If you haven’t moved your business to the cloud – partly or completely – you aren’t alone. Business owners in many industries have been reluctant to make the move. But that’s starting to change. Rapidly.
More and more, business owners are realizing the productivity and security improvements they can achieve using cloud and hybrid cloud solutions over relying on their solely on-premises technology infrastructure.
We hear and read the phrase “moving to the cloud,” but what does it actually mean?
Some people seem to believe it’s when you store your data in the cloud – that is, taking advantage of the scalable, predictable expense of having their data redundantly stored in geographically dispersed data centers protecting it from natural or manmade disasters. Indeed, that is one way of “moving to the cloud.” But that’s not all.
To really “move to the cloud,” a business must virtualize its entire IT operation. Essentially, all employees’ workstations would be running cloud-based applications like Word, Excel and others on a cloud provider’s servers rather than their own. Instead of multiple hard drives on site, your data and software solutions would be remotely hosted – allowing you to access them anywhere, any time and on any device with an internet connection.
Business owners’ hesitation in adopting the cloud – whether for data storage or full virtualization – has many understandable bases.
- Cost. There can be steep upfront licensing fees when first moving to the cloud.
- Security. Many business owners believe if they don’t have the data in their office, it’s not safe.
- Location of data. Related to the above, many are concerned about where their data will be located.
- Employee disruption. They think the process of moving to the cloud will be too disruptive to their employees and productivity.
Those are a few worries we’ve often heard expressed. Certainly, there are others. And, there are some businesses for which the cloud isn’t a good solution. But the vast majority of businesses can achieve significant benefits by moving at least part of their operation to the cloud.
Usually, it’s not until a catastrophic failure takes place or significant limitations in current IT solutions confront the business before business owners really consider moving to the cloud. If owners plan ahead to prevent failures and limitations, they’ll see that moving to the cloud – despite its upfront costs which are reduced by savings in office electricity and real estate – is the answer to protect them from future failures. They can put off the migration, but it’s coming sooner or later.
An increasingly mobile workforce with needs to access company data and use company software solutions from anywhere will ultimately drive the adoption of cloud computing, along with the security improvements offered by large cloud storage and cloud computing providers.
Asking the right questions can make the process of moving to the cloud easier.
Moving your business to the cloud can be done successfully with an experienced and trusted IT provider.
When considering IT providers to help in cloud migration, here are a few questions to ask:
- What information should move to the cloud? My files? My backups? My whole environment?
- How do I know my data is secure?
- How do I know terminated employees no longer have access?
- How does this integrate and interact with mobile and other devices?
- Are you recommending this cloud solution because it’s the best one or because it’s the one with which you’re most familiar?
Getting answers to these basic questions from your IT managed service provider should help reduce your worries about making the move to the cloud.
Micro Visions has years of experience moving clients from on-site to cloud-based solutions like Microsoft Office 365. In fact, Office 365 is a great way to begin your business’ move to the cloud.
Micro Visions will listen to your wants and needs, help you make an objective decision and take care of your move to the cloud. Ready to get started? Give us a call at (616) 776-0400 or contact us.