Cloud computing is one of those recent technological developments that heavily benefits small, growing businesses. Small businesses always have to adapt to highs and lows. Factors that influence them more than big companies, which makes the vast scaling capability of cloud environments a perfect match. So how do you go about moving your small business enterprise to the cloud?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Prepare Thoroughly by Thinking Ahead
First of all, you need to identify and assess your needs thoroughly in order to draw up an accurate battle plan. Do you need to move all of your operations to the cloud, or do you just need more space for data? The answer will largely depend on the nature of your work, your size, and the funds you can allocate.
You will also need to set your goals during this process. Are you looking to optimize user experience, or is this change motivated more by the need to maximize application performance and make the most out of your infrastructure? Only by setting clear objectives can you then evaluate what went according to plan, and what still needs fine-tuning.
Don’t forget to factor in additional resources for making sure that you’re completely protected when you migrate to the cloud. If you’ll be using the cloud for installing and running web applications, you will need a WAF to secure them against hackers who might try to gain unauthorized access and steal your sensitive data.
A WAF makes sure that malicious requests are filtered out of incoming traffic, and can help your company comply with regulatory requirements like PCI, HIPAA and SOX rules. Also, make sure that your employees are familiar with working in a cloud environment, and train them to recognize and respond to cybersecurity threats that they might come across when you migrate.
Get All the (External) Help You Need
Next, you’ll need to choose among the options available to you. There is public and private clouds, and everything in between.
The public cloud adoption has soared in popularity lately. It’s projected that the value of the public cloud computing market will reach over $140 billion in 2018, significantly up from 10 years ago when it amounted to $5.82 billion in 2008. By 2020, it is expected that this figure will rise to $159.28 billion, as more and more companies convert to it, and for good reason – public clouds are convenient for cutting back on costs like management and maintenance.
Finally, you will need to decide on the migration process. You could implement your plan in stages, in order to give both your employees and your clients time to adapt to the new reality. Or, you could always move everything at once, if you believe that factoring in a transition period will do more damage than good. As migrating to the cloud can be a technically challenging process, it’s important to get all the help you need. Consider enlisting the help of a company to do cost optimization for cloud services for you, especially if you are new to cloud services. You don’t want to be overpaying for services you are not using.
Your IT department might be perfect for the job but, in most cases, it might be much easier to hire an external consultant who specializes in the field to work with your IT specialists. That way, your employees won’t get overwhelmed and they know that they have an expert who is responsible for solving problems and answering questions.
Cloud migration is never an easy feat – but with the right kind of preparation and support, it can be a game-changer for your small business.