The 4 Must Achieve Goals To Make Cloud Leading To Sunshine The Forecast For Your Business IT - Stoneseed
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The 4 Must Achieve Goals To Make Cloud Leading To Sunshine The Forecast For Your Business IT


I heard this weather forecast today on the radio - "Cloud ... leading to sunshine."

If only it were always the case with IT.

It feels like everyone and everything is in the cloud these days. Data is stored in the cloud, applications are hosted in the cloud, services are accessed directly from the cloud, servers are migrating to the cloud - perhaps you've been wondering about the benefits of moving your organisation's IT estate that way yourself?

Before you leap it's worth pausing to reflect. There are lots of benefits, but there are some significant potential pitfalls too and, to be honest, the cloud might not be the place for you at all.

Of course, you are probably unconsciously using many cloud-based services within your business already, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Google Drive, Xero, ZenDesk are all hosted in the cloud. So, if you're familiar with any of these services the concept is not as alien to you as you may have at first thought – you will have enjoyed many benefits using them.

To move onto the next level of cloud operation can amplify those benefits across your whole IT infrastructure. Documents that used to reside on a desktop or a physical server can now easily be accessed by anyone in your team, from anywhere on the planet. Employees in different geographical locations can work together on the same project by sharing access to a single master file. Such flexible working could be giving your rivals a real competitive edge.

The cloud can open up a large number of new possibilities too. One radio station ‘playout’ software provider uses Dropbox for companies (that don't have their own internal network) to automatically transfer songs between their radio stations, often connecting stations thousands of miles apart from each other (across India for example). This would have been impossible until recently, previously you would have needed to email mp3 files laboriously or, before that, put CDs in the post. Someone else's cloud-based application can provide very cost effective solutions to your challenges.

Cloud computing can enable you to scale up rapidly while maintaining high service levels and low costs, but there are dangers to consider. Chiefly how secure your data is going to be in the cloud and how reliable the services you rely upon will be. When you migrate to the cloud you are literally entrusting your firm’s most crucial data to an external provider. You need to be sure that they will take care of it. Losing data or denial of access to your software when you need it can be very costly to you.

You should take some advice.

If you're taking advice from a third party (and I urge to do so) be sure that the source of that advice is not pushing a sales agenda that might not be suitable for you. I mean, it might work out, but why would you cut yourself off from the whole market by taking ABCXYZ Cloudcorp's advice that ABCXYZ Cloudcorp's applications and services are the ones for you. Certainly ask about the scope of options provided by whoever's advice you seek.

Also, watch out for vendor lock-ins. ABCXYZ Cloudcorp may turn out not to be the best vendor for you but leaving them could be really difficult. Some have actual contractual lock-ins in the small print but even if they don't once you've gone to the trouble of moving your data to the cloud in the first place the prospect of moving it all again is not one that most businesses relish. It's a pain. Choose wisely from the outset and don't fall for any sales fog!

Any advice that you solicit should start by examining the current state of your IT Infrastructure at a detailed technical level alongside your strategic business objectives to determine any future requirements and steps to be undertaken to achieve your operational goals. Do this through detailed gap analysis and due diligence and once you've assessed your current position and established Return on Investment predictions you can design a target infrastructure to work towards.

In conclusion, if you are considering moving your infrastructure to the cloud, insist on these four things first;

1 - Understand what cloud, if any, is right for your business.

2 - Review and understand your current infrastructure to assess your cloud readiness.

3 - Seek and trust only independent, impartial advice, that’s not being driven by a sales agenda.

4 - Develop a plan to optimise the benefits of a move to cloud against your business objectives.

Achieve these goals and "Cloud leading to sunshine" could actually be the forecast for your business IT.

Contact us to learn more about how Stoneseed's Cloud Infrastructure Assessment can you decide if your business could benefit from a move to Cloud.

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