Traditional network solutions and software are slowly moving to the cloud. With many small and medium-sized businesses missing out on the productivity and security enhancements the cloud offers, it’s time to learn how to make a successful transition to a cloud platform.
Here is data on the benefits of moving to the cloud, information on how to decide what cloud technology to implement, and how working with a managed IT provider can often mean the difference between success and failure.
Why Move to the Cloud?
Before you transition to the cloud, it’s important to understand why the cloud matters.
One of the most powerful reasons to switch to the cloud has to do with improving your bottom line. For example, a recent survey of companies in the United States and the United Kingdom about their cloud practices found that 88 percent of cloud users reported cost savings and 56 percent stated that the cloud was boosting profits for their firms.
The cloud helps save on costs and boost profits in a variety of ways, including through these four points:
- Your company will no longer have to invest huge amounts of capital in servers, maintenance and upgrading. Using a cloud host, your company can scale or reduce data usage and computing based on the actual company needs.
- Instead of investing in costly software application licenses for each new employee, fixed-cost cloud software-as-a-service allows your company to scale your app users for far less money.
- The cloud allows for easier handling of complex and data-intensive workloads, and offers you a centralized platform for big data analysis. From there, you can spot trends, build customer loyalty programs, and grow your e-commerce operations.
- In terms of productivity, the cloud allows for easy file and document sharing, ensuring teams can coordinate work on projects from one master file instead of multiple files for individual team members. Remote access to project data and files is made easy through the cloud, ensuring a workforce that can get the job done from anywhere.
Many businesses are quickly realizing the importance of the cloud, with 78 percent of all small businesses in the United States predicted to adopt the cloud by 2020, which is double the current 37 percent.
How to Transition to the Cloud:
Before taking the leap into cloud computing, it’s important you avoid becoming one of those companies that embraced the cloud without planning.
First, build a clear plan that helps you focus on what areas of the cloud will improve your business objective and productivity. Then, create an implementation roadmap that will help you build a general timeframe of cloud implementation, and know what resources and employee training you will need.
You should also ensure you keep what works for your company, especially when on-premise solutions are doing their job in some cases. Many companies start with a mix of on-premise and cloud solutions, and then on-board further cloud services as they realize the productivity and security benefits the cloud offers.
A managed IT service provider in Oklahoma City like Dobson Technologies can review your company and help you pinpoint which elements of cloud technology will work best to meet your needs. Furthermore, Dobson can break down the costs of transitioning to the cloud, find you cost-effective cloud vendors, and help employees understand the new cloud tools available to them through ongoing support.
A Smart Data Storage Strategy:
Data storage is one of the key benefits of any company looking to transition to the cloud. It’s cheap, frees a company from buying and maintaining server racks, and offers unlimited storage options for the life of a company. However, any move toward using cloud storage requires a careful impact analysis.
First, it’s important to work with an IT specialist who can help put your data in the cloud and still ensure you can use it. Certain cloud hosts feature a data structure that makes it difficult for users to actually work with the data. With the right IT help, you can implement solutions like cloud storage gateways, which ensure your employees can access and manipulate the data they need for business operations.
Second, you should also have an IT expert who can examine how moving certain data to the cloud will impact the user experience, and what kind of bandwidth requirements will be needed for specific applications. In some cases, local copies or caches of data can be used as needed while maintaining a backup of that data in the cloud. It’s all about finding what works for your business.
E-Mail Hosting and Backups Done Right:
Moving e-mail operations to the cloud requires reliable cloud hosting to ensure this vital service is available at all times. Although cloud e-mail hosting allows you more storage space and enterprise services, you don’t want to get such an essential part of your business wrong.
You also want a provider experienced with small business IT support, which will ensure your cloud data is regularly backed up and managed, and who can provide you with 24/7 user support for employees who need professional customer service.
Dobson Technologies is dedicated to providing managed IT support in Oklahoma City for your business’s cloud transition and long-term management. We work with every business to ensure they select the right cloud services, that their cloud data is protected, and that they can scale new cloud capabilities as their business grows. Schedule a meeting with Dobson today to discuss your cloud needs and what cloud services will benefit your unique business model.