Optimizing Your Office for Cloud Computing

With so many businesses making the switch from computer hard drives to storing data on the internet via “the cloud,” it’s likely you’re reading this because your business is one of them.

If your business is interested in moving your data to the cloud but is new to the concept, read on for tips on how your office can make the most of your cloud computing experience.

Don’t Pay for Unused Space

Several companies make the mistake of purchasing the largest available data storage so that vacant space is “there in case we need it later.” That’s like renting a mansion for your dog when a typical doghouse would suffice. It leaves you paying for storage that’s just gathering virtual dust and cobwebs.

Avoid paying for superfluous storage space by doing the following:

  • Monitor Your Data – Keep tabs on all data that gets entered into your company’s cloud storage, and continually track its performance to determine if it’s necessary to keep or not.
  • Benchmark– Benchmarking is the practice of comparing the performance of your data to the top performers in your industry. Sometimes seeing that comparison can help you decide if particular data is worth keeping.
  • Tailor the Fit – Use elastic cloud computing resources that automatically grow or scale down along with your business until you’ve found the perfect fit.
  • Understand What You’re Paying for – Some companies will purchase cloud storage, and then put it out of sight and out of mind. When you’re not up to speed on your company’s cloud storage activity, you’ll end up paying for fees you didn’t even realize you were getting charged for.

Organize Data by Tagging and Scaffolding

When data accumulates, identifying specific data on a chart can feel like trying to find Waldo. You can avoid having to pull a needle out of a haystack of data by tagging it, or in other words, color coding for simpler identification. Or, use a tool like OpenRefine to organize your messy data.

Tagging is a helpful tool, but there’s such a thing as overdoing it. If every single piece of data is tagged, it defeats the purpose and your eyes are right back to sifting through a visual hell. You can reach a happy medium by scaffolding, i.e. organizing data into useful tiers. That way, you stay organized and make your data easy to manage while avoiding over-tagging.

Revisit Your Company’s Computer Allocation

Before cloud storage, most companies would opt to purchase desktops over laptops simply because they thought they had to choose the best option for storing data locally. Now that cloud storage enables you to access data from anywhere in the world, however, it’s time for your company to revisit the laptop vs. desktop debate.

If your company conducts the majority of its business out of your office location, then desktops may continue to be your best bet. But if your work frequently takes you on the road, switching to laptops may benefit you, as it negates having to bring a hard drive with you on your travels.

Try Multicloud Service (But Use Discretion)

Different cloud providers have different pros and cons, so taking a multicloud approach to storage enables you to allocate your data in a way that takes advantage of each provider’s strengths.

But make sure you research the providers you choose and monitor them carefully. Using multiple providers can result in you paying twice for similar features.

Turn the Lights Out at Night

Cloud storage lets you decide not only what you pay for, but also when you pay for it. For example, if your company conducts business during typical work hours from 8am – 6pm and you don’t need to have access to data outside of that window, why keep paying for it?

Use a cloud management resource that automatically “shuts off the lights for you” and keeps you from paying for data in your free time.

Secure Your Cloud Applications

The cloud itself is constantly evolving at lightning speeds. In fact, it moves so fast that most cloud-based apps meant to maximize cloud efficiency and reduce costs have a hard time keeping up. 

This presents security issues that are likely to go unnoticed by your IT department, so make sure you monitor these apps closely to stay ahead of any potential threats.

Welcome to Your New Home in the Cloud!

Cloud computing takes time to learn. But incorporating these tips into your company’s cloud computing strategies can help you stay ahead of the learning curve.

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