Is my business ready to move to the cloud?

Cloud computing

Assessing your current systems

An important feature in many businesses is technology. We now rely more and more heavily on our IT systems and put increasing pressure on our existing infrastructures.

Think about the systems that are currently in place at your business. Are they struggling to keep up with the businesses demands?

With technologies rapidly developing, there is a solution which could help relieve these pressures – Cloud Computing.

Cloud computing is where a user can access systems via a network. Instead of only being able to use your personal computer to access a system, users can now access the systems from anywhere in the world, via any device. This provides many advantages to a business, including:

  • Better work-flow
  • Improved mobility
  • Increased productivity
  • Opportunity for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Knowing when to upgrade

Now that you know more about the cloud and how it can help your business, if you’re looking up upgrade, how do you know when you should make the move?

Here are 5 simple pointers to help you decide when your business should implement cloud computing:

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  1. Is your business going mobile?
    Businesses are constantly changing and with the popularity of Smartphones and tablets, it is imperative that staff want to be able to access data and applications whilst they are on the go. If some of your staff already work from home, need to access files when travelling or in a meeting, or you would like your workforce to be more mobile in the future, then upgrading to the cloud is the best solution. This gives your employees access to resources as and when they need them, anywhere in the world.
  2. Is your existing IT infrastructure no longer sufficient?
    If you look at your current IT infrastructure, consider whether it is providing you with everything you need to run your business efficiently. If your server is over three years old, it may require more and more maintenance to keep it running smoothly. If you’re looking to upgrade your infrastructure, then this is the perfect time to decide whether moving to the cloud would benefit your business.
  3. Is your business growing?
    When your business grows, you need to consider whether your server will be able to cope with these additional demands. By moving to the cloud, you have a much more scalable structure, perfect for a growing or fluctuating business.
  4. Do you find it difficult having unexpected costs?
    With a server, you never know when you may need to pay out on additional work. If it fails, you may have a peak in expenditure for the month. However, with cloud computing, you are able to budget much more effectively, with a monthly fee and no unexpected costs.
  5. Have you recently experienced down-time?
    For all businesses, down-time means a loss of money. Whether this was from your server failing or from power or weather promblems, cloud computing can solve this. The cloud is set up so even if there is a server failure, you should still have access to your systems via a back-up server, making your business much more productive.

Dealing with change

When you plan to move to the cloud, although it can bring many advantages, it is also important to consider the risks associated with moving to new technologies.

Firstly, you should consider latency. This is because there could be a time delay where staff cannot access the old or new systems while everything is being switched across. This can cause problems, however, with advanced planning, any effects of this kind can be minimised.

As with any new piece of technology, there can also be resistance from staff, especially if they do not understand why the change has taken place, how it can benefit them, or if they do not know how to use the new system. With thorough training and briefing, any worries can be reduced and system adoption can be increased.

Most importantly, consider all the angles first and then make sure you put plans in place to avoid as much disruption as possible.