If you’ve only recently encountered the term “cloud” and want to learn why businesses in Western New York and all over the world are using it, download our eBook first.
The cloud lets organizations subscribe to the IT infrastructure and services of a provider to accomplish their IT operations. This subscription model is a boon especially for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) because it allows them to forgo capital-intensive investments in in-house tech and costly full-time hires.
Cloud computing also allows for immediate scalability. If a company was handling its own IT and needed more computing resources, it needed to find the space for more equipment, then spend time and money to build the new infrastructure. However, if that company had to scale down its operations, then it would underutilize its IT resources. But with the cloud, that same company can simply increase or decrease the provisioning of cloud services as needed and adjust payments accordingly.
With that said, not all businesses are built the same way, and their cloud requirements are different from one another. As a manager, you need to develop a cloud strategy to make the cloud work optimally for your business. Here are some items that you need to consider.
Look at your current IT infrastructure
Make an inventory of what you already have and use. A business with an on-premises data center will have different cloud requirements than those without one. Additionally, look into all of the cloud- and non-cloud-based solutions you’re already using. If your staff are already adept with Microsoft Office for desktops, then they’ll have an easy time transitioning to the cloud-based Office 365.
Set clear goals for migrating to the cloud
What exactly do you want to achieve by moving to the cloud? Are you moving to hosted data storage to save on costs? Do you want to establish data backup and disaster recovery protocols? Is it for supporting remote staff with the apps they need to accomplish their tasks? Clearly defining your goals will help you weigh the costs of cloud solutions against their supposed benefits.
In terms of effectiveness and efficiency, cloud-based solutions trump many in-house ones, but not all, so keep in mind that there may be non-cloud strategies that better serve your goals after all. For example, if you already have excess data storage space on-premises, then spending more on cloud space would be wasteful.
Identify which workloads are better off in the cloud
Hardcore users of Microsoft Excel have crashed their PCs on more than one occasion because they used spreadsheets that had tons of data and formulas. In other words, their machines couldn’t handle the workload.
Whether machines slow down to a screeching halt or crash altogether, the resulting downtime decreases productivity. In contrast, clouds use powerful machines with plenty of backups to mitigate downtime, so many resource-intensive workloads are better off in the cloud. However, you’ll need to factor in other considerations, such as regulations compliance and cybersecurity concerns before moving to the cloud.
Never take cybersecurity for granted
While data and workloads are often more secure in the cloud than when organizations protect these on their own, cloud cybersecurity must nevertheless not be taken for granted. That is, organizations must still do their part by vetting their cloud service providers, choosing the right cloud migration solutions, keeping a close eye on the cloud migration process, implementing the proper security configurations, and being vigilant over their clouds.
All in all, leveraging the cloud can be complex and fraught with peril if you don’t know what you’re doing. To start off on the right foot, get expert help from Capstone IT.
Learn more about the cloud
Interested in moving to the cloud? Gain more background information on how it works and why you need it by reading our free eBook: Demystifying the Cloud.