Cloud computing for business isn’t easy to understand for anyone outside the IT industry. Even in-house IT teams may fight to keep up with all the innovations and latest cloud technology developments.
While answering every question is outside the scope of a short blog post, these are the questions we’re typically asked, so we hope they’ll be helpful.
Will Cloud Computing cost us more?
Most businesses take the long view when it comes to planning, developing and implementing new products. IT must keep up not just with current needs, but with future needs too.
You should consider software and licencing, data management and your network, your hardware, and the skills needed to maintain everything. A further consideration is how people and departments use IT across the whole company.
When considering cost implications, how far into the future are you looking? If you upgraded your in-house IT infrastructure last week, the cost implication of moving to the cloud might be high. If you’re due an update, the cost is much less in comparison. And if you’re somewhere in the middle with an eye on cloud migration in the near future, a hybrid system may prove cost effective and convenient.
But will we get the features and functions we need?
Cloud computing features and functions typically exceed those available from in-house solutions. With a wider set of capabilities and faster implementation abilities, companies usually find innovation is quicker and more intuitive. There’s another advantage too: cloud computing makes your IT system more future proof as you can scale up to services as and when you need them without big infrastructure costs.
What about Security and Data Protection?
This is a valid and critical question every business needs to consider. It’s one the major cloud service providers take extremely seriously. They often have the advantage over in-house IT teams for detecting, neutralising and preventing cyberattacks.
They’re also on the ball regarding legislation and compliance issues. GDPR, for instance, is looming. Microsoft has a compliance manager tool you can use which will guide you through the steps needed to ensure you’re GDPR compliant.
Can We Rely on Cloud Service Providers?
It’s absolutely critical you can rely on the service availability of your cloud computing service provider. Service-level agreements typically make it clear what commitment responsibility the provider makes. Look for 99.5% uptime, and accept no less. Your service-level agreement will indicate current guarantees (and we can help you figure it out if it’s something of a mystery).
Being new to cloud computing, we’re a bit worried about after sale service.
It’s a valid concern when there’s anything new going on, especially when that ‘anything’ can impact business performance.
Look for providers with experienced technical staff, and a good track record of implementing and operating cloud IT system solutions.
But as well as information you can find on company websites and elsewhere in the form of testimonials, talk to people. Voice your concerns and questions, and make sure you get a straight answer in terms you can understand.
If we didn’t answer your question, or we raised it but didn’t go into enough detail, please feel free to get in touch. We know it can be a tough decision, and we’ve seen just about every business IT system out there. We’re confident we can offer practical advice on your best way forward, or we’re happy to offer a free IT audit with no obligation to yourselves.