Technology

Is the cloud right for your business?

September 5, 2014
TAGS cloud
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Cloud options can better handle some business challenges versus traditional in-house infrastructure for information technology needs.

Most small to mid-size businesses are trying to navigate the pros and cons of moving to the cloud. The most frequent considerations when moving to a cloud-computing model are the following:

Cost effectiveness. Cloud computing can be a cost-effective model for computing. The ability to turn up computing power like a utility is the flexibility businesses seek.

Up time and availability. Can your existing staff (and the infrastructure for your company) deliver more up time than some of the best-in-class cloud vendors?

Labor costs for support. The cloud model drives efficiency for labor cost savings. Payroll costs, management costs and turnover costs for in-house IT staff are significant factors in the total cost of ownership and support.

Network performance. You’ll need fast and reliable performance or your cloud migration will be a flop. What will network and data communications speed and performance be like? Get solid consulting advice from a firm that isn’t selling network pipelines.

Vendor management. Who would manage all of your IT vendors? Many outsourced information technology support vendors called managed service providers specialize in interfacing with your many application software, data communications, hardware, network and security vendors.

Risk management. Will your company data be secure? Risk management, data security and compliance are some of the most important considerations when moving your applications to cloud computing. Be sure to find the right fit.

Application readiness. Not all of your business software applications may be ready for the cloud delivery model. Were they written for web access and performance? Application readiness is a key component to software-as-a-service delivery. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. You don’t have to take a “big bang” approach to moving everything to the cloud.

Reliable Internet service. What happens if the Internet service goes down? Redundant Internet failover is critical to planning for executive and end user happiness when that first Internet outage happens.

End user support. Increase the focus on end user happiness with movement to the cloud. Will the customer service experience be a good one? Plan for timely response and proper prioritization with an organization that understands business and service operations. In most cases, it doesn’t matter where your company software applications reside so long as the end user customer support is great and your users are productive.

Know where to get started. Often it’s difficult to know where to start in your movement to cloud computing. Start with office applications like hosted email or cloud backup solutions.

Businesses are embracing the changes that cloud computing provides. Developing a business and technical roadmap is the first step toward reaping the benefits of these exciting and inevitable changes.