Many small businesses are wary of moving to the cloud but they need not be. Take a lesson from large businesses: Almost all of them are now operating from the cloud and getting better, less expensive results. It’s worth your time to take a closer look at cloud solutions for a small business. Here’s why:
- Cloud solutions are more secure.
- IT infrastructure expenses are kept to a minimum.
- The cloud is accessible from anywhere in the world.
- It’s easier to maintain and easier to adjust up or down when necessary.
- Data, including backups, are stored on multiple servers to ensure business continuity.
Learn more about the advantages of cloud computing for business.
Step 1. Develop a Cloud-First Strategy
To do this you need to assess and prioritize your data. The strategy must be understood and embraced by everyone in the company, not just the IT team and managers, but every single person, even if their job has nothing to do with IT.
In order to get a competitive edge and tap the greater profitability benefits of the cloud, everyone has to be on board. It has to be an all-encompassing effort.
There could be several goals for moving all applications to the cloud and out of their present data centers. For some the goal is to move all applications. For others, “cloud first” might mean just moving a subset of applications to the public cloud. That’s why the very first thing to do is to assess and prioritize what should go where. To do so, create:
- A cloud computing baseline.
- A business baseline.
- A services strategy.
- Financial models.
- An assessment of where you are at the onset.
- An alignment of security, governance, compliance and other elements.
Step 2. Find the Talent to Help You Make the Move
You can either hire in-house or outsource.
Hiring in-house can be challenging and stressful. There are presently over a million IT job openings in the U.S. and not enough qualified applicants to fill them.
To find the best of what’s currently out there, you need to advertise the positions, scan applicants’ resumés, set up interviews, do the actual interviewing and finally choose which applicants are best for your company. Once you make an offer, you hope they will accept and you also hope they will stay with the company long enough to justify the time and cost of finding them.
When you hire in-house staff, you also have to consider retraining any existing teams, as well as raising their salaries to match market levels for cloud roles. Consideration also needs to be given to the changes to your organizational structure and operating procedures, and the cost to adopt agile DevOps practices across the IT organization.
When you migrate to a cloud with existing staff, there’s a loss of productivity because the people who are migrating are not doing the job for which they were hired. Running duplicate versions of the same system during a migration cutover period is also a concern.
Hiring a cloud managed service provider (MSP) is simpler and usually more cost effective. MSPs know cloud migration inside and out. They can build and administer a private, public or hybrid cloud based on your organization’s needs. Because they work 24/7/365 on your IT, including migration to the cloud, it frees up your staff to deal with growth and customer satisfaction issues. The MSP will handle IT problems and issues.
From the day you contract with them. MSPs handle challenges like determining and policing the privacy of stored data, confirming compliance with data privacy legislation and recovering from outages.
Hiring an MSP to handle your cloud migration has the added bonus of better security. MSPs are not only cloud experts, but security experts. They know the right configurations to secure your new cloud environment. Then they will be there to support and maintain it, proactively working to keep your systems humming.
Questions About Cloud Solutions for a Small Business?
Learn more about how Convergence Networks can benefit your business. Contact us.