In the world of IT there’s no bigger buzzword than “cloud”; it’s on every consultant, CIO and IT professional’s lips when asked about the future of the industry. While Internet-based computing is not for everyone – we want to answer the burning question for you: Why the cloud? And not just why, but how much cloud is right for you and your business needs?
Let’s explore the pros and cons of cloud based IT and how it applies to your business needs.
Is The Cloud Right For You?
It may come as a surprise to you that the cloud isn’t the right answer to every business’s IT problems. Instances where cloud computing may offer little advantage to a company include:
- The digital presence does not necessitate the cloud
- The cloud may not be in the budget for the current year
- The products or services you offer don’t require the cloud
A business that maintains only a handful of employees who primarily work offline (an oddity in the current day and age, but they do exist!), won’t find much use for cloud technology. After all, the cloud is a digital space that can offer multiple offsite solutions for digital needs; if those digital needs don’t exist, the only thing the cloud will do is waste your time and resources. In short, the cloud won’t do much for your business if you don’t have a need for it. However, there are a multitude of reasons that necessitate the use of the cloud, making a deep dive into the finer points of this technology a must.
“Reality Check: Shadow/rogue IT is a very real thing. 40% of IT spending is often attributed to rogue or shadow IT practices1, leaving CIOs in the dark about what’s happening under their network’s nose.”
It’s no question that many companies know rogue IT is going on and choose to ignore it, but some companies are truly unaware. In other cases however, a company might be hoping to deliver the same computing experience that the cloud can offer but isn’t informed enough to make the switch. So, in which of these cases is cloud computing the right choice? My answer: all, none or some (my way of saying “it depends”). Is that a nebulous answer? Yes, and it’s ambiguous on purpose.
Every Business’s Needs Are Different
There’s one concrete thing all businesses need to succeed – a plan, strategy and purpose-built goal based on fact. When it comes to the cloud, the tactics involved are no different. Depending on your company’s size and nature, different cloud features are going to appeal to you. But don’t be fooled into thinking that size and need are exclusive; a smaller company may be fit for a wide range of cloud features while a large company might only have a few ways their architecture fits into the cloud.
Many CIO’s make the bold statement that in 2 to 3 years IT is going to be 80-100% cloud based. If that statement is based on careful due diligence, research, and informed hypothesis, great! If it’s just a statement made to sound industry-savvy, then it’s time to get real and consider developing a serious, well-thought-out strategy for implementing the cloud into your business.
Don’t worry, gaining a pulse on your business and its needs and integrating the cloud into your existing business model isn’t as difficult as it seems. In fact, here are three tips for deciding if the cloud is right for your business:
- Have a strategy. I don’t mean a statement that says, “We’re doing it!” I mean consult or hire experienced advisors and have a realistic conversation with them about what parts of your business make sense to transfer or run from the cloud.
- Talk to the business. Understand your business’s needs and goals, and then apply the right cloud based solutions. The cloud boasts many benefits that stretch beyond financial savings to include faster development times, more agile applications, and portability. When it comes to business solutions, the cloud is a cumulonimbus, striking with lightning speed and raining down benefits on your business.
- Make sure IT is realistic and true to your business’s needs. Most IT professionals and companies bust their hind supporting the business they work for. However, if the business needs things done faster, more efficiently and in a less complicated manner, then be honest about what you can do and where maybe, just maybe not worrying about blinking lights makes sense. Having time to sit down to work directly with the business provides more value than fighting fires.
Is the cloud right for you? Only you can answer that. You know your business better than anyone else, but if you’re not the tech-savviest person in the room, simply tap into the expertise of an experienced IT consultant. Their expertise and insight will answer whatever questions you may have, including some you may not have even conceived. Most of all, don’t be intimidated by the cloud; it’s your business’s cost-effective friend that will serve you well if you couple it with your business’s needs.