How to integrate the cloud into your business

The cloud is fast becoming a standard in business, with many organisations seeing its intrinsic value. This is thanks to the simplicity and low cost of the cloud, among its many other benefits that include scalability, flexibility and reinforced security for businesses.

Cloud computing continues to disrupt the way organisations around the world do business, and shows no sign of letting up. Findings from Cloud Industry Forum show that the cloud adoption rate in the UK stands at 88%, and 67% of users are expecting to increase their cloud adoption over the coming years.

The cloud is here to stay – so how can you integrate this growing technology into your business?

Audit your infrastructure and determine your business needs

The first thing you need to do is assess what you currently have. What infrastructure do you currently have and how is it used? Are your existing systems tied down by contracts or reaching end-of-life? Do you have sufficient back-up systems in place? By assessing your estate, you can determine which parts you want to migrate over to the cloud.

Determining your current and future business requirements will also help you to determine how the cloud can help to improve your business. For example, are your current systems running slowly and damaging employee productivity? Will your existing systems cope with scaling quickly to meet customer demand?

Understanding your existing and future business needs will help you to establish what should be migrated to the cloud, when to do it and how to manage this transition.

All systems go

Once you’ve given the go-ahead to migrate some or all aspects of your business to the cloud, it is crucial to create a plan to handle the transition. Consider what tools are needed and what in-house resources are required when managing the transition. Do you need external support?

When you are attempting to choose a cloud supplier, you will need to do your homework to ensure the company that you are considering has the relevant industry credentials. This should include checking its track record and making sure it is well-established over a long period of time. Ensure your cloud supplier can support you in transitioning to the cloud, as well as what ongoing support and maintenance it can provide for you.

Putting a solid plan in place will help you to minimise any adverse business impact and reduce any loss in productivity, making for a smoother transition. You should ensure communications are open and that all of those involved – such as your staff and cloud provider – are fully engaged. 

Start simple

It is wise to start simple when transitioning to the cloud. A phased transitional plan is likely to work best for your business, as this will allow you to test the processes and become familiar with them. Beginning with the functions that are less time-consuming and the least sensitive will build your IT staff’s confidence when they are adapting to new systems. A test run should also be carried out at least once to highlight any potential hindrances. 

Phasing the transition to the cloud also helps to minimise disruption to your business. It is important to assess the timing of integrating the cloud, otherwise staff could be overloaded with work or integration could clash with busy times of the year.

Incorporating the cloud into your business in the right way can help to give you a competitive edge in this digital era. With its simple, low-risk cloud transition solution, Gamma can help you to successfully integrate the cloud into your day-to-day operations. 

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