The Top 10 Things All Business Owners should know about the Cloud in 2015
If you’re a business owner or manager who is still contemplating a transition to the cloud, we’d like to help your process along by sharing with you some insights that should make your decision a little easier. According to a recent article in SWAG, there are a number of things, seven to be exact, that every business should know about migrating to the cloud.
We even added a few of our own ideas into the mix:
- The cloud can lower cost According to statistics from curiousrubik, 80% of companies who adopted cloud technology noticed a significant savings in their functioning expenditures. The reason for this is twofold: (1) cloud providers are in charge of most of the IT management and (2) energy and facilities costs are usually lowered, since the servers are operated by a third party.
- A wide variety of cloud services are available The cloud is not a sole platform that manages all business needs. You select the platform that complements your business depending on the type of service you want to transition to the cloud. Some of the options include: Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), which our Gartner analyst affectionately pronounces “Kick Ass.”
- Security This remains one of the biggest concerns most people have when it comes to moving to the cloud, and understandably so. Cloud security has improved as cloud providers have learned to make security their top priority. Confidence is building, however, as curiousrubik reports that 50% of organizations using the cloud have transferred sensitive data to the network. That said, it’s still a good idea to study the privacy policies of the potential cloud provider.
- The cloud does not have to be either-or Most business owners believe that you either move everything to the cloud or move nothing, and that’s not true. Hybrid clouds are available, allowing businesses to move less critical resources to one cloud while using a private cloud to handle more complex information.
- The cloud goes down at times If the internet goes down, so does your cloud access. Always have an emergency backup that allows for business continuity.
- Some vendors try to lock you into a contract Always read and study the contract before you sign. Some vendors will ask for costly termination fees or demand ownership of your data until the contract expires. Again, study before you sign.
- The cloud can increase productivity The cloud allows employees to access business applications from anywhere and with any device, so transitioning to the cloud can be a great step in enabling staff to work from home. In fact, according to curiousrubik, more than 80% of the companies using cloud services have shown an increase in productivity within the first six months. Our research showed that contact centers that implement the cloud to enable work-from-home agents increased productivity as well.
- There’s plenty of space Currently, curiousrubik tells us there is an estimated one exabyte (one billion billion bytes) of data stored in the cloud. That translates to a huge number with more zeros than we care to count!
- Growth is expected 2014 turned out to be a landmark year for cloud computing, as cloud workloads exceeded IT workloads by a ratio of 51 to 49. Curiousrubik reports that by the end of 2015, it is expected that $180 billion will be spent by end users and according to Cisco forecasts, the amount of traffic hosted through the cloud networks will triple by 2017.
- Companies will be looking to consolidate providers Most IT departments will be looking to consolidate cloud operations from several providers to just one or two in order to more effectively manage the entire cloud operation.
While the benefits of cloud are substantial, a cloud transition still requires a significant amount of dedication and involvement from the organization’s IT team to ensure a smooth transition, and things do go wrong. A concern I often hear is the chance of business disruption during the transition. For that reason, we often recommend a gradual integration into the cloud, starting with either a small percentage of call volume (5%), a single telephone number or even simply overflow call volume.