Everything is moving to the Cloud – photos, music, even the humble car tax disc has gone online. The tide of change is clear to see. But many businesses have serious concerns that moving their IT to the Cloud will mean losing control and weakened security.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Here are five steps to help you get a truly successful outcome.
1. Why move to the Cloud?
There have to be clear business benefits. What are you going to get out of your move to the Cloud? Here’s a sample of the success that other businesses have achieved:
- Multiple offices. The recruitment company with offices in Maidenhead and Manchester. Everyone has access to a single system so no more emailing files or complicated links between offices. When they want to open office number three, the IT is already in place and it’s a painless process.
- People working anywhere. The legal firm with a team of home-based lawyers around the country. By putting their IT in the Cloud they enable their team to work from anywhere that has an Internet connection.
- Reducing costs. The accountancy practice that moved to the Cloud. They swapped expensive capital expenditure for a monthly rental. They never have to buy another server and have predictable monthly costs.
- Going mobile. Young people are inseparable from their mobile devices. Enable your workforce to work anywhere, any time.
2. Wait a minute! Where’s my data?
When you move from office-based IT to Cloud-based, your data disappears to some unknown location, managed by an unknown group of people. It doesn’t have to be like that – the Riverbank data centre, for example, is in Reading. Knowing that your Cloud data actually resides in Berkshire can be a real comfort.
3. Work in the same way
Moving to the Cloud doesn’t have to mean a disturbance in working practices. You might be able to just flip your current IT infrastructure into a data centre. Your IT provider will then give you a way to access your new Cloud servers.
4. Where are the cost savings I’m supposed to see?
Working in the Cloud can certainly deliver cost savings. Paying per user per month for a service is great for start-ups and small businesses. They know their IT is going to be reliable and exactly how much it will cost. But remember that the cost grows as you grow and it does become significant.
5. Have a plan if it all goes wrong!
You need to know what to do if things go wrong. If an employee leaves, you need to know that you can remove your confidential data from their phone and other mobile devices. You need to know, in advance, that you can manage the data and the devices it is stored on. Then, when the crisis occurs, you will be glad that you have a business-quality service.
So when you make the move, make sure it’s the right move!
Malcolm Newdick is Managing Director of Riverbank IT Management Ltd, a leading business Cloud provider.