The benefits of cloud solutions to companies of all sizes are significant. However, only a few organizations believe that their available IT infrastructure is capable of addressing the proliferation of cloud computing, data analytics, social media, and mobile devices. At present, the cloud should be considered as it is critical to the success of both small and mid-size companies.
Things a Company Should Consider Before Moving to the Cloud
Many of the benefits of the cloud can be achieved with minimal upfront investment. However, companies should in a rush to move their entire businesses to the cloud. Some things are important and must be considered be any migration. The following are things to consider before deploying both external and internal cloud solutions:
Set clear objectives
When starting an IT project, ensure that you do so with measurable and clear business objectives. To begin with, there should be an agreement between the implementation team and the business sponsor when starting any cloud solution. The agreement should be regarding the phasing, timing, scope, and expected results of the project.
Consider when to integrate systems and existing data
There is the speed of implementation and simplicity in solutions that the cloud offers. Nevertheless, you should take time to understand the risks associated with moving the core of your business system to the cloud. Focus on projects that will have a direct impact on your engagements with customers. Also, data cleansing is important for any system of engagement.
Research solutions online
Ensure that you research cloud online solutions before contacting a provider. Many of the cloud solution vendors offer a free trial which can help you in assessing their solutions. You can also compare their solutions to any other one available in your environment. The evaluation you take time to do will be at no financial cost and it will help you get the best solution for your project.
Consider all costs
The initial purchase price should not be the only thing to consider; consider all costs. Some vendors may market their service at a reduced price, but their solution can end up costing you more in the long term. This is more evident when a service or project begins to scale. Therefore, ensure that you get the complete pricing and the full picture before deciding on the best solution for you.
Top Four Reasons to Consider Cloud Hosting
Small and mid-sized companies benefit from cloud-based hosting at every stage of their growth. This is because these companies face challenges that may not be a problem for larger companies in the same industry. Cloud hosting will help small and mid-sized companies overcome many issues. Here are four reasons to consider cloud-based hosting:
1. Scalability and Flexibility
The options available with cloud services range from fully managed custom cloud solutions to basic cloud packages. These services are tailored to meet specific needs. As the company grows and its priorities change, these services can be scaled to meet up new requirements.
The available options for cloud hosting include multi-cloud, private cloud, and public cloud. The multi-cloud combines local computing with the cloud and is dedicated to supporting different functions. The private cloud is dedicated to just a single user, while the public cloud is a low-cost solution that allows a remote host to share servers with many users.
Cloud service plans can be scaled as user’s business grows. This scaling may include more services, more applications, and more storage provided by the host. To meet an evolving need, users can opt for a private or multi-cloud solution. Plans can also be upgraded and downgraded as the need may be, allowing users to only pay for the service they need at a time.
The company's data stored in the cloud can be protected against malicious attacks and accidental loss resulting from earthquakes, floods, and fire. The protection of the vendor's systems and dedicated server hosting also covers the user from security threats and cybercrimes.
Nonetheless, there is still a need for users to also protect themselves. These include activities such as managing permissions and passwords, protecting data against cyber threats, human error, and physical damage by moving sensitive information to the cloud. Local networks cannot offer such protection because they cannot handle the resources to help do so.
3. Convenience and Collaboration
Access is typically limited to applications and data confined to local systems. Permission is only granted to such information at defined circumstances and time. However, there is no location and time constraint with a cloud-based hosting solution. For this reason, data stored in the cloud is available from anywhere in the world and at all times.
Company data stored in the cloud can be accessed by any user with permission and an internet-enabled device. This makes it possible to collaborate and interact across time zones from any place in the world. There is also constant access to relevant information access of data which can be managed and shared in real-time.
Most local hardware and storage machines need regular maintenance. There is also the need to expand both hardware and data storage as your business grows. The responsibility of maintenance and expansion falls on the shoulders of your IT team. This responsibility can be expensive to carry out.
The sheer size of service hardware, storage hardware, and other IT infrastructure can be very tasking for your IT team. However, using a cloud-based hosting service will help reduce some of the financial and IT burdens on both you and your employees respectively. It will also reduce the amount of investment you make in IT hardware.
In addition to the above reasons, partnering with a cloud-based hosting service will allow you to channel resources into other areas of your business. Instead of worrying about the IT aspect, you can focus on the core of your business. The policies, equipment, and procedure used by hosting vendors are standard. Therefore, be sure to get the best value when you implement a cloud solution.