When choosing a long-term cloud platform solution, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to begin. Every major vendor is grasping for your attention with clever campaigns that distract from the fact, that this huge decision isn’t about ‘the biggest and the best’, and certainly not all about a reckless migration to the cloud, for the sake of keeping up with the times. As you research you’ll realize that every cloud provider is “the only one of its kind,” and the “number one solution”. We all know and love the capabilities of cloud and its great capacity to make business processes faster, and more effective, but how do you even begin to differentiate between them?
First, understand how your company is using cloud today, if at all. Maybe you’re implementing a content management platform, Maybe you’re using collaboration platforms to facilitate better communication, and teamwork. Cloud offers great data backup services, and maybe IT is leveraging cloud already, with a backup and recovery solutions. Find out what you’re using, and take that vision to the future. What business processes could use some help from cloud? How major is this migration you’re imagining, and do you have the IT to maintain it? Use that knowledge to better understand what your company needs to achieve through cloud, and then make sure those choices are setting you, and your employees, up for success.
Understanding your current infrastructure means that you need to enlist the help of your own IT department and not outside vendors, when discussing what you already have in place, what isn’t working or in their eyes, what would be a total waste of time and money in a new solution. Your IT staff know more about your current infrastructure and the roll it plays in your business better than anyone else, and by including them in the process, you’ll be armed with the right questions to ask as you research and negotiate solutions with vendors. Word to the wise: Make sure that your cloud product is scalable to accommodate growth. Cloud is like a swimming pool. more often than not, once people dip their toe in the cloud, they tend to slide on in. This means you should be cognizant of workflows, storage and compute for the future processes.
Lastly: Consider hybrid cloud platforms-an easy way to store more sensitive data, with the added bonus of a private cloud to store less sensitive data on a public cloud. When utilized correctly, hybrid clouds offer a way to complement existing resources without additional costs, while freeing up staff time to focus on other things.
Remember, as you conduct your research ask yourself, what will your company look like in the future? The solution needs to address your immediate needs while being flexible enough to respond to growing business conditions. As your company evolves, your cloud platform should grow with it.