Walk, Don’t Run, to Cloud Integration

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By: Daniel Newman|

Photo Credit: sreejithpg@ymail.com via Compfight cc

Although there is a massive trend toward cloud technology by businesses everywhere, it’s crucial to first understand the risks of and requirements for integrating the cloud into your organization. Deciding whether you should move to the cloud is simple—the complicated part is making sure it works and delivers the benefits you want.

Make an Informed Decision

It’s easy to assume that the cloud is the perfect solution for all of your data and processing needs. While the positive aspects of cloud technologies are indisputable, you do need to weigh the risks versus the rewards. The benefits of using the cloud for Big Data can be promising, but there are many variables to a successful selection and integration that you should think through before starting the transition.

Ask yourself if the cloud delivers the benefits you want and if it offers a tangible return on investment, such as cost-effective data storage or a safer alternative to off-site backup. Don’t assume the cloud is the best answer for your company; instead, make an informed decision by educating yourself about its pros and cons.

Become a “People Expert”

A key reason many companies struggle to adopt the cloud is a lack of expertise. While the cloud deals with many technological factors, the deciding factor comes down to people. Your business must have a policy to avoid cloud security issues that are caused by human error.

Bring your own device (BYOD) practices provide an excellent opportunity for workplace mobility, but lax BYOD policies can result in serious security risks. When you educate yourself and your employees about cyber threats to the cloud, you increase your chances of avoiding a cyberattack.

Lack of expertise about efficient integration is more likely a human problem than a technology or accessibility issue. Therefore, pay attention to the details surrounding the cloud and educate yourself as much as possible. The better you understand the cloud, the more likely it is you can effectively handle security threats and complications during integration.

Choose the Right Provider

With so many new cloud providers cropping up, choosing one is difficult. The process of evaluating the nonstandard offerings of each provider requires due diligence, as well as collaboration with the rest of your company when it’s time to start the integration.

The choice is not just about which provider offers a safe and efficient storage method. Today, the industry has morphed to include a vast number of other perks and risks. Buyers have to dig deep to understand the numerous differences between cloud providers and which service is right for a particular company.

You should base your decision on price, the level of monitoring and management you need, and the contract you’ll have with the provider. Some cloud providers offer on-demand, pay-as-you-go contracts, while others offer flat rates. Some present in-depth operational support as needed, while others leave it up to you to figure things out.

The key to choosing the right provider is to assess your existing data processes and decide which cloud provider will give you the smoothest transition. You’ll make cloud integration much easier for your company if you partner with a provider that fits seamlessly with your existing data strategy.

Understand the Integration Process

Understanding the capabilities of different service providers is one thing, but planning the integration with your current system is the most difficult part. Cloud services and on-premise data centers are not the same, so it’s vital you get to know your current system and the benefits and nuances of the cloud before making a final decision.

Successful integration comes from having a firm understanding of what your business needs from its cloud service. Moving data into the cloud can be extremely difficult if your company isn’t prepared. Your enterprise’s data doesn’t come to a halt during the tricky transition, so it needs to form a seamless connection with the cloud.

Move Forward with Confidence

If you don’t know where to begin with your data transfer, start by hiring a competent IT team. This may sound extreme, especially if you feel like you have a pretty good handle on cloud integration, but it’s crucial to your company’s success if you have any doubts about how to make the transfer. A solid IT team can give you information about what software to download, what adoption hiccups to look out for, and a plethora of other invaluable advice.

To transfer your data and complete your cloud adoption safely and efficiently, you have to formulate a plan for integration, transfer, and data usage, among other things. As technologies mature, it will become safer and easier to incorporate the cloud into businesses. Until then, armed with the knowledge of how to integrate the cloud into your business, you should be able to manage your big move without a hitch.

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About The Author

Daniel Newman

Founder and President, Broadsuite, Inc.

After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the co-founder of V3B [Broadsuite], a marketing firm specializing in the digital space, helping companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.

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