Migrating to the Cloud is Only Half the Battle

shutterstock_137893979It’s a big project, and a huge achievement, to migrate your enterprise to the cloud. After all, even a small business has a number of applications, servers, and data sets that are important, and moving it all to one or more cloud providers can be risky.

Migrating to the cloud is also just the start of your evolution. Now begins the process of ensuring that a successful migration stays successful, and that your organization is able to fully leverage its chosen cloud services to enable new initiatives and even business models.

Unlimited Potential

Cloud services, at their core, are mechanisms of enablement. Via cloud services, companies have the ability to create applications, data, servers, networks, and user accounts faster than ever before. This can increase time to market tremendously and offer significant flexibility.

Scope Creep

On the other hand, cloud services can also enable massive server sprawl, on a level not even possible in the previous physical environment. When users and administrators have more accessibility to creating accounts, generating data, and spinning up new services, it can either lead to automated provisioning or massively spiraling costs.

Maintaining Control in the Cloud

It’s important to implement some controls that will help keep your cloud environment sustainable for the long run. But the question is, where to start? With that in mind, here are some pointers to begin with:

  1. Place apps in the cloud. Most organizations have hundreds, if not thousands, of applications managed by IT. In order to maintain control of your cloud environment, place as many apps as possible under management. This can reduce unnecessary usage and costs.
  2. Maintain security. Cloud services are not secure in all cases. It’s still the company’s responsibility to provide security for both the cloud and local environment.
  3. Track usage. This might be the most important point of all. If you don’t monitor your usage, there is nothing to stop your costs from spiraling out of control. It’s that simple.

Migrating to the cloud is a massive accomplishment. It’s the first step in moving from a physical environment to a virtual one. And that’s why a complete view of what’s required for that move is required; it will ensure a strategic shift that benefits your company for the long term.

Capitalize on Cloud Services to Meet Customer Expectations

shutterstock_129834335Companies in today’s competitive marketplace are looking for any advantage they can find to attract and retain customers. IT options, including cloud-based systems and technologies, should not be overlooked as a way to relate to target audiences.

Consumer Profile

Today’s consumer is tech savvy and accustomed to using technology to facilitate their buying habits. Information is readily available at their fingertips to research products, compare brands, and shop for the best price. In addition, technology has significantly shortened the purchasing process. Consumers can make instant purchases with the touch of a button, and timely delivery is simply expected.

Companies that hope to attract such buyers must find ways to match their IT processes to this new consumer profile. In addition to offering a quick and easy purchasing process, utilizing powerful and efficient technology can help meet consumer needs and expectations.

The Cloud

Cloud services are an effective solution companies should consider. The cloud allows companies to tap into technologies, applications, and services in a scalable and flexible manner.

Companies may choose from private, public, or hybrid cloud solutions. Private cloud options typically offer increased security and control, and public cloud options offer a wide availability of applications that can be accessed quickly to meet customer needs. Hybrid cloud solutions feature the best of both worlds, allowing a company to retain some control of the network while harnessing the speed and flexibility of the public cloud.

One corollary benefit of deploying a cloud service to provide customer-centric IT services is that it frees up IT staff to focus on other critical operations.

Choosing a Cloud Service

The best cloud option will depend on the security, infrastructure control, and the specific applications and technologies needed. In addition, companies should carefully evaluate target audiences to better understand their needs and preferences. This can help determine which cloud service will best meet those needs. It’s also important to choose a cloud service provider with a proven track record delivering the desired services to the intended locations.

Cloud services have evolved to give companies a choice of services and deployment options to make the most of their operating environment. Customers expect efficient, exceptional service from the companies they do business with, and the cloud can facilitate that high level of customer service.