The cloud lets firms leverage the IT resources of a service provider to achieve their IT-related goals. For small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in particular, outsourcing data storage and access tasks allows them to focus on their business proposition. This means that, among other things, they can forgo allocating capital to acquire IT infrastructure. They can also skip spending on hiring, training, and retaining in-house IT specialists.
Scaling resources is also simplified by cloud computing since the service provider already has the requisite resources at its disposal. If during peak seasons, you need more provisioning, you just need to discuss it with your provider to get it. The same goes for reducing provisioning during lean seasons. No need to buy and set up IT servers of your own and risk having high-tech paperweights.
With all things considered, however, not all organizations are the same. That is, your cloud prerequisites are not quite the same as another’s. Therefore, you must have a cloud migration strategy so that your cloud is optimized for your business. Here are a few things that you have to evaluate.
1. What do your present IT systems already have?
Make an inventory of the cloud- and non-cloud-based arrangements you're utilizing. If you have an on-premises (on-prem) data center, you’ll have different cloud prerequisites than if you didn’t have that data center. Furthermore, if your staff are already at ease with desktop versions of Microsoft Office, they'll have no problems adopting the cloud-based Microsoft 365.
2. How’s your cybersecurity?
Business owners and managers make the mistake of assuming that the cloud service provider (CSP) will handle every cloud-related cybersecurity issue. First of all, not all CSPs are created equal, so you must vet them first. Secondly, you need to pick the proper cloud migration solution, watch over the migration process, and configure your cloud with data security in mind. Thirdly, while most providers promise state-of-the-art security on their end, you’ll still have a slate of responsibilities on your end. In short, don’t take cloud cybersecurity for granted.
3. What are your objectives for migrating to the cloud?
In a way, migrating to the cloud is like repotting a plant — you don’t do either just for the heck of it. When it comes to flora, a gardener would repot if their plant has outgrown its receptacle. It could be that the plant has become rootbound and needs to be rescued. Or, the plant has propagated itself to the point that it can be split into two pots.
In a similar fashion, you’d want to move to the cloud because you’ve outgrown your on-prem infrastructures and want to add to your current capacity. Perhaps your current IT systems are a mess and you’re hoping to streamline them with a bespoke cloud solution. Or perhaps you’ve determined that you need robust backup and disaster recovery systems.
The cloud is for making your business more cost-efficient
It might very well be the case that, like a plant that doesn’t need to be repotted, your business doesn’t need to be in the cloud yet. To illustrate, if your on-prem systems still have enough capacity to handle increased workloads, then taking on cloud expenses will most likely be excessive.
With that said, however, the cloud offers so many economical benefits that it doesn’t hurt to prepare your business for eventual migration. For instance, if you project that your desktops won’t be able to handle the next round of Windows operating system upgrades, then you’ll have to replace your machines. One very cost-effective strategy is to use inexpensive thin clients that connect to Microsoft 365 in the cloud. If you decide to go down this route, you’ll want to start making your IT infrastructure ready for it.
Of course, there are more reasons to migrate than these, but the point is that you need to have clear objectives for moving to the cloud. These will help you weigh the costs of cloud solutions against their proposed benefits.
Businesses of all sizes across the United States rely on SimplyClouds for all of their cloud needs. To learn more about what moving to the cloud entails, download our eBook today.