Moving to the Cloud: How SMBs Can Thrive in the Digital Age

Did you know that most people would prefer to bank online? A recent survey showed that 59% of respondents chose to use an app on their smartphone rather than visiting a bank in person. And by using cloud infrastructure, banks worldwide can make sure that they offer what their customers want and need.

But it's not just banking!

From healthcare and nonprofits to gas and accounting, the cloud is completely transforming what's possible for every industry out there - even for small and medium-sized businesses and organizations.

Yes, you can still leverage the power of cloud technology even if you're not a major Fortune 500 company.

This article gives small and medium businesses the information you need to understand how cloud technology can drive growth and efficiency. Read on to learn more about its tangible advantages and gain the necessary practical steps for a seamless transition to a well-optimized cloud environment.

What is the cloud?

The cloud is a short and sweet way to refer to the process of cloud computing: a framework for using the Internet to deliver computing services and resources like software and databases. Businesses can use an off-site data center to store their digital assets and access them whenever and wherever needed - not just when employees are in-office or using specific devices. A third-party provider will typically offer this framework as a service on a pay-as-you-go model.

How does cloud technology work?

So what does cloud computing actually look like in action?

First of all, a business can typically chooses between different types of cloud, whether it’s a private, public, or hybrid cloud model. It really depends on their needs!

With a public cloud, your organization will store your information on the provider's data center rather than your own server. The provider takes care of maintaining and managing the center, enabling businesses to pool resources with other organizations and users. On the other hand, a business may choose a private cloud model, meaning that the data center will only host their digital resources. This is particularly helpful for organizations that handle sensitive data!
In other situations, organizations can leverage the benefits of both options by opting for a hybrid cloud model and choosing which resources to store where.

The most common cloud computing services include:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):The cloud provider will offer all the computing resources needed to support a business's applications and operating systems, such as storage and networking.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): The cloud provider will provide the environment needed to specifically build, deploy and manage applications
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Businesses can use the web to access ready-to-go software applications, without needing to install and maintain their own local resources.

What are the benefits of cloud technology?

When your business embarks on a plan to modernize its operations, embracing cloud technology will be critical to your project's success. The cloud can bring your organization numerous benefits, such as:

  • A user-friendly interface for managing your daily IT tasks, from permissions to database management and beyond
  • An enhanced proactive cybersecurity posture and the stability needed to keep your operations running smoothly with minimal downtime
  • Increased computing power to elevate workplace performance and productivity
  • More accessible storage, giving the flexibility to improve workplace communication and collaboration, as well as work from anywhere. This can empower organizations to operate across multiple locations across the world and to allow remote work opportunities.
  • Reduced costs due to streamlined operations, outsourcing maintenance to your cloud provider, and cutting back on IT ovehead - which is especially helpful for smaller businesses that can’t afford to maintain their own internal infrastructure!
  • The ability to analyze large sets of data quickly, to make smarter business decisions more quickly

How To Maximize The Value of Your Cloud Investments

When your organization makes the decision to migrate to the cloud, you’ll need to take some specific actions to transition smoothly, including to transition smoothly

  • Assess your current environment, define your goals and then create a detailed map about the features you’ll need in your new infrastructure to help achieve those objectives
  • Take an inventory of your current data, servers, and applications to see which should migrate or stay local, as well as rank them in terms of priority, relevance, and sensitivity
  • Clean up your data before you migrate to the cloud so that you can start fresh in your new environment - this includes eliminating any duplicate or redundant data!
  • Choose the right cloud model for your organization, whether it’s public, private or hybrid
  • Select a cloud provider
  • Develop a migration plan, as well as a backup and recovery plan
  • Test your new environment before migration

Beyond following these practical steps, getting the most value out of your cloud services isn't just about adopting the right tools - it's about optimizing your use.

Let's discuss a few best practices for unlocking the full potential of this innovative technology:

Customize your cloud solutions to fit your needs

Work with your provider to ensure your cloud strategy aligns with your business goals and priorities. This should include evaluating your current infrastructure's inefficiencies and improvement areas and sourcing adequate solutions to boost your performance. You can also use the cloud's ability for detailed monitoring to analyze your output post-migration and reassess how you allocate resources.

Prioritize cybersecurity

Be proactive at the start! Implement robust cybersecurity measures alongside your new cloud strategy, such as encryption, managed detection and response, password management, and vulnerability scanning. You'll be inputting your most critical business information into the cloud - you want to ensure you protect your data with strict access control that prevents unauthorized access.

Foster a culture of innovation

Take the time to bring your entire team on board with your new organizational tools! Ensure that you provide adequate training and guidance to experience smooth onboarding and that your staff actually adopt your cloud solutions and use them optimally.

Seek out IT expertise

Implementing a cloud strategy requires working with people who understand all elements of information technology. Make sure that you find a provider with experience working with clients like you, and have the insights required to make it a practical project worth your money.

Experience Stress-Free Cloud Adoption

When small and medium-sized businesses embrace cloud technology, they can offload a lot of the stress of managing IT to focus on what they're passionate about.

At Bulletproof IT, our expert team is well-versed in the challenges and opportunities you might confront when moving to the cloud. When you partner with us, our cutting-edge cloud solutions will make the entire process feel simple and even enjoyable, from migration to ongoing management.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you get started on your cloud journey - and create a more productive and competitive business.

Oct 24, 2023

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