8 Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Switching To The Cloud
You’ve said it before, but now you’re ready: this is the year you will be switching to the Cloud at your company.
You’re not alone. One study found that almost 80% of US small businesses are going to be using the Cloud by 2020. Why are companies making the switch?
You can store company data and run critical applications on secure servers that are offsite and accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. You can use the cloud to backup files, so you’re your critical data is always there in case something unplanned happens.
The Cloud also reduces IT expenses, helps streamline workflow processes, provides flexibility in data management and that’s just for starters. But the Cloud, remarkable as it is, won’t deliver all of these benefits automatically. To make the Cloud work for your business, you’ve got to be aware of common pitfalls and avoid them.
- Not Planning or “Under” Planning
Don’t assume that the Cloud is a one-size fits all package. And don’t think that all providers are created equal. Your company’s IT needs are unique, and you need to look for the right match for them. Before you start your search for a Cloud solution, do your homework. Get strategic. Why are you going to the Cloud? What are your IT goals and priorities? If there are multiple decision makers in your company, get input from all of them.
- Failing to Anticipate Your Bandwidth Needs
Can your current Internet access provide you and your team with an adequate, reliable connection to the Cloud? You might need to connect with your provider and discuss your expectations for increased usage once you make the switch. You want enough bandwidth so you everyone on your team has efficient access when switching to the Cloud.
- Assuming Your Data Will Be Backed Up to the Cloud and Secured
A common mistake and a seriously scary one that many small businesses make is thinking that the Cloud services supplier backs up data. This is not always the case. Make sure the provider you go with has a plan in place to regularly backup your data. If not, make sure you do.
- Not Securing Your Data And Ignoring Privacy Laws
Obviously, you want your data to be secure. Check with your prospective provider to see how they handle potential security issues. Check with the provider to make sure they are compliant with your industry’s regulating agency if there is one. Check to see if they have had any issues with information security in the past and what they’re doing to prevent future issues.
- Putting Cost Ahead of Service/Support
You get what you pay for, right? No one wants to overspend, but at the same time, service and support are critical to your success in switching to the Cloud. A cut-rate price can cost you in the long run. When you have a question, it’s nice to know you have a partner that will reply quickly.
- Overlooking the Value of Your Existing IT Assets
Now that you’re Cloud-bound, there’s a lot of equipment you won’t need. So you’re going to pay someone to haul it away or maybe donate it to a worthy cause. Stop right there! There’s a huge secondary market for used tech gear, providing you with an excellent opportunity to re-coup your IT investment. Check out companies who are active in this secondary market, like MarkITx, and see if you can make some deals.
- Failure to Test and Train
As with any change, there will be a bit of pushback and struggles to adapt. Create a plan now for transitioning to the cloud. Create new procedures for your staff to follow as they move to using the Cloud for their tasks. Talk to them about the benefits of the Cloud to the company and encourage them to look for ways to improve their procedures even more. The success and efficiency of the business is their success too.
- Not Planning an Exit Strategy
Stuff happens. Sometimes the best plans don’t deliver. If you want to cut loose from your Cloud service, how will you get out of the relationship with your data intact and in a format you can use? Plan for this possibility early on or regret it later.
The Cloud has been great for some businesses. Small companies are finding savings, efficiencies and dramatically improved reliability by using the Cloud in a variety of ways. If you’re planning on switching to the Cloud, hopefully the advice above can help make the transition easier.