7 things you need to know about the cloud
Most business owners will have heard of the cloud, but may not yet understand what it’s truly all about. This basic primer will get you started.
1. The cloud is not just one individual thing
It refers to a range of internet-delivered services delivered by a range of vendors. Not all services will be useful for every business, but many will. A good private cloud provider will be able to assess your business needs and recommend services to help you run it in a better, more efficient and more robust way.
2. If you move a service over to the cloud, you don’t need to transfer everything else all at once
There can be benefits in doing so, but it’s not essential. For example, some businesses might choose to move over their email but retain a local file server, with the backup system delivered in the cloud
3. The cloud is flexible
Many businesses adopt a hybrid strategy, adopting public cloud applications that deliver ERP, CRM or line of business functionalities, while keeping their customised applications and data in a private, heavily controlled and secure cloud.
4. Private cloud options tend to offer better performance, flexibility and control
Public cloud services offer specific and more generalised applications, which tend to be more cost-effective. Both remove the need for software and hardware upgrades.
5. Businesses won’t always automatically save money by migrating applications and data to the cloud
However, there will be savings in terms of metrics that really matter to a business, such as data security, operational efficiency and scalability. A good provider will provide an ROI analysis for your business to help assess the real value in adopting cloud services.
6. Workflow analysis is a key component of bringing cloud services into your business
This will ensure you gain the desired efficiency gains. Ultimately, cloud deployment is only worthwhile if productivity gains can be achieved.
7. Business buyers are advised to understand the licensing options available for different cloud services
This is particularly the case with Microsoft products. If your business isn’t compliant, you could find yourself fined for misusing licenses. If you work with a good cloud hosting company, they will ensure this situation never occurs.