Cloud computing is being adopted in ever increasing numbers by businesses across the UK (and indeed globally). The digital landscape has evolved with the cloud an integral feature of business IT.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that every business has, nor indeed should they adopt cloud technology. While more and more are making the switch, we should also remember that there’s a significant number still to make the leap away from their old networks into the ‘brave new world’ of the cloud. And for wholly legitimate reasons.
For those small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) still exploring whether or not the cloud is the right way to go with their IT then a number of factors need to be considered to determine the feasibility of any migration – either in whole or part – to a cloud-based service.
Connectivity versus Applications
For the cloud to deliver a productive and efficient service your business needs to be running an internet connection which is robust enough to cope with the size and scale of file sharing that you need.
Whilst the cloud you opt for will offer a service with maximum uptime, if your internal internet connection is running on a low bandwidth capacity, you may find your system becomes slow. Such a scenario could therefore negate the productivity benefits the cloud can offer.
Businesses that work with very large file documents – graphics and media for instance, might have a particular issue with this. Working with a specialist IT consultant would allow you to take a tailored solution offering advice on increasing bandwidth to cope with your cloud demands or even providing a hybrid solution which would combine cloud services with more traditional local storage to match the needs of your company.
Let Your IT Consultant Assess Your Business Requirements
Rather than taking your business headlong into a cloud migration, work with an IT consultant with expertise in tailoring a system that works for you. By doing so you can expect a full audit of your current IT set up whilst analysing overall needs. Your IT is a crucial component of your business and your provider can be a key partner in ensuring your system matches the specific requirements of your company, be that cloud-based, local networking or a hybrid of different tools.
4 Considerations for your Business Needs
1. How much investment have you made in your current IT infrastructure?
If you’ve invested heavily in your existing IT system on hardware and networks, you need to balance the costs against long-term potential benefits of migrating to the cloud.
2. What security do you require on your data?
Your provider should recognise that security levels will differ for different industries ranging from data that can be safely shared in the public domain to highly confidential documents which are stored in hard copy only.
Whilst utilising the different cloud options may provide advantages in one area – as well as high levels of security – if you are working with extremely sensitive data then there may be a case for protecting this locally through high-security firewalls and similar measures.
Your IT consultant can work with you to ensure that any migration which occurs take into account every level of security needed to protect the integrity of your business.
3. How much training will your staff require?
Making any significant changes to your infrastructure or way of working is likely to involve a degree of training. Whilst cloud migration can often be a relatively simple procedure a business needs to consider the short-term impact of a new system roll-out before embarking on the change. Again working with an expert IT support provider offering a range of cloud and non-cloud solutions will allow you to make the choice most suited to your circumstances.
Your current IT set up may well come with a certain level of support and maintenance which you are comfortable with and suitably budgeted for. Understanding how any migration might alter the way in which your business is supported is a crucial factor in any feasibility study before you migrate to the cloud.
Migrating your IT system requires critical levels of scrutiny, analysis and diligence in order to make it cost-effective, user-friendly and, importantly – secure. And, while there are many well-established benefits for businesses to migrate to the cloud, from productivity improvements to savings in hardware and maintenance, it’s not the right option for every business. Indeed, in a large number of instances migrating wholly to the cloud may not represent the most effective solution for a given task or time.
Research within your industry; maybe companies similar to you have changed their IT, offering insight to the relative factors which may affect your business. And, of course, work closely with an IT expert who can provide a thorough, painstaking analysis of your business needs, ensuring that any migration or changes made are suitable, secure and rolled-out with minimal day to day disruption; leaving you with a robust, safe and cost-effective IT system able to meet every challenge.