We hear a lot about the benefits of moving your business to the cloud. It can reduce that big expense on new infrastructure and the ongoing management costs. The cloud can increase the effectiveness of your IT budget. It can add functionality and increase user satisfaction.
Businesses are rapidly moving all or portions of their IT to the cloud, and for a lot of good reasons, but before you do, it is important to remember the following:
The Cloud Is Someone Else’s Computer
Depending on how you look at it, this is either a pro or a con. If you are hosting your data in the cloud, you are essentially entrusting someone else to manage your data. That might mean that the data is in better hands – a professional data center with top-notch security, climate control, near-perfect uptime, and certified staff to manage the hardware, software, and network equipment is usually a big step up from most small business management.
That said, anyone can sell cloud storage. Anyone can lease out a portion of a data center, or keep a shared server on their premise and sell you cloud computing resources from it.
Before you pull the trigger, you’ll want to understand what kinds of SLAs (service level agreement) you have, how emergencies are handled, and make sure you are getting the computing resources you need.
Cloud Migrations Can Be Disruptive
Migrating your infrastructure to the cloud could be a fairly straightforward process, or it could require a lot of time and labor. Don’t get fooled by the low monthly price – there will often be some legwork to move the data, configure the environment, train your users, and make tweaks.
That migration time doesn’t mean you don’t have access to your data, but the transition could take time, and anytime users need to change their regular everyday processes, it can slow things down.
When Done Right, It’s Worth It
Today, most businesses can benefit from at least some degree of cloud computing, whether it be some basics like hosted email and document management (like G Suite or Office 365), data backups, or a line-of-business app, to moving most of your infrastructure to a hosted environment.
The problem most businesses run into is when a cloud implementation isn’t planned out properly, or is handled poorly.