Migrating to the cloud is high on UK business agendas: 84% of businesses now use the cloud in some form or other, according to the latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum.In fact, you may be starting to feel like you’re being left behind if your data is still wholly stored on-site. Certainly, there are huge benefits to be had from using cloud services, in whole or in part, and these are aggressively pushed by many marketing messages: improved performance and increased availability; increased productivity; reduced IT costs – it all adds up to saving both time and money.
Yet the same study shows that around 50% of businesses still can’t see total migration on the horizon, anticipating that there will always be a mix of on- and off-site IT solutions. Therefore, while the cloud is definitely here to stay, the message is clearly not to leap blindly into it wholesale. Every business is unique, so each needs its own strategies and solutions. Planning carefully before and during implementation, and taking it gradually once you get started, will help you maximise the potential.
These few questions will help you get started:
What are your expectations?
Highlight the main benefits you hope to capitalise on. For example, are you looking for the flexibility and increased productivity afforded by enabling staff to work from anywhere and collaborate remotely? Do you want the longer term cost-savings promised by a reduction in capital expenditure running and maintaining a full IT infrastructure? Is this shift designed to be a key pillar in your disaster recovery plan? This will help you focus on which work applications you wish to move; when; and how. Simply shoving everything in ‘as is’ will not necessarily bring the positive changes you expect.
Many of the benefits of using the cloud depend on the accessibility of data, whenever and wherever you need it. As you migrate areas of work, remember that henceforth you’ll be accessing it via the internet. If your own internet connection is slow, the frustration of waiting for information to upload and download will far outweigh the advantages. Take an objective look at your staffing levels and their data requirements and consider whether your broadband package needs upgrading. If you would like some advice on upgrading to a high speed broadband service or even a private circuit please call our team today on 01252 810010
Are your staff sold on the idea?
Ensuring you’re moving to the cloud for the right reasons and taking steps to guarantee a better work environment can increase the chances of staff buy-in. But inevitably, working in the cloud will seem a huge shift in working practices initially, if not a wholesale culture change. People’s roles may alter substantially; and that can invite resistance. Spend time and effort engaging staff in the process, otherwise they may adhere to the way things have always been done – by accident or by design – and counter the benefits you are trying to achieve.
Who’s the best provider for your needs?
Once you understand your own requirements, the next critical step is, inevitably, selecting a service provider who’s prepared to take the time to do the same. Look for a firm that already works successfully with other companies of your size and type, checking testimonials for overall customer satisfaction. Then drill down to the day-to-day service you can expect, in terms of performance, speed and reliability in resolving faults, security and so on. Are they flexible enough to design solutions for your particular needs and assist with any hiccups as migration progresses? And importantly, what will the ongoing cost be once migration is complete?
There’s no doubt that cloud migration can bring huge benefits if you plan efficiently from the outset; and of course, there are many more detailed questions that need to be taken into account. Datanet can help you to make the right decisions thus maximising the utilization of existing assets whilst leveraging cloud technologies to meet your ongoing business demands. Our engineers will be on hand to support you through the transition process and you will be welcome to come onsite and spend time with our team here at Datanet to upload your data and customise your cloud.
If you’d like advice tailored to your own company’s situation and unique requirements, get in touch with Datanet by calling 01252 810010 or firstname.lastname@example.org