Spoiler alert; we’re about to deliver a 3 part series and it is going to use the word “cloud” many times. But if you’re keen on the advantages that cloud can offer you, read on. We’re going to outline a framework for creating your cloud strategy.
If you can answer yes to one or more of the following questions, this article is for you:
- The prospect of having predictable operational expenses is far more attractive than forking out the thousands of dollars we’ve been told we need to pay (again) for new server equipment
- As a business, we really “get” the subscription model and understand it offers a smart way to license software, since every few years there’s a new version and we’d like to stay up to date.
- Our team lives and breathes in Microsoft Office, but our file server is disorganised and staff are frustrated because they can’t work together at the same time on documents, or find it cumbersome always needing to share documents via email.
- There’s a lot that our technology misses; paper floats around the office and we worry that too much knowledge about how things are done is stored in individual team members’ heads.
- We’d love find out how to move to the cloud, but we’re concerned that our team might be reluctant or resistant to change.
A good cloud strategy can be broken down into three steps; engagement > enablement > empowerment.
The first step in your cloud strategy will be to properly engage cloud services. It’s likely that you’re more “cloud engaged” than you think; you’re using cloud based platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, you may have a Dropbox account to store files and photos. Your CRM might be a cloud based platform, or you’re using a marketing tool such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. Your accounting or Line of Business software is a browser based application.
However, to make the leap from dabbling in cloud platforms, to having a business that has a cloud strategy at its core, you need to take the first step in a roadmap cloud journey. A strategic approach means:
- Examining the existing environment
- Determining what can and what cannot be moved to the cloud
- Understanding the business and marketing goals of the company
- Provisioning the right cloud solutions, in the right order
You need to make sure your cloud provider understands the existing landscape of your IT environment and also understands why as a business you want or need this change. What business value do you need the cloud to deliver? These factors are essential in choosing the right solutions.
The cloud can make your IT environment much easier to understand and exercise control over. It increases an organisation’s agility and allows them to allocate capital spend to revenue-driving investments, or more strategic technology based projects. At the same time, they’re deploying robust and always up to date IT Infrastructure as a Service.
It used to be an either/or scenario. Cloud is enabling business to do both, but it takes expertise to manage the complexity of integrating on-premise, private and public cloud solutions and knowing which solution is the right one for particular problems. The engagement phase is a critical step to get right.
Our next article will explore steps 2 & 3. If you can’t wait and would like a free discovery session on how to develop your cloud strategy, give us a call on 1300 766 554 to find out if your business is a good fit.
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