If the last few years have taught us anything about business, it’s that being future-ready involves integrating the latest technology. As a result, cloud services have seen a rapid increase in their adoption, with many more organisations looking to follow suit. But how does a company go about making this important move?
The cloud and its benefits for businesses
The cloud is an incredible online resource for businesses, and its connected nature means that organisations can enjoy unprecedented levels of computing power. The cloud services now available can take care of every aspect of a business, from its essential infrastructure and platform, through to the software it needs to run every day. Thanks to its online nature, moving your business to the cloud allows it to tap into incredible processing power, which means that you can fully explore the potential of data analytics to inform your business decisions.
It also provides a secure working environment for your employees, affording them real time collaboration tools that are ideal for companies that allow remote working. With cloud services, you don’t need to worry about installing the latest versions of software or security protocols, as it all comes built-in, giving you access to the latest state-of-the-art technology all of the time. With the cloud, you can instantly adapt your services as your business needs change, making it the perfect solution for organisations that are scaling rapidly.
Moving Your Business To The Cloud: What You Need To Consider
To get started, it makes sense to ensure that your business is equipped with the best possible internet connections, with FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) connections being the minimum standard required for a fast service. Then, it’s time to take a look at your business’s most crucial applications, known as “Line Of Business” (LoB) applications, which will be the apps that are essential for your organisation to function.
Many such apps are available through the cloud (known as SaaS, or Software as a Service), but if you are yet to adopt online applications, check that your current LoB apps are suitable for use in this form. It may be that your LoB apps rely on your business’s servers, which will mean that adopting a cloud infrastructure will also be required for you to successfully migrate these core services. This can also be delivered on a subscription service basis, known as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), but doing so will require configuration of a VPN gateway in order to enable secure remote access for any employees working away from your main workplace premises.
What About The Employee Experience?
For your employees, cloud migration can offer some attractive benefits, such as the ability to work more flexibly across a range of devices, and at home. Without the need to spend time commuting to and from the office, employees can be more productive with their time, as well as fit in other commitments, which can help companies to retain the best talent over the long term.
Furthermore, secure collaboration tools provided by cloud-based software mean that colleagues can still work together effectively, in addition to being able to instantly access any data needed to inform their work. Productivity tools can also be built into your cloud software package, helping to streamline employee workflows and automate repetitive administrative tasks, thereby freeing staff to focus on more complex work.
Of course, where employees are spending more time working at home, it’s important for managers to use effective communication to check that their teams are not feeling isolated. Happily, checking in with staff is easy, thanks to the many communication tools offered by the cloud, from video conferencing to instant messaging. You can even set up a virtual “break room”, allowing colleagues to chat informally and help keep everyone feeling connected.
What About The Risks?
Whilst it has never been easier to get started with cloud services, in order to enjoy the security benefits, it is essential that all services are configured properly at the start. It can therefore be useful to work with cloud migration specialists, to ensure that everything is set up as it should be. Once up and running, security updates will happen automatically, although becoming an online business environment will mean that you should review your security protocols for maximum peace of mind.
Introducing a “zero trust” strategy and implementing multi-factor authentication will help to keep your data secure, which is especially important where staff are working out of the office. Similarly, make sure that all devices used by employees for work are screened to ensure that they meet security standards.
Is The Cloud Right For My Business?
Moving to the cloud is a way to capitalise on the data you collect, to be able to scale rapidly and with unrivalled agility, and to avoid the cost of purchasing and maintaining expensive new hardware such as servers. It’s extremely cost-effective, with subscription or “pay as you need” models available, and you can add or drop services quickly as your business’ needs change. With cloud services and applications available to cover everything from e-Commerce to warehouse management, simply put, it’s hard to think of a business that wouldn’t benefit from a move to the cloud.
And if you’re ready to take this exciting step for your business, why not partner with Reflective IT, to ensure you achieve exactly the right outcomes? We are experts in cloud services, as well as being an advanced IT security partner, so you can feel confident that your cloud migration will be in the safest possible hands. We’ll tailor your cloud environment to your business’s unique needs, and help get everyone on your team up and running with your new platform.
Why not get in touch today, on 0207 317 4535 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and discover how Reflective IT can deliver your business’ successful cloud adoption?