5 Tips for First-Time Cloud Users
Cloud adoption is soaring for businesses. The acceleration of this trend is partly due to the pandemic. However, it was already in motion before the coronavirus crisis hit as 94 percent of enterprises use some type of cloud service. Companies realize the many benefits of using the cloud, but new adopters likely have questions and concerns. To support first-time cloud users, we’ve developed these vital tips to ensure an easy migration.
No matter where you are on your cloud journey, there are best practices and considerations to keep in mind. Understanding the cloud and its options helps you make the best decisions for your team now and into the future.
The Cloud Basics
The cloud is a virtual hub where you can host and store applications, documents, data, and more. It offers consistent accessibility for working from wherever. Users simply need an internet connection and login details.
The cloud, in a physical sense, is a set of servers located off-site in a data center. There are three types of clouds: public, private, and hybrid.
- Public cloud: Enjoy lots of cloud storage that’s cost-effective and scalable. You “rent” the space from a provider. The provider controls your storage size and security measures.
- Private cloud: The makeup is basically the same as public, although you don’t share the cloud space. You own it and have more control over it, but you’ll pay a higher price.
- Hybrid cloud: A hybrid cloud mixes public and private spaces. You can decide what goes where. You can store proprietary or sensitive data in your private cloud space.
Cloud Computing Delivers Advantages
The overarching benefit of the cloud is flexibility. You can also experience a more secure architecture and reduce technology costs. Here are some data points that corroborate intended advantages.
- 74 percent of technical CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) report that the cloud has a measurable impact on their business operations.
- 57 percent of cloud-using companies say its use improved customer support and continuity.
- 94 percent of cloud adopters experienced security and compliance improvements.
Understanding the return you can expect by converting to the cloud is the first part of decision-making. Next, we’ll go over tips for first-time cloud users.
Tips for First-Time Cloud Users Migrating to the Cloud
With any large-scale technology project, there are many moving pieces to consider. Check out these tips from our cloud experts.
Create a List of Goals for Cloud Migration
In shifting to the cloud, you expect to reap benefits. A good first step is to create a list of goals so that you can align those with business objectives. They’ll then be your guide as you continue the process. Possible goals could include:
- Enabling easier remote work
- Reducing costs
- Improving security
- Growing your business
Be sure the goals represent all stakeholders and that everyone is on the same page.
Assess Your Current Infrastructure
To move from on-premises to the cloud, it’s also a good idea to evaluate your current status. It would be helpful to document how users interact with applications now, some of which may already live in the cloud, such as SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms.
You may find it helpful to develop use cases for the cloud. Doing so allows you to learn how employees use applications and where the challenges are in current practices.
Define the Type of Cloud and What Will Live There
You’ll need to determine what type of cloud or clouds you’ll use for your business. You have three choices, as noted above. Once you define your architecture, you’ll need to decide what applications, documents, or data will live there.
Chart out the path and think about the applications or data that your team most uses and needs access to, whether they are in the office or working remotely. The goal of using the cloud is to break down barriers for team members. Consulting with department heads or other managers can help you make decisions.
One cloud-built application is unified communications (UC). A UC platform offers communication tools (phone, video conferencing, instant messaging, etc.). That’s something you want all users to access from anywhere. It also provides secure document storage and sharing so teams can be productive as they work in various locations.
Choose Your Model
In addition to public, private, and hybrid, there are cloud service models. The main three are SaaS, IaaS (Information as a Service), and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Here are the differences:
- SaaS: Vendor auto-updates software with little visibility for end users.
- IaaS: You have full control over the application configuration, requiring a bespoke infrastructure.
- PaaS: This requires coding work with all application facets in the web.
Most SMBs will use a SaaS model, as they typically don’t have in-house IT staff to deploy the other options.
Develop a Migration Plan
Planning your migration should be something you document and strategize. You want this to be seamless and not cause any downtime. You’ll want to collaborate with your provider to ensure this occurs as efficiently and securely as possible. In this plan, you should detail your deployment, review any areas of risk, and craft communications to your end-users.
Ready to Learn More About the Cloud for UC?
Intermedia is here to help first-time cloud users with our UC solution, Intermedia Unite. The platform includes cloud communication tools and file management. You’ll experience near-perfect uptime, access from wherever, and robust security.