Top 3 Strategies for Moving To The Cloud
Businesses of all sizes are now realizing the benefits of cloud technology, and many are taking advantage of this option as a way to improve functionality, productivity, and efficiency of business operations.
With variable rather than fixed costs, the cloud is an affordable option for many small businesses, and it provides a scalable and flexible way for companies to control, share, and manage their data. However, as with all good things, some problems do arise when using the cloud, and when these common issues occur, small businesses can follow some simple strategies to overcome them.
1. Ensure that your business is getting appropriate cloud support
The most common complaint among cloud services is the lack of management and support that often results when a small business embarks on cloud migration. As a small business owner, you need to first consider your wider approach to cloud services and decide whether you will be running it internally 24/7 or if you will need to hire someone to do the taxing work of data recovery, automation controls, and scaling when necessary. Many small businesses choose a third party to provide cloud services.
To avoid many potential problems with cloud computing, it is important to select a provider that will be able to deliver adequate support. You should make sure that the services delivered will provide flexibility so that you can engage in your core business without having to worry about day-to-day cloud operations. If you choose a cloud infrastructure based on low cost, it could mean that the burden will be on you should you run into any problems, and any downtime you experience may negatively affect your business.
2. Consider your company’s performance needs wisely
When it comes to hosting a website, many businesses make the mistake of concentrating on their present needs rather than looking ahead into the future. Some small businesses also make the decision that is okay to accept sub-par cloud performance when cloud access over the Internet is slow. Small business owners should take care to determine when they are likely to have peaks in demand, and they should also carefully consider the different hosting solutions available.
If your small business is having issues with your cloud Internet or cloud-based phone system performance, the right hosting solution might be a hybrid cloud. This system will allow you to combine the performance found in dedicated servers with the cost efficiency of cloud computing. A hybrid cloud will mean that your business can quickly add capacity for busy periods, and when demands die down, it can be reduced. This will keep your IT costs at a minimum, as you’ll pay for only the services you actually use.
3. Beef up your company’s cloud security plan
Many small businesses assume that security is not as important for them as it is for larger and more visible companies. While cloud computing can be a great benefit for data security for small businesses, that doesn’t mean you should take security for granted. It is still important for small business owners to protect their companies in the cloud with planning and careful due diligence.
As a small business owner, you need to follow several tips to ensure your cloud computing security:
- Assess your liabilities. In the event of a data breach resulting in the theft or loss of sensitive private data, you — not the cloud service provider — will likely be held liable.
- Understand compliance requirements. Certain industries have standards they must follow regarding how electronic data is stored, so if any of these requirements apply to your business, ensure that you are in compliance.
- Check for security or reliability certifications. Ask any potential cloud provider about the certifications that they might have. You can improve your cloud security by considering only providers with documented and verifiable security practices.
- Find out how potential providers work. First, study the marketing literature of any potential cloud provider, but also ask them directly for details about how their service works. Find out what levels and types of encryption they offer, what security controls are in place, how data will move, and where it is stored.
- Negotiate service levels. Some cloud providers will negotiate service levels that specify uptime percentages and the amount of time to respond to trouble calls. These agreements may include financial penalties or other discounts if the provider does not meet the terms.
The cloud has revolutionized the way that small businesses store and access data, but it is important that your company stays diligent when it comes to monitoring your service and responding to problems as they arise.