Before Moving Your Business to the Cloud

Before Moving Your Business to the Cloud: What you need to know

If you’ve been hearing good things about the cloud, it means you have probably been paying attention. More and more companies are finding this to be an ideal solution for their everyday needs, and that has not gone unnoticed. This might have you thinking about switching to the cloud, and that’s not a bad thing to consider. However, before you make the jump, there are certain things that you need to know. Let’s go over a few of those things now, to make sure that you don’t make a move for which you are not prepared.

Think About Your Security Needs

A cloud can be deployed with different levels of security, depending on the needs of the client. Obviously, the average home user doesn’t have very serious security needs. Of course, those who are running a business out of their home (or those who have a lot more money) might be the exception. However, this is usually a concern for businesses.

In general, you just have to think about how likely you are to get robbed. If you deal with valuable merchandise of one sort or another, you are certainly more likely to be targeted. This is important because cloud providers can set you up with a private cloud or a public cloud, depending on how important security is for you.

A private cloud will put some responsibility on you, especially when it comes to the upkeep and maintenance of your private server. Since a server is essentially the gateway between you and the internet, a private network requires a private one. A public cloud is a lot easier for you to use, but it’s also a lot easier to hack. If you aren’t sure, you can always go with a hybrid approach for more versatility.

Maintain A Physical Backup System

One of the primary purposes of the cloud is data backup. When all of your data is concentrated in one place, it becomes a lot easier to maintain duplicates of all important records. Most cloud providers will do this automatically, even if you didn’t ask them to do so. This is because they know how frequently data loss can occur.

In spite of this, you should be aware that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. As such, it is always possible that something could go wrong with your cloud-based backups. If that happens, you need to have another option. That’s why you should continue to do on-site backups using physical media that is owned by your company.

It is best for your physical backups to be stored in such a way that they cannot be accessed from the internet. Likewise, they need to be kept in a locked room, and it’s best if you don’t clearly label the door. Ideally, you want very few people in the company to know where that backup computer is located. Most people don’t need this information anyway, so it shouldn’t be that hard.

Do Some Research On Your Vendor

As with any service that you might purchase, it is important to do your homework. Before you sign anything or agree to any deals with your cloud provider, you need to seek out some reviews and testimonials. You should also check to see if they have been involved in any known data breaches. If that company is disreputable or negligent, you need to know right away.

If you aren’t sure where to begin with this, you can just do a simple internet search. Use the company’s full name and add “reviews” or “testimonials.” Of course, you should remember that not all reviews are honest. Sometimes, companies will hire people to do “review-bombs” (aka large numbers of bad reviews) on their rivals. To avoid this, you should look for consistent complaints and pervasive trends, as those are much harder to fake.

It May Or May Not Save You Money

In most cases, switching to the cloud is a cheaper option. When you factor in the cost of IT staff, equipment, maintenance, and repair, it usually is an easier option to outsource those responsibilities. Instead of paying all these bills, you get everything consolidated into one bill. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your new bill will be any lower than the old ones!

In some cases, switching to the cloud may not be cost-effective for your company. If your needs are small enough to be met with a single server and 1-5 IT employees, you probably have no need for the cloud. In fact, you might end up spending more money than you save. Conversely, businesses with large-scale needs will definitely save money.

We recommend that you do a pre-cloud audit and a post-cloud audit. Before switching to the cloud, take inventory of all your IT costs and figure out how much you are paying per month. After that, you have a figure with which to compare the costs of the cloud. After switching, you will want to do another audit to make sure that all of those savings actually materialized.

Clean And Sort Before You Switch

If you are thinking about switching to the cloud, it is likely that you are experiencing problems with your current IT setup. If so, you need to be careful that those problems do not follow you to the cloud. For instance, many computer systems can become overwhelmed with old junk and useless records. When switching to the cloud, you can take the opportunity to get rid of this stuff. Remember, when you use the cloud, you are paying for the amount of storage you use, so you can save money by eliminating all that useless garbage.

Conclusion

The most important thing is to thoroughly evaluate your data setup before making the move to the cloud. Even if you think everything is working well, there is always room for improvement. With a little planning and forethought, it can be a smooth move that causes little to no disruption in your activities. For some others, it might require careful and meticulous planning. Either way, we hope that this article has been helpful to you. If so, please fill out the contact form below.