Cloud computing is a game-changer that has made it easier for businesses to easily store and access their files from anywhere at any time without the burden of owning a data center. As a small or medium-sized business, leveraging the power of the internet for reliable on-demand computing services is an efficient way to streamline and scale your operations in this age of big data. However, you need the right strategies to make the adoption and long-term use of this technology smoother. Here, we look at nine cloud computing tips for small and midsize businesses.
Have a foolproof cloud migration process
The foundation of cloud adoption lies in how well you can move your on-premise applications to the cloud. This is a highly challenging process that only seasoned specialists should handle to ensure zero data loss and a smooth transition. Hiring an IT consultant to help develop a sound strategy for cloud computing transition will save you from unwanted risks as all your current IT assets will be evaluated and accounted for during the migration.
Establish guidelines for cloud usage
As you embrace cloud computing, one of the most important initial steps lies in establishing guidelines for its usage. Your internal protocols should align with top cloud compliance standards for end-to-end safe and efficient use of your resources. Since the weakest link in your security chain is your employees, having robust policies in place will help seal common loopholes. For example, stricter bring your own devices (BYOD) procedures will make it harder for sensitive data to be accessed by unauthorized third parties.
Think about the future
As you adopt cloud computing solutions for your small or midsize businesses, you need to be future-ready. Technology is rapidly advancing, and you need well-established network designs and an IT structure that can rapidly adjust to the latest trends for your cloud-based applications to always run optimally. The acceptable standard is to have your network configured to prioritize mission-critical applications so that productivity is never affected at any given moment. Luckily, there are a variety of networking solutions that can help you achieve this while giving you the flexibility of scaling up whenever necessary.
Secure your systems
The adoption of cloud computing comes with the mandate of implementing the best cybersecurity measures for your business. You will have to embrace the best practices for threat detection & protection, data loss prevention, and continuous cloud security assessment. This is best done by having a dedicated tech support team that will help deliver these security measures and protect you from risks that can destroy your business overnight.
Maintain an actively updated backup
Regardless of how well your security systems are, you need an actively updated backup as you never know when you might be a victim of a severe cyberattack. File corruption and data loss could also happen, and when it does, you will be vulnerable unless you have been backing up your files. Consider having a backup in a remote server to save you from these mishaps that can easily make operations come to a standstill.
Keep an eye on your cloud setups
It is vital to maintain simple and focused cloud computing solutions by consistently monitoring your setups. The best way is by having your IT team review your application data flows and run updates in real-time to ensure you make better use of your resources and keep your cloud infrastructure healthy. Typically, the more complex your cloud infrastructure is, the more active cloud health monitoring is needed to detect any underlying problems and instantly resolve them.
Only pay for what you need
Cloud computing is not always the cheapest solution, and when you first adopt this technology, it is vital to start small and gradually scale. Opt for a package that can accommodate your current needs without having to pay for resources that you will not fully utilize. This will allow you to understand better how the technology works before you can start requesting extra features and paying more.
Get your employees on board
You need a clear roadmap for a stress-free adoption of cloud technologies, and a pillar for success is employee training. The competitive advantage of upgrading your IT system to the cloud is only attainable if your staff can use it efficiently for collaboration and communication. Preparing your employees for cloud technology will also guarantee improved business performance as your workforce will have a more convenient technology to use.
Choose the most suitable cloud deployment model
There are different ways to deploy the cloud within your business, and choosing the right model should be a priority. A cloud deployment model determines the configurations of the environment parameters you will be using, and the most popular models are:
- Public cloud: This type of cloud is accessible by the general public with the server infrastructure belonging to the service providers who manage it. You are charged on a pay-per-use basis, and it is best for businesses with low privacy concerns.
- Private cloud: The advantage of this cloud is that you get to have your infrastructure maintained on a designated private network, and is only accessible within your organization. As such, it minimizes data security issues while allowing you to customize your infrastructure to suit your business requirements.
- Community cloud: This type of cloud is similar to the private cloud, with the primary difference being the set of users it accommodates. It is a cost-efficient way of owning a private infrastructure for businesses that cannot meet the cost of having their own private cloud.
- Hybrid cloud: This cloud is a mix and match of public, private, and community cloud facets to suit the different operational needs of a business. For example, the private cloud could be used for mission-critical workloads while public and community clouds are used for less-sensitive operations.
Cloud computing is the future of business operations, and as a small or midsize enterprise, the earlier you adopt it, the better. Make use of these tips for smooth onboarding and utilization of this technology.