The last few years have seen rapid advances in cloud technology that has motivated both large enterprises and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to adopt this smarter way of computing.
Among the many advantages that compel these businesses to adopt cloud services include flexible storage solutions, robust data security, resource optimization, and zero downtime.
From affordability to flexibility, cloud solutions for small and medium enterprises give unlimited opportunities to grow and expand the business. With a host of other benefits that can completely transform the business for SMEs, it is best to adopt cloud solutions at the earliest.
Best Practices in Adopting Cloud Solutions
Moving to a cloud program is a significant technology shift for any company. Adopting public cloud solutions requires SMEs to acquire the required skills and knowledge to be able to develop robust processes for ongoing operations.
Here are 7 best practices that can streamline the adoption of cloud solutions for small and medium enterprises –
1. Understand Your Specific Cloud Business Case
Before you move your entire business to the cloud, it is essential to have clarity on why you are adopting the cloud in the first place and what benefits it can bring to your business.
While there are multiple tasks that one can accomplish in the cloud, it doesn’t mean that moving to a cloud solution will necessarily be the best fit for your processes.
It primarily depends on what you exactly need from the cloud, i.e., whether you want to build an application on a public cloud or a place to store data. Developing an understanding of where your business is today and where you want it to reach is critical for a successful migration to the cloud.
2. Devise a Comprehensive Cloud Adoption Strategy
Having a well-planned and robust cloud adoption strategy can help you in much faster implementation with lesser risk.
To be able to build an extensive approach to adopt cloud across your organization, you need to consider various aspects that will be impacted by the cloud adoption, such as day-to-day operations, your people, the governance strategy, and security and platform considerations.
To be able to drive the growth of your SME, it makes sense to begin your cloud journey by implementing and leveraging various business applications through the as-a-service or aaS model. It allows you to use cloud resources based on your specific needs and scale the use of as-a-service, as your business needs grow.
3. Work Out The Financial Details
For some organizations, migrating to a cloud environment is more of an economic decision rather than a technical one. It is, therefore, important to determine if the public cloud is the right choice for your specific business needs by constantly comparing costs between on-premises and public cloud infrastructure services.
Among the other key financial aspects that you need to consider here is to work out the total number of people in your organization who will need access to SaaS software. This is important to determine as this software is usually sold on a per-user basis.
4. Educate & Train Your Resources On Cloud
To make cloud adoption smooth and hassle-free, one of the important aspects is to find ways to make cloud education and learning easily accessible.
The success or failure of your cloud adoption strategy depends on how well-trained your users are, as they are the ones who will be performing the day-to-day tasks using the cloud.
There are multiple low-cost ways to teach and learn, and their organization-wide adoption should be a part of a continuous improvement model.
Among the ways you can use to facilitate this are –
- Free education available on AWS and other cloud service providers and vendors on their websites
- Various online communities and local meetups offering ongoing learning
- Cloud education modules available on YouTube
5. Create a Powerful Cloud Security & Governance Policy
As an increasing number of SMEs are adopting cloud services, chances and incidences of data breach attacks have become commonplace.
Further, with strict data governance laws in today’s business environment, it becomes essential for businesses to have a robust cloud security and governance policy in place.
The best strategy to implement this is by partnering with cloud security experts and leveraging services such as the use of virtual private networks, restricting access, encryption of databases, and more.
Robust security and a good governance policy helps your business prevent unmanaged growth, eliminate waste, and establish various processes for long-term optimization.
6. Select a Single Workload & Automate
While you might be tempted to move all your workloads to the cloud in one go, given the risks involved and high cost, it makes sense to go slow and start small.
Make sure to select a single workload that will benefit the business the most and move it to the cloud and gradually work on expanding to additional workloads.
In addition to this, it is recommended to automate as many aspects as possible to save time and operating costs. These could include configuration, provisioning, and management of your cloud-based infrastructure.
7. Leverage the Expertise of a Professional Cloud Service Provider
Cloud adoption for SMEs is a challenging task and requires them to be well-prepared at each step. For a smooth transition to the cloud, it is best to leverage the expertise of a professional and qualified service provider who can help reduce hurdles and improve the overall delivery process.
Hiring a professionally qualified and capable cloud partner can also offer you great insights and direction needed to streamline your cloud adoption journey
The cloud is one of the intelligent technologies that are all set to drive continuous innovation while transforming the way businesses function and interact with customers. Apart from performance improvements and better economies of scale, the cloud also allows for freeing up of the company’s IT resources.
However, migrating to the cloud successfully requires SMEs to have a deep understanding of their applications and well-managed coordination among all the stakeholders.
Apart from a consistent implementation plan, businesses also need to have a robust cloud adoption framework to ensure a consistent and efficient migration program that leads to successful cloud migration. Embracing the above best practices allows your business to reduce the risks associated with implementation while continually improving performance.
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