How to assess if the cloud is right for your business

How to assess if the cloud is right for your business
October 3, 2016  |  BY

As time goes on, more and more companies are choosing cloud-based computing. And that’s a wise move. They save time and money, make life more convenient for employees, and can focus more on running their businesses.

But many are still on the fence. While cost is obviously a factor, the main issue is: will the cloud work?

In our experience of implementing the cloud for our clients, we’ve found the following areas most commonly affect success of the project:

Dollars and sense
Like any business decision, cost plays a huge role in implementing or rejecting the cloud. Some factors to consider: If you’re thinking about going with a private cloud, it’s important to not underestimate the launch costs. It can be more expensive than you realize. If you’re leaning toward a shared cloud experience, your overall bill will depend on how well (or how poorly) you plan the project. Whatever route you’re considering, we recommend that you create an in-house team to develop an accurate budget and to manage costs.

Manage your vendor
Despite all of the freedom the cloud provides, it also means you lose control of the efficiency and safety of the system. You may leave yourself open to lawsuits and government investigations even though, technically, you weren’t at fault for problems that occurred.

Stay on top of your vendor, and I don’t just mean in terms of making sure they’re providing the right service. They also have to meet governmental rules and regulations, so develop a way to assess their level of compliance.

Make the right technical adjustments
Don’t be fooled: it may be called “the cloud”, but the technology that drives these systems changes as rapidly as other technology categories.

Your IT staff needs to anticipate how the infrastructure must be updated to accommodate cloud advancements. Accordingly, you must have the proper budget in place for training and future technology purchases.

Lower the risk
Some organizations are still unsure about migrating due to concerns about data security, how to enforce security policies, and how to meet government regulations.

You can greatly reduce the risk by going with a private cloud service solution. This way, you have a dedicated server that can’t be accessed by other companies. It only includes your data, and only authorized people can connect to that server.

Create a smooth transition for operations
Change can be difficult for any department, no matter the initiative. This is especially common for operations that want to integrate a cloud-based service with their current mode of working.

We suggest that operations and development form a new type of relationship. Rather than being separate departments with individual responsibilities, they should partner to help install a solution that works for everyone. Not only does this approach lead to less disruption, it saves money over the long-term.