9 Questions for Small Businesses Considering Cloud (2021 Guide)
Cloud for Small Businesses: Small businesses are clouded with advice when it comes to adopting cloud technologies. The companies with deep pockets have all done it. But is it worth the investment for a small business? How much does it even cost..? Hundreds? Thousands?
Short answer is it depends on
1. How many applications you move to the cloud.
2 How complicated the connections are between your applications.
We fixed that with our Cloud Builder tool. You can deploy applications to the any cloud with a few clicks (without paying for an expensive expert).
If you want to change clouds. You just switch.
How did we do this? Well we’ve been helping companies move to the cloud for years. So we used our experience to build a tool that helps us. You can click here to find out more.
But first let’s look at if moving to the cloud is even the correct right choice for your company.
We summarised the most important questions you should ask if you are considering moving to the cloud as a small business.
1 What can I do with the cloud?
You can use cloud technology for almost anything these days from business applications, file storage and sharing, email communications, calendars and contacts. Simply put, your cloud technology is a fast and secure way of sharing data with staff or customers.
2 How does it work?
The data you have stored on your computer is copied to a network of servers so you can access it from anywhere using any device that has an internet connection. You can backup your data on demand which provides additional security.
3 Do I need to change the technology I am using?
Not necessarily, many cloud providers offer software applications that you can use alongside your existing programs. This will mean you won’t have to worry about changing all of your business processes or retraining staff.
4 What are the costs involved?
Typically, cloud services are paid for on a subscription basis, which means you only pay for what you use and there are no hidden fees or large upfront payments. You should look at different providers to find one that meets your budget. It will depend on the size of your business but typically the prices can range from £10 to £100 per month. The most popular cloud providers are Google, Azure and Amazon Clouds.
5 Do I need any special equipment?
You will need a connection to the internet and your computer along with standard office equipment like fax machines, printers, scanners. Cloud technology means any device you use to access your files (a mobile phone for example) does not require extra software. You can access your files from every device at the same time.
6 Is it a fit for my business?
The cloud is not ideal for every type of organization. If your company’s primary focus is on storing and performing computations on sensitive information like credit card information, the cloud may not be the best option because you will need to keep this data behind your firewall. But most other types of organizations can benefit from the cloud.
7 What do I need to worry about when moving data or applications?
If you move your company’s email service from Microsoft Exchange to Google Mail, for example, you will have a seamless transition. However, if your organization is running business-critical applications with in house developed code on premise and you want to move them to the cloud, this will be much more difficult. Your organization’s developers need to determine how to adapt these applications so they can run on a secure and reliable platform like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
8 Do you have any questions about the actual migration process?
When you move data to the cloud it is important that all of your employees fully understand what is happening. You need to include them in the process so they are prepared for any issues that may arise, including potential outages. Have a defined plan of action so you can minimize downtime if something does happen.
9 Who will manage the migration?
When you choose to move part or all of your IT operations to the cloud, it is important to have a contingency plan which addresses who will be responsible for managing this transition. Will you hire an outside consultant? Will someone from your IT department work on this full time? Having a clear understanding of how the migration process will be managed will bring some peace of mind during this potentially stressful time.
We are available to support your cloud journey whatever your size – you can write to us or call us on our contact page here.
| Cloud for Small Businesses Experts |