Best Practices for Moving Your Business to The Cloud
The cloud has revolutionized the way we do business, and you need to take steps to help your organization make the transition of moving to the cloud as quickly and seamlessly as possible. That means taking a close look at how you are currently using the cloud (because you likely are already using it in a number of ways) and asking yourself and your team how you could be doing it better. If you discover some weaknesses in your current approach, there are some best practices that can help, which is why we’ve assembled this guide to help you move your business to the cloud.
1. Look at How You’re Already Using the Cloud
It can be easy to look at newer technologies like the cloud and get overwhelmed by the possibilities, but the truth is that you’re already in the midst of a transition. According to CIO, 96% of organizations used the cloud in one way or another in 2018. The best strategy, therefore, is to get a handle on how it’s useful for your business and what you can do to improve on those synergies.
Are file sharing and collaboration technologies like the G Suite or DropBox creating new opportunities for employees to work outside of the office, whether that’s in the field or working from home? Are you taking advantage of the cloud to backup data offsite and increase your resiliency?
What does your team say about using these technologies, and where do they wish they had more tools in their toolbox? Often, starting a conversation from a place of what you’re already doing can lead to more ideas and a more specific direction for how to use the cloud going forward.
2. Clean Up Your Data
Conversations around how to get good data and how to use it have dominated entrepreneurial circles in recent years, to the point that many believe any data you collect is useful. The truth is that getting clean data that gives you an accurate picture of what’s actually going on is a serious challenge. In fact, according to IBM, 27% of business leaders surveyed were unsure how much of their data was inaccurate.
One of the key advantages of moving your business to the cloud is access to powerful automation and analytics tools that can provide you with actionable insights for everything from marketing to how you title your emails. The problem is that if your data is unreliable, it becomes very hard to be sure you’re taking the right actions.
3. Practice Good Data Hygiene
As you transition to the cloud, it’s worth it to take the time to practice good data hygiene. That means reviewing all input fields to see whether or not they’re necessary; pay particular attention to where things are tracked twice unnecessarily across your organization. Standardize all data coming into your business so that you’re not storing similar information in different formats based on what spreadsheet it’s in or what form it came from.
Finally, find ways to encourage your teams to share information across silos, decreasing the chances of a mixup. That might mean looking at how you can transition from ad hoc data collection and storage methods like an increasingly large and ungainly spreadsheet to some sort of CRM solution that makes things easier.
4. Focus on Security when Moving Your Business to The Cloud
One of the biggest concerns most people have—understandably—with moving to the cloud is how it may open up their business to new security risks and vulnerabilities. According to RiskBased Security’s mid-year report, the number of reported data breaches in 2019 has risen by 54%, while the number of exposed records was up 52%. It’s important not to underestimate the risks that come with the amazing things the cloud can do for your business.
There are a number of security practices you can adopt right now that will greatly improve your chances of protecting yourself. For starters, make sure your team has adequate training about what kind of attacks are out there and how they can plan.
Many hacking schemes like spear-phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks rely on their ability to trick an employee into thinking an email comes from a trusted source, resulting in them unintentionally handing over their login credentials to a cyberattacker. Training your team to recognize suspicious emails and giving them a way to check their authenticity is the key to making sure you don’t become a victim.
5. Look for Cloud-Based Services That Can Help You
As you look for ways to take advantage of everything the cloud has to offer, it’s important to take stock of new services out there that can help you get the most out of your business. Managed WiFi, for example, can help take the headache out of dealing with your enterprise network, offering 24/7 support, network monitoring, and regular device patching that is vital for network security. This frees up your IT team to focus on technology solutions that will improve your business operations, instead of running around trying to put out fires when someone’s device is having connectivity issues.
What You Can Do Right Now to Prepare to Move to the Cloud
Moving your business to the cloud isn’t something that happens overnight, but if you take a close look at your business operations, you’ll find that you’re likely already making the switch. As you look to leverage more analytics and automation, data quality is key, so make sure that you’re practicing good data hygiene and doing a comprehensive review of how you’re collecting and storing information across your organization. Finally, security is of the utmost importance, so provide your team with the training they need to protect your business from cyberattackers.
- Look at how you’re already using the cloud, and ask your team where there’s room for improvement.
- Clean up your data and practice good data hygiene moving forward.
- Train your team to recognize suspicious emails.
- Consider managed services to help you do more with the resources you already have.
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