Until now, cloud computing has enjoyed unprecedented support and eager enthusiasm from small-to-medium business owners. You may be tempted to ditch your IT department and hop, skip and jump over to the cloud in a fit of wild abandon; but, like all astute business decisions, moving to the cloud takes research and planning. If you have not put the time in, you may be paying more for your cloud computing than you should. Here are the most common cloud computing mistakes small-to-medium businesses make when moving to the cloud.
Is the cloud cheaper?
Do your research before selecting a cloud vendor to ensure you only pay for services you need, and that you select a package that is flexible enough to grow with the changing needs of your business. The cloud is not perfect for everyone, so to look at storage options to see which one gives you the best ROI. For instance, 1TB of space on Google will cost you about $50 every month while a new external drive with the same capacity will run you about $140. This will mean that you can pay as much as $3,000 to store your online databases on the cloud for a year for the same storage that $140 will cost over the same period.
If you run a business that can benefit from the flexibility of unfettered access to your data via the cloud, then the $3,000 will be a worthwhile investment as it frees you from your need to be at your desk.
If your business does not require the creation of an online database, if there is no need to be able to access data at any time from any place, or if you see no disadvantage to being tied to your desktop, then perhaps a move to the cloud is not for you.
Anticipate your needs
While cloud storage is relatively inexpensive, most cloud users need more from their providers than just storage. For every additional service you ask of your cloud provider, an additional fee will be added to your bill. That means that automated backups, credit card processing, or summaries of online data and analysis will all come at an additional cost.
When selecting your cloud vendor, try to anticipate all the services you will require so that you can find the vendor that best suits your budget (and so you are able to accurately investigate your return on investment).
Sharing is caring
While customizing your cloud system is advisable in order to get the most out of your switch to the cloud, you need to be aware that each cloud vendor offers proprietary systems which may not work across other platforms. This means that the great slide show you made with Google Docs won’t load in your Microsoft PowerPoint. There can be major problems with sharing data between platforms that can cost you time and money.
This does not make the cloud inefficient, but you need to try to account for possible delays when sharing data over more than one platform.
There may not be an app for that
The same cautionary tale goes for using apps on the cloud. Some business applications are not cloud-compatible or they have different versions for the cloud. This means that you may have to give up some of your favorite applications, or you will need to retool and retrain all your employees on app-friendly versions of your existing programs.
Cloud computing mistakes can be avoided
These cloud computing mistakes do not render the cloud unprofitable for a small-to-medium business. What it does mean is that, prior to making the switch to the cloud, you have to do your homework so you have a very clear picture of the costs and hurdles you will have to overcome to enjoy all the benefits of the cloud.
In your planning and organization for a switch to the cloud, ensure you find the right cloud vendor for you — one that is able to parse the package to suit your budget, and with the flexibility to grow with your business needs. Another vital element to successful cloud integration is to leave enough time to train all employees on how to use the cloud effectively and securely, and how to use apps that are cloud friendly.
There is a price of admission to the cloud in terms of time and money, so make sure that you can save more of both once your move is complete. For more cloud computing advice or customized cloud platforms visit the TrackVia website. Or, contact our team of experts today!