The world of technology and computing has changed drastically since the turn of the century. Not long ago, floppy disks, dial-up internet, and PDA devices were the norm. Now numerous IT resources, including data storage and computer programs, are delivered virtually across the internet.
This is made possible with cloud technology. A few years ago, most were in the dark about what “the cloud” actually entailed. Nowadays, stats show that over 80% of enterprises utilize – or plan to utilize – a multi-cloud strategy as part of their operations.
Has your business yet to implement this revolutionary technology? If so, here are five points to consider before making a move to the cloud.
1. What will you use the cloud for?
Cloud computing isn’t one-dimensional. In fact, there are many different ways this technology can be used by businesses. Your first task is to decide how you want to incorporate the cloud into your IT structure. This begins by identifying current challenges and issues with your setup and the potential gains available by making the switch to cloud technology.
Below are a few common examples of how businesses benefit from the cloud:
With hardware purchases and maintenance in mind, running a physical server is expensive – and the costs rise significantly as your IT demands grow. With a virtual cloud-based server, you don’t have to splash out on new equipment or pay for maintenance. Your network and business also grow together naturally, ensuring server expenditure is at an optimum level.
Software no longer has to be installed on each computer for each employee. With cloud technology, it’s possible to deploy many applications with just internet access. This also opens the door to collaboration with multiple users being able to work on the same project at the same time.
Cloud computing helps to further improve communication between you and your employees. Along with tools like emails and calendars being accessible over the cloud, there are also calling and messaging apps – such as Skype and WhatsApp – that are cloud-based.
As files and messages can be stored across the cloud, users are not restricted by a specific device. With the internet, they can gain access to all communication channels anytime, anywhere.
Keeping your data safe and backed up is imperative for any modern business. With cloud technology, you gain an extra layer of protection. By storing your data virtually – and outside your physical premises – this protects it from the likes of natural disasters, fires, and theft.
2. Know what advantages are on the table
Before you select what processes to conduct with cloud technology, it makes sense to gain a full understanding of what advantages are available. The good news is there’s an assortment of positives gained from venturing onto the cloud.
One of the biggest benefits is flexibility. When you combine the cloud with an internet connection and suitable device, this effectively opens the door to working anywhere in the world. Whether employees are in the office, at home, or sitting in a hotel room, they can seamlessly access and work on documents, communicate with their co-workers, and so on.
Another advantage is increased collaboration capabilities. Forget about using emails to send attachments, wait for these attachments to be tweaked, have them sent back, and repeat. Documents can be easily shared through cloud services. Not only that but they can be edited and annotated anywhere by those with access to the documents. It’s even possible for multiple people to view and revise documents at the same time.
More benefits of cloud computing are covered in this article by SYDLE.
3. Pick your deployment model
Once you have decided on a cloud service provider, there are three deployment models to choose from. These are:
- Infrastructure as a Surface (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
As you would expect, each deployment model provides its own positives and drawbacks. The one you opt for is dependent on the type of control and flexibility you seek from your cloud system.
IaaS delivers a large degree of cloud management control and general flexibility, but it is more resource-intensive than other options. PaaS, on the other hand, takes up less IT resources, and you can get to market faster, yet restrictions are placed on technical functionality. SaaS provides rapid deployment and frees up IT resources, although there’s minimal flexibility and control of applications.
Ultimately, your business goals should supply the guidance required to select the right deployment model for your needs.
When shifting your files onto the cloud, it’s essential you tighten up security protocols. Even though cloud computing hands you the tools to keep data secure, it’s also up to you to establish policies and regulations to protect everything.
One such way is by utilizing data loss prevention (DLP) tools. With the right tools in place, you are able to enforce data security practices across your cloud platform and detect any suspicious activity. Sonrai Security has a guide on what to look for when choosing your DLP tools.
Furthermore, it’s important to know the security arrangement of your cloud provider. After all, you want to ensure your precious data is in safe hands. Check so you know the location of their data center, the security measures they use, and what type of notification – if any – they provide if a breach occurs.
5. Managing the move
Is it possible for your business to handle the entire cloud deployment process on its own? Of course. However, with the way that technology is rapidly evolving, it is advised you don’t take this path – otherwise, it could be a time-consuming, confusing, and painful experience.
Instead, it is recommended you enlist the services of a specialist IT provider. With their assistance, they will be able to make the transition to the cloud as smooth as possible. Not only that, but they can also remain in the background to offer ongoing support as and when required.