Although there remains particular organisations that either require or prefer on-premise infrastructure to house legacy systems and critical data, the transition of businesses and the wider economy to cloud computing is largely gathering pace.
In large part, this is due to the continued improvement of IT infrastructure, technology and network speeds.
According to Logicmonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud Study, 27 per cent of workloads will be run from on-premises servers in 2020, down from 37% in 2018.
That 10-percentage point change represents an enormous amount of workload being shifted to public, private and hybrid cloud systems.
As a result, over the next year many small and medium business owners will be considering migrating to the cloud.
There are many things to consider before engaging a cloud services provider, though.
Here are several questions that business owners should ask themselves early on in the decision-making process.
How much will it cost?
This is a fundamental question for you to answer. How much are you willing to spend? The good news is that the prices are competitive. And while buying your own server is a capital expense, cloud services are billed as a regular fee, which moves the cost into operational expenses.
Do you have a good enough internet connection?
Relying on cloud computing requires a network connection. If you are living in a region where you have poor broadband connection, or don’t have access to the 4G network, consider whether your business will work effectively from the cloud.
What are your business requirements?
Just like a real cloud, ‘the cloud’ is hard to pin down. It’s always changing, and different people can see different things when they use it. For some, the cloud may be their new outsourced hard drive, and that’s OK. Others, though, see the potential to run their entire business off the cloud to achieve new levels of collaboration and flexible working.
Do you have the right licenses for your software?
Your software may not be licensed for the cloud, and as a result you may have to pay a premium for that privilege. Some of your software may not work on the cloud at all. Before migrating, complete an audit of the software products you use and whether they will need to change.
Do you want to move entirely to the cloud?
This decision is not black and white, however with Better Online the majority of your data and applications will be in the cloud. We migrate your email, contact and calendar data across to Office 365 for free. Couple this with OneDrive and SharePoint services and you have a streamlined destination for your personal and company files accompanied by an intranet, while Skype for Business eliminates the need for an onsite conferencing system.
How do I ensure the security of my data as I make the switch?
Before signing with a cloud provider, it’s important to check whether they will assist with the migration of your data from your old system to the new system, and if so how much it will cost? If they don’t offer such a service, following a solidified backup policy is imperative to avoid the risk of losing vital data.
How do I get the most out of cloud?
You could move to the cloud and continue working as you did before but it would be a missed opportunity. Or, you could transform your workplace in a way that allows staff to work more collaboratively together while also being more flexible.
There’s a lot to think about when transitioning your business to cloud computing, and it’s not easy for business owners, or professional services either for that matter, to find the right answers to these questions, especially if they do not have access to in-house IT staff and insight.
Assessing the legitimacy of migrating to the cloud can be a stressful exercise, contact Better Online at better.online or call and we can help you in reviewing all of the above mentioned considerations and formulate the best plan of attack for your business.