In the past, only large corporations considered moving their systems to the cloud. Today, cloud computing can fit any size business. In fact, migrating to the cloud offers a variety of benefits for organizations of all sizes. With an effective migration plan, organizations of all sizes can use the power of cloud computing to accelerate growth.
Cloud Computing is Becoming a Necessity
Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) are facing the same type of heavy competition as their larger brethren. Cloud computing is revealing itself as a significant competitive advantage for SMBs and has moved from a viable alternative to a necessary tool.
Financial Benefits: Cloud Computing Will Tie Some Benefits Directly to Cost Savings
- When you use cloud storage and cloud services, you naturally experience economies of scale. And, your computing resources can easily adjust to workload variations.
- Your power consumption will automatically decrease, and you will spend less on managing a large number of onsite systems.
- Personnel costs will drop significantly. Often, the largest share of the IT budget goes to maintaining staff. When you migrate to the cloud, some of the personnel savings you experience locally will help to pay for your cloud services. In addition, your IT staff can then concentrate on doing more strategic tasks and acquiring new skills.
- Migrating to the cloud doesn’t require any capital outlay. This is a definite advantage for SMBs that need to find capital for increasing their in-house operations.
- Your SMB will only pay for the power you need. Maintaining flexibility in in-house systems typically requires the acquisition of more computing power than is needed on a daily basis. It’s critical to be able to handle failures or emergencies, as well as quick increases in sales. With cloud computing, the systems can be adjusted easily and only on an as-needed basis.
- Cloud computing is a great way to level the playing field against larger competitors, allowing an SMB to acquire a larger market share.
Competitive Benefits: Some Benefits of Cloud Computing Will Give SMBs More Capabilities That They Can Apply to Win Against Competitors
- Gathering and analyzing business data provides a significant competitive advantage through more accurate and faster decision making. The use of cloud computing provides the cloud storage and power needed to store and analyze a meaningful amount of business intelligence.
- Information gathered by AlertLogic and Microsoft indicate that businesses using cloud computing have actually experienced a lower rate of security problems than those using in-house data centers. Besides that, 94 percent of SMBs have seen better security due to keeping systems, spam filters and antivirus programs up to date.
- Cloud computing demonstrably provides more uptime, as 75% of SMBs report improved availability after migrating to the cloud.
Well-Planned Migration Is Critical
Migrating to the cloud effectively requires careful planning. While many SMBs report better security when cloud computing is used, it’s still up to the individuals planning the migration to ensure that security is at the top of the list of requirements. These are the most critical considerations for your migration.
- Start small: Don’t try to migrate all of your systems at one time. Start small to get experience in completing the migration.
- Choose cloud service providers carefully: Make sure you’re working with trusted and reliable suppliers of both cloud technology and the cloud support services you’ll need to make the migration successful.
- Diversify passwords and user permissions: The migration is an excellent time to ensure that all the access points to your system are secure. Enforce secure passwords and restrict permissions to the greatest extent possible, and educate employees on the need for security.
- Confirm backup procedures: Ensure that the cloud technology supplier you work with has a backup configuration that will allow you to access files from previous versions in the event of a problem.
If you’re not one of the 66% of SMBs that see technology as a key success factor for meeting business objectives, now would be a good time to revisit that issue. As digital transformation affects more of the business community, using cloud computing will only become more critical for success.