Cloud Computing – Understanding Your Own Business
The world of work is more flexible than it has ever been before. This flexibility has made the adoption of remote working not only possible but – if the transition is made correctly – quite possibly a better option than the office setting in many ways. Cloud computing is the reason these new ways of working are possible. At the onset of the pandemic, business owners were forced to make the transition as quickly as they possibly could, and most did an okay job at best, but can you blame them? They needed to keep their organisations operational during some of the most perilous times for businesses ever.
Remote working is a transition that can cause a lot of apprehension, because a change of that type is a daunting one for any business. The Cloud causes apprehension through a simple lack of knowledge around what it is, what it does, and, above all, what it can do to help a business thrive.
It is a big step, so a transition to Cloud computing needs to be well thought out – after all, you want to know that what you are putting your money into is worth it. Yes, there are providers out there – like with any tech sale – that want to sell you the most expensive option regardless of whether it is good for you or not, but this isn’t always the case as there are some that genuinely want you to be educated and advised correctly – this is the only way you can be sure you are using the best tools for your organisation.
Before we get into the details about Cloud computing, let’s answer the first – and most important – of all questions, what is Cloud computing?
What is Cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the latest advancement in IT tools, services, and infrastructure. Traditionally, businesses would need to purchase, support, and maintain their own IT hardware and software platforms to cater for their day-to-day work activities. The Cloud provides a subscription-based service designed to cater flexibly around the way your team works and the demands of your organisation.
You must have heard the term ‘on the Cloud.’ This refers to the organisation’s IT services being provided over the internet as opposed to it running from locally based servers.
When ‘on the Cloud’ your computing resources, data storage, email and telephony communication, software databases and applications, are delivered on-demand. This is revolutionary – never before has your team been so agile and flexible, and with a near-instant roll out of new IT services your teams’ days can be more productive than ever before as they now only need to spend time doing their job role. Your monthly payment will only be for what you are actually using, making the scalability of the Cloud a real money saver for your business.
Having your IT provided as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) will guarantee that your applications are always up-to-date and capable. This service, the back-end infrastructure, and security mechanisms are all included in that rolling fee. No one likes surprises so being sure the fee you agreed on won’t change (without agreement) puts a lot of business owners’ minds at ease.
Of course, the commercial benefits are the clear leading reasons that businesses convert to the Cloud, but its ability to allow your team to work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection is a close second. Your team can access all of the applications, files, and documents that they do in the workplace from the comfort of their own homes!
Before undertaking a Cloud transition, you must understand your business, but this isn’t as straightforward as you may think.
A Cloud migration – Understand your own business
You must take a step back, look internally at your company and acknowledge how it operates. Ask yourself some questions like, “What do I need to prolong my success?”, “What does my team need to achieve their daily goals?” and “What regulations am I obliged to adhere to?”.
Most organisations carry a lot of responsibility for all the sensitive data they hold across their business. That data being safely protected should be the biggest priority you have, because if it gets stolen, deleted, or somehow goes missing, the consequences could be disastrous. “Why would the Cloud effect your compliance obligations?”, I hear you ask. Well, this is because some data centres are kept abroad and, depending on your compliance obligations, it is illegal to store certain data outside of the country.
Your business goals
“What do I want to achieve with my business?” Answering this question isn’t as simple as you might think either – profit and money may be the overriding goal, but what small achievements could help you get there faster? Learning what these goals are will help you to make a better decision on your Cloud transition, and knowing what you need to achieve your goals will enable your decision to be based less on price and more on value.
Without your users you wouldn’t even have a business; they are on the front line every day, so therefore it is essential you take the time to hear what they have to say. You should prompt them periodically to learn all you can, ask them questions like “Are the tools we provide you with good enough?”, “Are they fit for purpose?”, “Are they difficult to use?” – only then will you learn what you need to know to make their work environment as productive as you can.
Be mindful that some Cloud providers offer different services than others, so you need to check that the one you choose offers levels of collaboration, communication, and productivity that can rival the office setting. Get to know your team as well as you can – we know this is difficult sometimes, depending on the size of your workforce, how often you and they are in the office, and how busy they are daily. It can be almost impossible, but you must try, because the better you know them the more likely you will be to provide them with what they need.
In the following article we will explore Cloud security, what makes you vulnerable, and what you can do to be sure that your Cloud environment is as secure as it can possibly be.
Your business IT support partner
Uptech is the leading IT support company in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. We are passionate about the support we offer businesses like yours and provide Enterprise-level tools, Cyber Security Solutions, and IT hardware to businesses in need of a helping hand. Established in 1994, Uptech offers High-end IT Services to Businesses with 5-200 staff, with multiple locations (including WFH), keeping them all Connected. We have helped our clients to progress and improve their IT, and (in the process) they became more profitable and productive. Contact us now to find out how we can help you.