Integrating the Cloud into your Business

Cloud Computing

Cloud-based software is fast becoming of intrinsic value to the business as the standard to many organisations. It is perceived that this is mainly down to low cost, and its simplicity, but there is much more to cloud for businesses than meets the eye.

Other Areas and Additional benefits are:

  • Scalability
  • Flexibility
  • Re-enforced Security

Cloud computing continues to affect and change the way organisations are doing business around the globe, and its increase in demand means it won’t be showing any signs of slowing down soon.

The cloud industry forum recently released figures showing the adoption rate in the UK at all-time highs of 88 per cent and a further 67 per cent of users are expecting to expand their cloud usage in the near future.

So it’s safe to say the cloud is here to stay – but how can your business integrate and benefit from its technology?

Determine your needs and requirement firstly through an Audit.
This is an excellent place to start, assessing what you currently have.

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What infrastructure are you using?
How are you using it?
Are your systems contracted? If so, until when?
Do you have back-ups already in place?

By assessment, you can then pinpoint what you can potentially move over to the cloud immediately and what may need to be integrated slowly.

Being clear on your current and future requirements for your business will give you clarity of where the cloud can help improve your current situation.

As an example is there an area where employee productivity could be increased?
If so, is this partly due to ageing systems and practises?
Are they slowing you down?
Will new client demand be able to be met with your current infrastructure?

All of these questions help to ascertain what you have and what your future business needs to support the migration process to the cloud, and when and how to manage it effectively.

Time to Change

Once you have decided that cloud based integration will be a benefit and you are looking to migrate some or all aspects of the business to the cloud, a clear transition plan is required.

Take stock of your in-house resources first and decide whether you need external support.

External Cloud Suppliers

When choosing a cloud supplier, do not rush into this, take your time and do your research to ensure you have an experienced company to assist you with the transition, check their industry credentials. A reputable web design company with solid track record is not made overnight, so look for results over a long period of time. Web design and cloud management go hand-in-hand so they should offer transitional support as well as ongoing support with maintenance.

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Having a plan in place of what needs to be moved, a timeframe in which to achieve it and a solid cloud management firm will make the transition smooth and minimise disruptions to your every business productivity. This is the biggest hurdle for businesses, the knowledge that it needs to be done but the worry about the actual process slowing you down. Engage the provider and your staff for maximum efficiency.

Keep it Simple at the Start

It is wise not to take on too much at the start when you make the initial transition to the cloud. Look to employ a phased transition plan; this usually works best as this allows for testing processes so that staff become familiar with them in test parts before everything is moved across.

Look to start with less time-consuming functions and the least sensitive areas to build confidence within your IT staff during adoption. Test runs should be carried out more than once to specify any potential areas of concern.

By phasing the transition you are leveraging against any potential disruption to productivity, and the ‘business as usual appearance’ is still apparent to your customers. This way you do not overload your staff with current work and learning the integration processes, and if you assess when your least busy time of the year is, this is the ideal time to make the move.

Conclusion

In this digital era incorporating the cloud into your everyday business practices will give you an edge. Operationally and financially it is low risk. It may seem like a leap of faith but when you plan it properly in advance and migrate it slowly across that jump isn’t so big after all.


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