Cloud computing is an attractive option for any business due to the streamlined performance it offers, together with its scalability and cost-effectiveness. But having decided that cloud computing is for you, what practical issues do you need to consider? After all, the idea is to improve how your people do what they do, and the tools they use to do it. Whether you’re hoping to transform your operation or just introduce a few Google Workspace apps, a little project management and thinking ahead goes a long way.
So, if you’re wondering how to implement cloud computing in your business, here’s a list of key issues to consider before you begin…
Define what you’re aiming to achieve and agree on a cloud computing strategy
You’re a business, so you need to ask yourself a few business-oriented questions, including:
- What’s the business goal of implementing cloud computing?
- What’s the cost?
- What are the benefits you’re hoping to see?
- What are the risks?
- What are the knock-on effects of, say, storing all your files in the cloud? Or expecting your people to deal with customers via video-conferencing?
- Are the tools and technologies you’re interested in compatible with what you’re already using?
- What disruption will there be to daily business?
- What procedures and processes will you need to change?
Some simple analysis before you start using these and other questions will ensure your cloud computing goals are realistic, and make the process of implementation and setup clearer.
Select a platform/technologies
What platform or apps will give you what you want? For example, if you’re hoping for more seamless collaboration and teamwork, which file sharing app and online communication tools will give you that?
A big part of the equation here is your workforce and their current skills. Will they be able to just make the change from one way of working to another, or will training be required? What’s more, given that your people are the ones who’ll be using these cloud tools on a day-to-day basis, they probably have some very relevant opinions on which options will work best.
Also, bear in mind your business will evolve and choose a platform or suite of tools that can scale with you.
Choose the right cloud service provider
Who are you going to partner with? While price is obviously a factor, it’s just as important (arguably more so) to find a cloud service provider that has experience of working with businesses like yours, preferably in your industry or sector. Apart from whether they’re offering the tools and services you want, a few things to consider:
- technical expertise
- reputation in the market
- customer feedback/referrals
- service level agreement
- maintenance/support services
What about security?
Cloud security tends to be a shared responsibility between the platform or provider and you, the client. Having chosen your cloud technologies and service provider, make sure you’re clear on who is responsible for what.
Business recovery planning
Stuff happens: acts of god, power outages, accidental deletions, a laptop left on a train… whatever occurs, you need to know how you’re going to get back on track. Remember, some or all of your data is about to be stored somewhere else – your existing measures for keeping the show on the road probably need to change, at least a bit.
How to implement cloud computing – think ahead
A switch to cloud computing is not a simple or single decision. Even if you’re only going to start using a couple of Google Workspace apps, the implications are long-term. Not just in relation to those two apps, but also because once you start migrating the way you work to the cloud, you’re likely to migrate more in the future (because it’s convenient, it’s efficient and it works).
Taking the time for some proper planning before you begin will pay dividends in the long run. In other words, think ahead and choose well!
If you want to know more about what cloud computing could do for your business and how best to implement it, check out our services or give us a call on 1800 312 972 – we’re here to help.