The buzz around cloud computing has been hugely positive these last few years. Greater flexibility across your business. Faster time to market. Increased IT resilience. Scalability that means you only pay for what you use.
However, many businesses – particularly SMEs – may not be able to identify exactly how the cloud can achieve these benefits. It’s all well and good talking in the abstract about how the cloud can improve efficiencies and reduce costs, but if you cannot pinpoint the specific opportunities it’ll bring your business, then it’s all just theory.
That’s why we’ve pulled together a series of steps that you can take to assess if cloud computing is right for your organisation.
Step 1: Audit existing IT infrastructure
Before you can migrate to the cloud, you have to first understand what you already have in your current estate. What physical/virtual servers do you have right now? How is your infrastructure used? What applications do you have running?
Carrying out a full audit will help you understand which parts of your estate could be migrated to the cloud. You should pay particular attention to any existing systems that are approaching end-of-life.
And if you don’t have the in-house expertise to answer these questions, there are always external partners to help.Step 2: Evaluate current IT needs
Conduct a thorough review of what your business IT requirements actually are, and whether they are being met. Crucially, you need to know where the performance of your organisation is being hindered by the limitations of your existing tech.
For example, is your current network capability getting in the way of you being able to develop and run new products and services? Are IT issues, such as slow systems or network failures, damaging employee productivity? Do these same issues have an impact on your customer service delivery?
Answering these questions will help you understand where the cloud can help streamline and improve business processes.
Step 3: Plan for the future
In business, being able to adapt is key to staying ahead of the competition. If you do invest in cloud technology, you want to make sure it can keep up with the evolving IT needs of your business. So, have a think about how your organisation might change in the future. Growth? Dispersed office locations? Remote working? It doesn’t have to be a mapped and budgeted 10 year strategy, but it does have to be more than a gut feeling.
Are there any wider business initiatives that will require significant IT support? How would your systems cope with a sudden increase or change in use? Will you be opening new offices and hiring staff, launching alternative products, or exploring untapped markets?
Staying aware of what might be on the horizon will help you chose tech that will be able to scale with your business.
Moving to the cloud the right way
To get the green light to move some or all of your IT infrastructure to the cloud, you’ll need a solid plan in place. The good news is that with the right considerations, cloud migration doesn’t have to be painful and you don’t have to suffer any loss in productivity when making the jump.
To find out about how to plan and manage your cloud transition, including how to choose an expert partner who meets your need, read our free eGuide: Transitioning to the cloud for SMEs.
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