“Are you moving to the cloud?” This buzzed-about question has been on the minds of business owners for years. Once an abstract idea that didn’t make much sense, today it’s a must for any company struggling to figure out a hybrid work strategy.
Since 2020, using the cloud has been the primary way that many businesses maintain operations. How common is it? If you’ve set up a videoconferencing meeting for your employees, collaborated on a document stored in a shared folder, or accessed your email from a phone, you’ve used the cloud.
What else does the cloud do?
Think of the cloud as a virtual set of servers located off-site where you can host and store your company’s documents and data while giving your employees easy access to business-critical applications. The cloud enables reliable accessibility for day-to-day work no matter where it’s done — your users just need an Internet connection and a secure login.
Most cloud platforms have made drastic improvements to their data protection, document security, and remote access components. As cyberthreats become more common, web-based platforms have ramped up their defenses and companies have started paying closer attention to their cloud details.
A cloud-enabled office offers agility, scalability, increased mobility, and collaboration, along with the most important characteristic of all: cost efficiency. This helps today’s companies plan for the future business landscape, sometimes maintaining physical on-premises systems as a foundation and other times shifting entirely to cloud-based operations.
What should I do before moving to the cloud?
At CMIT Solutions, we believe in careful consideration and efficient steps. First, we help businesses identify their goals for cloud migration. Business owners should pinpoint their specific desires and see how they align with overall business objectives. Some of the most common ideas include:
- Improving document access and collaboration
- Optimizing remote or hybrid work
- Reducing overall hardware costs
- Enhancing cybersecurity protections
- Empowering employees to work smarter, not harder
Moving to the cloud for these reasons can provide a big productivity boost. Here are a few of the details that go into our cloud strategies:
- Existing infrastructure assessment. Working with a trusted IT partner, you should evaluate your current equipment before moving to the cloud. You can also document how users interact with common applications and popular documents to identify processes that already work and barriers that need to be removed.
- Flexible, cost-effective computing. Moving to the cloud can help your business evolve away from expensive on-premises server hardware. That means no more costly lifecycle replacements, reduced costs for facilities and utilities, less disruption because of software licensing and upgrading problems, and more flexible staffing. You can scale your cloud platform up and down as your needs change.
- The right cloud solution for your company. Options include public cloud storage you “rent” from a provider, private cloud storage that delivers your own dedicated space, and hybrid cloud solutions that mix the two. Once you define your architecture, you can decide where your applications, documents, or data will live. Simulations can help you understand the types of situations your staff might encounter, then identify the best way to sync in-office and remote work.
- Better preparedness for disasters and emergencies. Cloud computing offers off-site storage and regular, redundant backup and archiving. Shifting your data, documents, and applications to the cloud makes it easier to recover them after a manmade or natural disaster — and helps you avoid the negative impacts of power outages or other disruptions that affect the physical office.
- Increased mobility and collaboration. Every business wants to offer its employees more support for hybrid, mobile, and remote work. With cloud-based computing, information is always available, no matter the schedule, the device, or the location. That makes collaboration easier, too — employees working in the office and out in the field can all join a presentation together and work off the same document in real time, while distributed teams can do their duties asynchronously, even in different time zones.
How does a shift to the cloud work?
Ideally, with a customized cloud migration plan that fits your workflow and meets your needs. We never recommend that anyone dive into the cloud without foresight and advanced planning. Coordinating any shift to the cloud should be done carefully to avoid downtime and minimize disruptions. Working with a trusted IT provider, you can develop specific timelines, review any potential risks, and streamline communications with your employees.
Cloud computing services promise big things: instant access, unlimited connectivity, the ability to pay as you grow, and the illusion of simplicity. But selecting the right cloud provider can be difficult, especially when acronyms like SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS are thrown around without context.
CMIT Solutions cuts through the confusion by offering design-and-build services that right-size the cloud solution you need while monitoring usage so you stay within budget. With a trusted IT provider on your side, you get enterprise-level cloud offerings from tech titans like Microsoft and Amazon delivered by a local partner who can help you face-to-face.
Best of all, your cloud platform resides under the same management umbrella as the rest of your systems — all backed by the best client support in the IT industry. Want to find out more? Contact CMIT Solutions today.