This weeks Guest Blog is from Tony Harbon. Tony is MD of Clearview Data Systems an IT Support Company based in Hertfordshire supporting local businesses with their IT Support needs.
The Route to Cloud Computing Success
The message is probably reaching you loud and clear that your company will be using cloud computing at some point in the near future if you aren’t already doing so. Cloud computing services allow you to provide access to the business applications that you need to run your business form any internet connected device. It doesn’t matter if you use a PC, laptop, tablet or home PC. You just login to a web page on the internet and your applications are there for you. No longer do you need to worry about installing expensive server hardware and Uninterruptible Power Supplies, nor do you need to worry about calling in your IT engineer to update it, upgrade it, fix it, or back it up. Everything comes as part of the service.
Planning Your Migration To The Cloud
When you move your IT to the cloud, your staff won’t have to get used to a new way of working overnight. When you decide that the time is right, the process should be a gradual process rather than a “Big bang”. You may also find that some of your applications just won’t run in a cloud environment, so don’t try putting square pegs into round holes … just leave them as they are.
Quick Cloud Computing Wins
There are however some “dead cert” winners that you can move to the cloud easily if you haven’t done so already. Email security, data backup and email archiving are simple to switch to the cloud so that you can employ your current IT resources more profitably in managing and deploying software and technology that will help to drive your company profits. Once you have made the “easy wins”, you can take a more considered approach to migrating the applications that run your business.
Which is The Best Cloud Service For You?
There are so many different cloud services to choose from that it pays to take some advice on which is the best approach for you. You can simply take your existing business applications and make them accessible via a web browser (Hosted Desktop), or you can move to Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) applications such as Office 365, Google Apps For Business, Workbooks.com (Customer Relationship Management), or Xero (Accounts). They are all good services, but it is down to you to decide which approach will work best for you, guided by the advice of an IT specialist.
Whichever approach you choose, you should always run a pilot to make sure that you are able to prepare your staff for any changes in the way that they will be working in future.
Beyond business software, you should also consider whether IP Telephony could bring benefits to your company. IP telephony enables your employees to use their office telephone number from home, and access their voicemail directly via a headset plugged into their PC’s. If you already have mobile consultants and sales staff working within your company, you could realise significant productivity gains. What’s more, “converged” data and voice services can also realise cost savings.
Whichever approach you adopt, be sure to find a company that you trust and that you can work with to guide you through the process of cloud migration. You will need to partner with a company that understands not just the various service options, but also the process involved in moving to the cloud to ensure that the transition process is completed smoothly.
Are you working with systems in the Cloud? We can help you learn about Microsoft Office 365 and how to collaborate on-line. Call us on 020 8203 1774 or email firstname.lastname@example.org