It’s a question nearly every business owner is asking: How can I get to more efficient IT services while cutting costs? The answer may be in the cloud. Almost every week a new “cloud” solution hits the market and more and more companies are signing on for some form of cloud-based service or another.
But are SMBs jumping on the cloud bandwagon because it’s the latest, hottest trend? Or are they doing so with their eyes open to what cloud computing really offers—a real opportunity for reduced costs and increased efficiency?
We’ve put together 7 essentials to keep in mind as you consider your cloud solution options.
1. Learn how the cloud can benefit your business.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Companies should invest more in strategy and less in putting out fires. Set your IT team free so they can help you reach your business goals such as reducing security risks, increasing team productivity, and integrating systems for reduced duplication of data.
2. Assess your company’s IT needs.
What are the biggest IT issues your company is dealing with right now? What changes would you like to make? Assess what’s working for you and what isn’t. Maybe you need to dive deep into your security management or perhaps your data protection is lacking.
3. Prioritize what solutions you need first.
Not everything needs to be done in the cloud, and depending on your goals, you’ll have different systems, technologies, and processes that are needed.
Gathering the following information would be helpful for determining what your company needs:
- Your corporate goals
- Current unmet needs
- Who your key stakeholders are
- The main drivers for adopting cloud solutions
After you’ve completed this, have each person involved in the brainstorming rank the goals and decide what you’re going to tackle first.
4. Assess cloud security.
Most major public cloud providers now offer some degree of security, but the key to success is in how you use those services.
While all of them tout their secure infrastructure, they vary greatly in implementation and efficacy so it is important to understand your security needs before choosing a provider. There are also other aspects of security that go beyond the provider, including firewalls and scripts to detect intrusions.
5. Consider total cost of ownership.
The best public cloud solutions for you may not be the least expensive option around. While Amazon’s EC2 is very popular, it costs more than some other providers. As always, it’s important to do your homework and choose a cloud service that fits your needs but also comes with an affordable price tag.
6. Don’t forget monitoring.
Don’t assume the provider has everything covered; you will need to build your own monitoring system or get an outsourced IT company to do it for you. With an automated system in place, you can easily monitor for security breaches, abnormal behavior, or resource usage.
7. Plan for tomorrow.
It is important to plan and consider how your application will evolve in the future. That way, you can ensure that it won’t become a problem when the time comes to move onto a new cloud provider if necessary.
With these seven tips, you should be well on your way to choosing or building the ideal cloud solution for your company.
We’d love to help you build an in-depth plan for successful cloud solutions. If you’re looking for help planning and implementing a strategy that’s made specifically for your business’s unique needs, contact our experts at Busch Consulting today.