The Pain Points: Small Enterprise Transition to the Cloud
Transitioning to the cloud can create pain points within the small enterprise. The following post details these pains in an effort to help IT managers understand the nuances of moving to the cloud.
Fortunately, the pains of cloud migration are substantially less than those of managing physical infrastructure. IT managers simply need to be aware of possible complications during the transition process.
Finding skilled personnel who understand the nuances of the cloud can be challenging. These human resources, who provide the expertise to quickly solve cloud-related business problems, are highly sought after in the IT world.
Solution: IT consultancies and cloud computing providers provide the most employment opportunities for the personnel with IT infrastructure and technology development knowledge. If your small enterprise is serious about transitioning to the cloud, consider working with a partner with ready access to the most skilled talent in cloud architecture and migration.
Temporary system outages
As the volume of data travelling over corporate networks grows (in small and large enterprises alike), businesses fear the potential costs of downtime. Pressing ‘pause’ on the data stream, even to complete a necessary update, can spell disaster for positive customer experience and revenue generation.
Solution: Downtime no longer needs to be a concern when transitioning to the cloud. Real-time data replication allows critical data sets to be backed-up, stored and transitioned to a new storage location without downtime. The real issue becomes adequately planning the timeline for migration. Migrating to the cloud requires a substantial amount of dedication and effort, starting with an understanding of your small enterprise business requirements. Make the planning a priority, and call on the required expertise to make your transition to the cloud a success.
Budgeting / licensing costs
Investment in the cloud requires an initial financial outlay. From planning to sourcing the offsite infrastructure, there are capital costs associated with the move. For a small enterprise, these costs may seem prohibitive and out of alignment with operational expenses.
Solution: Transition to the cloud can be as fast, or slow, as your small enterprise can afford. For instance, disaster recovery planning can be complete first. Then, as budget permits, new system backups can be deployed. There is no hard-and-fast rule about how quickly a business must transition to the cloud. In fact, many hybrid systems exist. Combining cloud and physical infrastructure could be a budget decision, or a regulatory requirement.
Once the initial investment in planning, architecture and upgrades is made, IT managers will see a reduction in capital and operational expenses. These costs savings can be used for other projects, especially those that are traditionally overlooked when budget is low. There is also an opportunity to reduce spending further, based on remote desktop and increased security. Bring Your Own Device initiatives can empower employees and reduce device related costs.
Bring your own device (BYOD) is both a cost saving solution and a potential security concern. With employees introducing a range of devices and software to the corporate environment, opportunity exists to freely navigate the network and replicate information. In many legacy environments, BYOD represents a window for data theft or network infection.
Solution: Introduce a virtual desktop infrastructure. File Sync & Sharing and Network Services solutions create secure virtual environments where IT administrators can control provisioning and access rights. As a result, businesses have more control over who-does-what on the network, while end-users have greater access and flexibility.
Transition to virtual resources
Small enterprises who are accustomed to onsite data storage or tape back-ups frequently fear the security, availability and reliability of cloud hosting. The concept of the cloud becomes a pain point. The concept of moving all the business data into a virtual location is both daunting and nerve-wracking.
Questions like “What happens in case of disaster?”, “How can I access my backups?”, and “Will I be able to access my data without someone stealing it from the cloud?” often concern small enterprises.
Solution: Cloud hosting provides much faster (almost instant) data recovery. Virtual access is much more convenient (available anytime, anywhere). Security is unparalleled (controllable at the network and device level). An added benefit: a risk-free development environment. Small enterprises can benefit from a cloud-based development sandbox to test new technologies prior to implementation.
Many online resources discuss how old, legacy applications are irreplaceable. Citing prohibitive costs and low data availability, finding a replacement for legacy IT infrastructure can seem concerning.
Solution: As cloud computing grows more popular, the range of hardware and software options also grow. Practically any application can be customized to suit your small enterprises’ data needs.
Solutions, however, might not be ‘off the shelf’. A skilled cloud services provider can customize a solution to fully meet your small enterprise needs – without breaking the bank. A partner with deep expertise in the cloud can develop and understanding of your existing applications, recommend suitable replacements and even make upgrades to your infrastructure. There is always a cloud solution that addresses your small enterprise’s needs and concerns. It just may not be obvious!
Long-term Gain. Short-term pain.
Transitioning to cloud offers significant cost and infrastructure benefits in the long term. However, the initial transition can be fraught with concerns and pain points.
IT managers must remain focused on the long-term benefits and operational goals. When concerns become overwhelming, partnering with a cloud computing provider can ease fears and ensure all operational objectives are met. Their expertise and knowledge will fill the gaps and counterbalance any obstacles that may arise.
Does your small enterprise have questions about moving to the cloud? Get in touch with our Customer Success team at HostedBizz! We can help design and launch solutions that meet all your data needs and your budget.