There is a major movement for business's large and small to move to the Cloud (which really means have your programs and data on a large, remote data center connected via the Internet to your workstations and laptops).
Naturally, any time there is a major movement to a newer technology lots of providers jump on the bandwagon hoping to gain some revenue from the "new" technology. Choosing the wrong provider can be particularly disastrous since companies give up some control in terms of monitoring, management and rapid action to correct an issue.
Most Cloud conversion disasters are the result of a "technology first" approach to what is a significant business decision and change of process and procedures in how a business is structured. The first thing to make sure of is that:
- The Data Center is a large, proven, world class data center with a large client base and a solid reputation of national users who cannot afford security lapses, shutdowns of any sort and are as hack-proof as is possible. Qualitech, as an example uses Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure to insure the reliability, speed and security you are entitled to. Beware of local Data Centers or co-hosted data centers that some companies use to take advantage of underworked servers.
- Choose a company that approaches your business issues before the technology features. The conversion to a Cloud based solution can be relatively effortless or plagued by downtime and confusion. Approaching your individual business needs MUST be the first consideration in making a choice of a technology partner.
- On-going Service and Support is a paramount issues. You have less control of your environment with Cloud hosting but when a issue develops you need fast, personalized and knowledgeable support by people who know your installation, people and business priorities. Having a call center of dozens of paid first level technicians is often not the best solution.
- Has your technology partner looked at all the alternatives, provided benefits and disadvantages and looked at modified Cloud solution; Private/Public cloud, Hybrid Cloud where maybe a key server still resides locally and interacts with the Cloud for other less critical services. In other words, if a vendor feels that "Cloud is for everyone" then they are the hammer and everything looks like a nail. Look for someone who puts your business first, not their own.
Here are some of the normally listed benefits and disadvantages of moving to the Cloud:
Ease of Use
Ease of Access
Reduced physical clutter
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