More than 90% of small businesses now use some form of cloud computing. But despite the transforming the world of business IT, making the move to the cloud isn’t always as straightforward as some vendors promise.
While the benefits of moving certain applications to a distributed computing environment are without doubt, the cloud comes with its own set of challenges and limitations that small businesses are often unaware of. If you want to get the most out of your cloud technology, make sure you don’t fall into one of the following traps.
#1. Neglecting Bandwidth Requirements
One of the most common reasons small businesses migrate to the cloud is because it allows them to tap into a cutting-edge computing infrastructure without having to invest heavily on in-house hardware and the expertise needed to maintain it. Instead, you can access everything from cloud-based apps to virtual desktops in a browser. Nonetheless, that also means you’re far more reliant on the speed and stability of your internet.
Nothing ruins the cloud computing experience like a sluggish internet connection, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the best possible package available in your area. Some applications are more bandwidth-intensive than others, so make sure to to ask about speed requirements before investing in cloud-based applications.
#2. Not Having Robust Service Level Agreements
Cloud service providers are obligated by their service level agreements (SLA) to offer a predefined minimum standard of service. These contracts are written to set the expectations of both parties and, as such, they’re extremely important when it comes to evaluating service providers. Unfortunately, some businesses sign up for providers without the backing of a robust SLA.
To help ensure that your cloud experience is a smooth one, you’ll need to have a suitable SLA in place that considers the roles and responsibilities of both parties and allows you to evaluate disaster recovery plans and the resolution times of support requests. You will also need to familiarize yourself fully with any vendor lock-in costs that might be included in your contract.
SLAs should not be several pages of incomprehensible legalese, so look for guarantees that are clearly defined -- such as a monthly maximum allowable downtime that is measured in minutes.
#3. Failing to Plan for Applications
Migrating to the cloud is a big step, and not all vendors are made equal. Failing to plan ahead with a scalable, long-term solution in mind can leave businesses with a portfolio of applications that don’t align with core business goals. Furthermore, some companies are tempted to move all their applications to the cloud as quickly as possible, often without adequate staff training and implementation procedures.
More complex systems, such as enterprise resource management software (ERP), can take months to fully implement, so you’ll want to work with a provider who can help you make the move while overcoming compatibility issues and ensuring that your data is kept intact.
#4. Forgetting about Compliance Regulations
Security is a common concern of companies migrating to the cloud, and although its cybersecurity posture can be even better than non-cloud solutions, no business should ever assume that all the necessary safeguards will be accounted for.
This is particularly true of organizations operating in highly regulated industries, in which meeting compliance standards is mandatory. Of particular importance is being able to know exactly where and how your data will be stored.
To mitigate any potential security issues and ensure you’re staying on the right side of the law, you’ll need to work with a cloud provider that understands your industry and provides the necessary security measures. For example, companies operating in the healthcare field are subject to HIPAA compliance, in which case they should only ever work with vendors that are also HIPAA-compliant.
At Qoverage, we understand that every business has different requirements. That’s why we take the human element very seriously when it comes to personalizing your migration to the cloud and making technology work for you. If you’re ready to make your move to the cloud without the headaches, give us a call today.