Running a business on legacy IT infrastructure is becoming more of a concern, as physical or isolated technology assets provide little integration. As software improves and remote working increases, this is not fit for purpose long-term.
Cloud-based systems allow organizations to operate with more agility, ease of team collaboration and to tap into existing security and data architecture.
It’s become common for non-cloud based companies to use online platforms and SaaS solutions for particular tasks, though this is not fit for purpose when looking at the long term. Hosting your business infrastructure in the cloud provides the flexibility you need to be a customer-focused, operationally efficient organization.
When choosing a cloud provider, it’s important to plan early and ensure they can service all of your needs. Here’s some key things to consider when procuring cloud services for your business.
Your needs will change as your business grows. A key benefit to cloud hosting is that it allows you to scale your business with ease, simply adding API data integrations or additional user licenses for new employees.
Think about your business objectives for the next 3-5 years, and how your operating model and infrastructure might need to adapt. Your cloud provider should offer such flexibility so that you can scale your business or pivot accordingly. A limited service could cost you down the line.
Security and Compliance
No matter your industry, your organization will need to have sufficient security measures to fend off cyberattacks, protect customer data, and comply with local laws such as GDPR. A good cloud provider will have the necessary measures built in so that your business operates within the required parameters.
You might face more stringent governance and legal barriers in industries such as finance or healthcare. If this is the case, your cloud services provider should also have the technical knowledge to help you apply this. It’s important to ask the question to avoid costly mistakes.
Ownership or Subscription Model
Smaller or less-complex organizations may benefit from a subscription-based service, dealing with lower costs and outsourced management. But this can come with limitations - particularly when thinking of scalability and security.
Full ownership of your cloud infrastructure will give you more control in the future. You’ll have more ability to shape the direction of the business where operating models might need to change. It’s worth considering whether ownership or subscription services provide the best cost-benefit for you, and whether you easily move from one to the other in the future.
Reliability and Recovery
With a cloud-based infrastructure, you’re reliant on your provider to be reliable and available. Outages or maintenance can mean serious downtime for your business in which you aren’t able to serve customers.
You also need to prepare for if things go wrong. Does your provider offer easy recovery of data files? Is there sufficient security in place and will it cost you as a user?
The beauty of hosting an entire business system on the cloud is that you have full sight of all company data. This is important to monitor customer behavior, sales, and employee usage.
Your cloud services provider should provide such data in a way that is usable by you. This is an additional benefit to give you more operational insight and gives you visibility that could not be achieved on a non-cloud based solution.
The benefits of cloud services are clear for any business, but the right strategy is essential. Finding the right fit can be complex, requiring an understanding of both your long-term strategy and software needs.
Having the right cloud strategy is essential and having the right technical partner with all the knowledge will help to speed up and optimize this process. NerdCloud is that partner you need.