Can moving your business data to the cloud give you an advantage over those who don’t?

Introducing cloud services to your business is oft seen as a good way to manage technology costs in a business that its been proven a need to maintain flexibility and scaleability. Whether talking of SAAS (software as a service) or IAAS (infrastructure as a service) or even PAAS, the benefite is that when the time comes to grow you can contact the service provider and upscale the requirement. And in the event that the business goes the other way, you can do the same to downscale. There is no massive up-front cost initially, you simply pay for what you need when you need it.

For example: More and more businesses are choosing to move their email to the cloud with stable offerings from the likes of Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s Apps for Work (along with a host of others), you no longer need to invest in an onsite exchange server, software etc.. The cloud has made it easy for multiple devices to collect various email accounts anywhere in the world with a data connection. A few changes to MX records are your set. Which can be as simple as login into your domain hosting provider and clicking on advances dns settings. No more complicated url and setup guides on multiple devices.

“Advice most needed is least heeded.”

Recently I spoke to a business owner who suggested that the cloud actually had been detrimental to his business productivity levels. He argued that the ability to simply upscale and downscale on-demand had resulted in people investing less time in deciding what was the best long-term strategy for the business. He also said that whereas before you would adopt technologies or services and be set with them for a few years (for example), now technologies and services are adopted for a few months and then disregard. This has the effect that if you do not fully invest in a system or technology and properly resource that, it will be destined to fail. Or at least not get the best out of it.

“the cloud can in no way be seen as a hindrance to business, especially SMEs”

In this case its potentially a thought to place someone else in charge of this type of IT related decision. Or indeed outsourcing the IT provisions to a 3rd party supplier.

Cloud computing and its adoption has to be a team effort where everyone buys-in to what is trying to be achieved. There has to be a level of effort on everyone’s part. In this case above the adoption of cloud services without due diligence is clearly the source of the problem. The ability to pay for what you need and want at a particular time should not encourage sloppiness!

Someone in the business needs to be given governance over cloud based (and wider IT decisions) and be an advocate to the benefits that can be gained. The best person in most cases would be the organizations CIO.