrary to what you think, a cloud computing strategy is not expensive – especially when you start seeing improvements. If cloud computing isn’t part of your plans in the immediate future, then you’re missing out on something that is about to take over the world.
How Cloud Computing Works
Cloud computing is a software infrastructure that works by storing data on a remote server instead of the conventional physical storage. It is application-based that allows access to the data or through the internet.
A cloud computing service keeps multiple copies of the data as a precautionary measure against real-time risks, i.e., data breach, data loss, and security threats.
Why Some Businesses Haven’t Embraced Cloud Computing
The main reason why small and medium-sized companies haven’t transitioned to cloud is that the corporate structure, especially from the top, is still apprehensive of it. In other words, the likes of the company president, owner, or CEO aren’t sold on the idea of spending money for the commitment to cloud computing. These people think that anything related to IT should be within the responsibility of the in-house IT team.
If you’re one of those business decision-makers who still don’t recognize the value of a cloud computing technology, you should know that you’re literally running out of time.
Businesses and companies that continue to undermine cloud technology are way behind their competitors in two facets: competitiveness and productivity. The only way to appreciate cloud computing’s role in improving productivity is by switching to it.
Benefits of Cloud Technology in a Business Setting
If you eventually decide to move forward with cloud, there are several steps to follow, starting with the acknowledgement of this shift in strategy. Investing in cloud technology sees a significant reduction in spending. This is possible because your IT team no longer needs to put all its time in addressing security risks, data loss, and the like.
Furthermore, cloud technology brings forth a more efficient computer operation, which in turn saves your company a lot of money on the maintenance of in-house systems. It also means fewer people to hire for IT-related functions.
The switch to cloud drastically improves IT security in any business or organizational environment. The best thing about it is that you don’t even have to spend a large sum of money to make the leap. There’s no need to add space or infrastructure since access to cloud data centres is part of that investment.
Creating a Cloud Computing Strategy
1 – Set a goal
You first must figure out your company’s objectives. It’s the only way to determine which strategy best applies to your situation. Part of this step is understanding the entirety of your IT system, including the processes and technologies used. Once you make a list of those, the next step is to obtain essential information about your organization’s objectives, including corporate goals, needs, stakeholders, and others.
Meet with every business stakeholder and present to them the necessity of adopting cloud technology. This is the part where brainstorming takes place. You must come up with a way to get everyone on board.
2 – Assess your IT’s current state
Not all IT infrastructure qualify for a seamless transition to a cloud computing strategy. It is why a “readiness assessment” is needed to figure out if your current system is good enough to embrace new technology in the form of cloud computing. Your IT team takes care of this part. Your job is to acknowledge the necessity of the assessment to move forward.
3 – Select a cloud deployment model
Once you get an idea of your IT’s current state, the next step is to figure out how you intend to deploy the cloud within the office environment or organization. Doing so means selecting a deployment model that best fits your situation. Understanding cloud deployment is as easy as knowing where your data resides.
4 – Identify and pick the best type of cloud service
When you’ve settled with a specific deployment model that addresses your company’s needs, you now choose the cloud service. We assume at this point that you’re well-versed with the processes and technology that your company uses, especially those that play a crucial role in business operations. The next step is to weigh on the prospective benefits of moving those functions to the cloud.
There’s a need to use both qualitative and quantitative parameters to come up with a proper evaluation. Some of the criteria that you must consider are operational efficiency, cost savings, and staff resourcing, to name a few. Figure out if the movement of certain functions and services to the cloud will make everyone more efficient. Will the switch to cloud technology afford a positive impact on staff resourcing? Do you expect to save money on costs if you deliver your business services via cloud? These are just some of the questions you need to answer before you decide on which type of cloud service to integrate.
5 – Don’t forget the risks.
Lastly, you have to recognize the possible risks of moving to a cloud computing strategy. All kinds of investments come with risks, and this one is no exception. For instance, you expect that there’s improved data security when you incorporate the cloud computing program to your operations. However, doing so means that you must entrust your data to a third party. So, be sure you raise this topic during the introduction of the project to the stakeholders.
Another potential issue is that of reliability. Will the cloud solution be available 24/7? If your business or organization relies on continuity and seamless operation, then you must determine if the switch to cloud solutions won’t affect your operations.