Let’s just be clear from the get-go: one cloud does NOT fit all. It’s true that cloud computing technology can lead to some major benefits, including reduced spending, business mobility, greater efficiency and more – but today we see hundreds of cloud providers boasting the exact same benefits. When businesses see this, they assume they can play eenie-meenie-miney-mo and get a magical solution to fix their business operations.
Our suggestion? Don’t choose your provider or solution at random! Do deeper research to identify the strengths of each provider. Why? Because the cloud comes in all different shapes and sizes, including public, private and hybrid models, and some providers might not be able to give you exactly what you need. In that case, you’d be wasting time and money while seeing no business progress.
When deciding whether or not to move to the cloud, you first have to consider what you want. Everything depends on your business’ needs and goals.
So, plan ahead! Because the cloud is worth the planning time. You should step back and truthfully identify your business’ problems, expectations and goals. If you begin the process by trying to decide which cloud service to use, you’ve already missed a step. First, decide what parts of your business make sense in the cloud. Identify your strengths and weaknesses before moving forward. Let’s take a look at how different sized businesses require different cloud solutions.
Small businesses still require up-to-date IT resources to run smoothly, even with their limited budgets. The cloud can help. A small business solution has to be flexible and scalable, with a pay-as-you-go option. This allows the business to only pay for what it uses, which is much more affordable than typical CapEx spending. This type of cloud solution allows a small business to play on a level playing field with larger organizations without breaking the budget.
For a medium business, the issues are slightly different. These organizations focus on growth, and need a solution that can grow as they grow. These organizations also have higher expectations when it comes to software and technology tools, and the cloud can give them access to these resources. In this case, the cloud solution needs to be one that is scalable and offers leading technology applications.
And when it comes to large businesses, the focus switches again. These organizations need to manage all the IT resources while remaining innovative – and that can be a lot of responsibility for an in-house IT team alone. With the right cloud provider, these larger organizations get around-the-clock support and management for their system, allowing them to focus on moving the business to the next level. This cloud solution requires excellent uptime and security with great customer support.
These three examples display only a few ways in which one business’ cloud solution may differ from another’s. That’s why it’s important to establish a plan before making the move.
And when you do decide to make the move, you don’t have to do it all at once. You probably want to start with systems that are easiest to move, saving mission-critical items for the end. This will reduce interruptions during your transition. This also allows you to take time to understand how your business works in the cloud, and decide exactly how you want to move forward. Once you get going, it’s easy to scale your service up or down and move new systems into the cloud.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it won’t solve every single one of your business problems. But that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit the majority of organizations.