One-third of the 650 companies claimed the cost of moving to a cloud-based platform was higher than originally expected.
Saving money and staying on pace with technology are two fundamental practices to surviving and thriving in the 21st century. All small business owners are looking for a way to trim their bottom lines while not falling behind when it comes to software and hosting capabilities. Cloud computing, while not a new phenomenon, offers companies a way to achieve both of these ideals, and several others as well. But as with any new approach to your business, you must perform due diligence to ensure you approach this transformation prepared and able to make the right decisions. Here are some of the steps you must take to enter the Cloud world confident and on course for success:
Compare Your Best Options
As with most small business services, you have options–and a lot of them. But unlike most services in your industry, you may not know what you’re getting into. One of the major factors to compare is the amount of storage space available from each service. Buying the correct amount of storage for the quantity and size of the files being stored is important—and always remember to consider the possible need for additional space in the future.
Accessibility is also a major factor in choosing a cloud hosting company. In addition to finding and accessing your files efficiently, some businesses will need users to share access to a file. These types of situations may also require you to call in to your provider for assistance, so be sure to research their customer service reviews from current clients. And last but not least: security. Fast accessibility is nothing without the promise of protection. Inquire about log-in procedures, how files are backed up, and all other industry-related security questions you can think of.
Ask Yourself – Does My Business Really Need the Cloud?
Many companies make the mistake of joining the Cloud “because everyone else is doing it.” Not only is this an irresponsible business practice, you can be complicating your daily processes for no reason and spending a lot of money in the process. Cloud computing is not inexpensive, and while it can definitely help the day-to-day for many types of businesses, you need to make sure it is money well spent.
According to a KPMG International February 2013 Cloud Survey report, one-third of the 650 companies who participated claimed the cost of moving to a cloud-based platform was higher than originally expected. Your main focus when it comes to price should be – “What am I getting for my money?” As stated above, you should always begin your company research knowing exactly what you need and compare the services of each potential host. If the future of your company will benefit from the Cloud you can certainly find a provider to make it worth your while.
Teach Your Team Before the Jump
Even if your company operates in the software sector, asking your employees to “give it a go” when it comes to Cloud computing is not a smart approach. The truth is, this process is new to everyone and you want them all to be on the same page and able to ask questions. If you explain to them how it works and how it will speed up their daily processes, they will most likely be more open to learning how to use it, too.
By now everyone has probably heard of Cloud computing. As the owner/manager of your company you should know where your team stands and whether you need to start from square one—ask questions to find out where to begin teaching. People are afraid of the unknown, so be sure to answer every question in detail. Also, it is never a bad idea to have a representative of the Cloud company you choose on hand, whether virtually or in-person. Their presence offers comfort, accountability, and a host of other mental benefits for your team.
Once you have found the ideal Cloud services for your company, priced out who has the best packages and prepared your team for the migration, you should be ready to make a leap of faith into the Cloud of your choice.
Cloud computing certainly makes sense for a lot of small businesses. Whether you decide to give it the green light or not, researching the possibilities and discussing it with your team will at least let you know how you stand either way. And if you are ready to make the jump, study up and give yourself a solid landing to look forward to.