By this point, the question of whether a given business should embrace cloud services has been largely settled for most firms. The value offered by cloud technology can no longer be ignored as firms in every industry increasingly turn to these solutions to improve their efficiency, productivity and more. There is little doubt that those businesses that wait too long to leverage the cloud will find themselves at a distinct competitive disadvantage in the near future. In many cases, this imbalance is already becoming apparent.
The issue, then, is not whether to pursue the cloud, but rather how businesses can and should go about making the most of these tools. Here are four tips and tricks for gaining the greatest possible benefits from cloud services.
1. Calibrate needs
One of the earliest and most important steps that business leaders must take when pursuing cloud services is determining their own needs. The cloud is a huge, wide-ranging term, one that encompasses countless services and possibilities. Every business can best take advantage of cloud computing in its own unique way. If a firm leader instead simply deploys the cloud in a general, generic manner, the business will fail to fully take advantage of this technology.
Business owners, managers and executives must therefore calibrate their cloud efforts to effectively address specific problems and goals for the organization.
2. Focus on reliability
Another critical aspect of successful cloud efforts is reliability. With the cloud, as with all technology, any downtime will frequently translate directly into lost profits and opportunities. Businesses must therefore ensure that their cloud services are highly reliable.
To this end, it is essential for decision-makers to choose cloud services providers that have earned reputations for dependability. These vendors should have redundancies in place to ensure that a technical failure of any kind will not lead to an automatic shutdown or disruption of service. Finding such a provider may require a somewhat greater investment, but the value added by true reliability is well worth such a cost.
3. Emphasize security
In the past, cloud security was widely seen as suspect, with many business owners and leaders afraid that embracing the cloud would put their networks and data at risk. However, as time has passed, most have come to accept what industry experts have long maintained: Cloud security can be just as, or even more, secure as legacy computing solutions. However, this is only true if the organization selects the right vendor and deploys the right strategies. Commitment to security should be a key selling point for any service providers that the business considers partnering with.
By emphasizing security, businesses can reduce the risk that they will experience a data breach. Considering the damage that these incidents can cause, this is a major value gain, and one of the key means by which firms can make the most of the cloud.
4. Embrace flexibility
Flexibility is undoubtedly one of the key advantages offered by cloud services. With the cloud, employees can access corporate files and other resources from anywhere so long as they have a working Internet connection. This enables employees to work remotely from home or while traveling, all without sacrificing productivity or team communication.
To take full advantage of this capability, business leaders deploying the cloud should develop strategies that embrace flexibility. Enabling employees to work partially or completely from home, for example, can increase job satisfaction and consequently employee retention rates.