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 various vendors. Not all services will be helpful for every business, but many wills. An excellent private cloud provider will be able to assess your business needs. He will help recommend services to help you run it in a better, more efficient and more robust way.

2. If you move a service over, 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 environment.

4. Private-cloud options offer better performance, flexibility and control.

Public cloud services provide 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 permanently automatically save money by migrating applications and data to the cloud.

However, there will be savings in metrics that 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 actual value of adopting cloud services.

6. Workflow analysis is crucial for bringing cloud services into your business.

This will ensure you gain the desired efficiency gains. Ultimately, cloud deployment is only worthwhile if a company can achieve productivity gains.

7. Business buyers must understand the licensing options for different services.

This is particularly the case with Microsoft products. If your business isn’t compliant, you could be fined for misusing licenses. If you work with a good cloud hosting company, they will ensure this situation never occurs.

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