Businesses are discovering the advantages of switching to cloud services. These benefits include factors such as guaranteed security and software updates, backup services that eliminate the need for redundant tasks, controlled costs, and a simpler management process. By aligning themselves with a cloud service provider that offers flexibility, for both growth stages and periods that require a business to scale down, companies can gain access to a customized level of service. However, it can be a process to determine the best time and method to transition your business to the cloud. Let’s start by examining several of the benefits that can be gained through switching to cloud services.
Why Your Company Should Look into Cloud Computing
There are numerous ways that your business can benefit from virtualization. A few of these conveniences are increased flexibility and security, the ability to better organize resources, improved productivity and time and cost savings.
- When you transition your business from physical to virtual servers there is the potential for increased flexibility. With cloud computing you can transfer resources in moments and adjust your virtual assets such as disk space and RAM according to your immediate needs.
- With a private cloud the proper physical and network security ensure that your data is secure.
- Virtualization allows you to gain the most benefit out of your physical servers. You have the ability to virtualize five servers on a single physical server rather than take up space with multiple physical servers that have limited storage capacity.
- Businesses that transition to cloud services tend to have a simpler time training employees and determining compatibility. This allows all employees to gain access to the same tools and resources, which eliminates the problems caused by outdated software and formatting issues.
- Saving time and money is another advantage of switching to the cloud. This is because it can be more cost effective and less time consuming than using multiple physical servers.
What to Look for before You Move to the Cloud
The top cloud storage services for business make the process of sending your files to the cloud simple, safe, and economical. Once your information has been stored they should continue to back up the work of your organization for the duration of your stay with them. The best cloud service providers make it convenient and secure for you to share files with the members of your company and other business contacts. Before you select a service provider you should evaluate several key features:
- Security – Sending private information about your business and clients to the cloud should not expose your company to risk. Extensive precautions should be taken with cloud services to protect that information and the best providers should encrypt your information and allow you to produce your own encryption key as well. Having your own key in place will aid in further protecting your information so that even employees for the business cloud service will not be able to access it.
- Storage Capacity – There are a great number of different storage needs, and your cloud service provider should be able and willing to customize storage options for the specific needs of your business. The ability to expand or scale down storage capacity and plan ahead for future business needs is ideal.
- Ease of Access – While your information should be secure, it also needs to be accessible to you, your employees, and even clients that may need to access the information remotely. This should be a simple process with syncing capabilities and branding instruments that leave a good impression on clients.
- Features – The components that make up your cloud storage service should function to make both your transition and the ongoing backups of your data smoother. The leading cloud storage firms use the newest technologies to make the most of storage and bandwidth capabilities.
- Support – Any questions or concerns that come up with your cloud storage should be responded to in a prompt and effective manner. The best service providers will give you access to support through the phone, live chat, and email during times that are convenient for you.
Switching over to Cloud Storage
Although your business will be able to benefit in many ways by transitioning to the cloud, there is a good deal of change that will need to occur within your company. In order to make sure that you switch over successfully, it is helpful to ease into the transition with clear communication and an effective training process. The following are several ways that can support your move to the cloud:
- Work Within the Framework of Your Company Culture – Every organization has cultural influences that can impact their ability to move forward with change. Keep this in mind and use it to your advantage when you are beginning the process of a transition.
- Put out the Message – Taking the time to communicate with those who will be influenced by the change will help reduce apprehension and resistance. This can be achieved in many ways and should be done in a manner that is harmonious with your company culture.
- Seek Executive Support – Administrative assistance will give you the benefit of a communicator with the authority to gain understanding and support within the company.
Everyone in your company that will be impacted by cloud computing should be aware of three things:
- The reasons behind the company’s switch to cloud services.
- The benefits that the organization will gain through the move.
- The specific impact that the move will have on each individual.
Once the message has been communicated the next step is to train your staff. Even if the move to cloud computing will only have a minimal impact it will still require a degree of training. The specific training will vary by job function but if any of the following are taking place then you should create a plan for the necessary preparation:
- A large portion of the company workload will be moved to the cloud.
- Processes within the company will change after the move.
- Your staff will require the use of your cloud provider’s tools.
When should you make the Transition?
Today there are numerous business software companies that offer affordable cloud service solutions, which make it an ideal time to determine if cloud services are right for your business. If the following factors impact your company it may be time to look into transitioning to the cloud:
- If you’re facing the prospect of spending money to purchase additional equipment and paying employees to put in the hours to install it, then it may be more cost effective for you to pay for only what you need with a cloud service provider.
- If you don’t want productivity to be stifled as your business grows then the simple process offered by cloud services to increase your resources can support your business during its growth phases.
- If you want to avoid the hassle of installing updates, your cloud service provider can take care of this.
- If your business would benefit from the mobility offered by cloud services, which would allow you and your employees to access information anywhere there is an internet connection.
- If you want to reduce the workload of your IT department then this something you can achieve with the cloud.
Business cloud storage is a good move for any organization that wants to protect their data from theft, a natural disaster, or any potentially detrimental event. Essentially, it is a good idea for almost any type of business. By evaluating the structure and needs of your company it is possible to work with a cloud service broker to find the best fit for your business.
What strategies are you using to transition to the cloud<? Share below.
Matt Smith works for Dell and has a passion for learning and writing about technology. Outside of work he enjoys entrepreneurship, being with his family, and the outdoors.