Untangling the Cloud for Your Business
UCreate and develop a proper cloud strategy to ensure that your businees gets as many benefits as possible.
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Cloud computing offers comprehensive benefits to all organizations, but it can really make an impact on smaller companies. Moving your organization to the cloud can provide a competitive advantage for those that seek to compete against larger enterprises, or simply keep up with rapid technological changes. The question is, how do smaller companies untangle the myriad of opportunities the cloud provides?
Technology is always changing, and one of the best ways to keep pace is to turn to the cloud. But the cloud shouldn’t be adopted without proper preparation and planning. One major advantage to using the cloud is not requiring costly infrastructure to support. You don’t need to spend large sums of money to purchase on premise hardware and software. While larger enterprises have been able to take advantage of the benefits of cloud migration, it is now true for smaller companies to capitalize on those same advantages.
While being in the cloud gives small and mid-sized businesses amazing access to technology, there are still important considerations to keep in mind before moving to the cloud.
Organizational Planning and Buy-In
An organization can make technology available to its staff but it won’t be effective if it doesn’t include training and a concerted buy-in from your team to pursue cloud options. In many companies, the technological puzzle pieces fit but the staff are just not ready to accept them. There must be alignment and training to support the transition to the cloud.
From the beginning you need to have a plan – too often companies will charge forward with moving their data, workloads, and applications to the cloud, but they need to think about how to support, synchronize and share this data with partners, vendors and clients. That is why you need to work with someone who can understand the unique aspects of your business. You have to dive into the details and develop a cohesive plan, and as always, the devil is in the details.
We have seen too many unprepared technologists eager to move to the cloud. Every organization needs to consider its needs, requirements and capabilities carefully. Not every part of your company may be ready to make the move. That’s why it’s imperative you begin by conducting an assessment to analyze needs and itemize your company’s requirements from a technological perspective.
Establishing Cloud Security
As far as security is concerned, the cloud provides a very secure platform, but it doesn’t provide the expertise and experience necessary to understand your operations, data and your applications. The cloud is a public access resource. In effect, if not managed correctly, it expands your exposure and surface area to risk. Businesses need to take responsibility for managing that risk, and too often it is assumed to be included in the cloud platform. It’s important to empower your team to be security conscious and continue to take a layered approach to mitigate risk. For example, you still must continue to do the basics, including enforcement of your password and identify management policies.
If you have a mobile workforce, vulnerabilities can stem from both technical and people-related causes. Examples of technical issues include things such as improperly configured firewalls that enable hackers to access to your network or servers unproperly managed and patched. This all ties back to the need to have a strong IT service provider to help you navigate and overcome issues.
In a recent Logically survey, on IT trends and best practices, it was revealed that business decision makers would rather lose half their revenue growth for the year than half of their data. This is a powerful statement that underscores the importance of protecting a company’s data. Businesses need to think about how they deal with their customer’s information and protecting data is paramount.
The challenge from the cloud is that criminals may lurk anywhere in the world, and you may be an easy target if you don’t pay attention. The assumption that you are in the cloud, and therefore are protected, is unfortunate. The reality of adopting the cloud is that you need to have a resource to lead and advise you on what you need to do to protect your business.
It’s important to make sure your staff is vigilant to threats and understands hackers may “trick” employees into giving them access to their passwords. Ransomware via a phishing attack can force users to pay a ransom so files can be accessed. The dangers are many and therefore you need to engage in a service provider who can guide you through the possible minefields, including the recommendation of products that offer security with a sensible and appropriate budget.
Looking to the future, every organization, large and small, will likely depend on the cloud – so you need to take a strategic approach with a trusted partner to take advantage of today’s technology that aligns with your business future. Untangling the cloud so your organization is competitive, on budget and running smoothly can be easily accomplished with the help of an experienced managed IT service provider.
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