More companies than ever are looking to the Cloud for answers, and for good reason. It's a money saving move that will help your employees work better together and give you access to your data no matter where you might be. Moving to the cloud, though, isn't as easy as snapping your fingers. Instead, it means shopping for a service partner you truly believe in - one with whom you can share all of your data, and that's a terrifying thought for many. As many have learned, there are lots of cloud service providers.
UK businesses have plenty to choose from, so how can you sort them out and find the right one to meet your needs? This guide can help.
- Start with Your Business Objectives: The single best first step you can take is to examine your goals for the switch to the cloud. What are you hoping to achieve for your company? Understanding exactly what you plan to do once you've migrated is not only important as a metric for your own company, but it's also important to the service provider you choose. Because cloud services are so varied these days, you may find one who simply cannot help you because their far too specialised or one that cannot help because they don't offer the services you need.
- Think Security: While this is already at the top of the list for most companies, if you haven't yet considered this concern, you absolutely should. Learn what security measures are in play from each provider, and understand how they preserve your applications and data in the event of an emergency. Moreover, make certain you know who is responsible for what task. Some cloud providers have a shared responsibility model you'll need to play a part in. If you're in an industry with certain regulations, ensure your new cloud provider can meet those regulations. Don't just think in terms of virtual security in this arena. You'll also likely want to ask about physical security at their locations to learn more about how your cloud provider actually protects their own equipment.
- Scalability: It is the aim of virtually every business in the world to grown, and if you're like many SMEs today, growth is the key factor in your company right now. You need to select a provider that allows you to grow. The last thing you need initially is to pay for services you don't really need. As you grow, though, you'll need greater resources at your fingertips, and your cloud provider should be ready to offer that to you so you can grow at the rate that suits your company, not at the one which may suit your cloud provider.
- Support: The final factor you may want to consider is support. If you need help, how difficult might it be to get it? In some case, you may find support only through a chat center, and if that doesn't meet your needs, you could be in a very rough spot when you need help. Ask questions before you select a service that helps you understand both what level of support you can access and what form that support takes.
Cloud services could really change your company for the better, but finding the right provider is key to the equation.