As an IT professional and owner of an SMB (Small-Medium Business), I can truly appreciate the dramatic and powerful impact Cloud computing can have on a business. I’m frequently asked by my peers who own and operate firms ranging in size from just a few employees to hundreds, “can Cloud benefit business.”  My answer is always the same…Absolutely.  To that end, I’ve developed a presentation that I often utilize when meeting individually or with groups of entrepeneurs.

Before making the jump, there are many variables to be considered.  It’s usually not a question of whether Cloud should be deployed, but how quickly.  Once business owners or managers realize the impact and cost savings by moving to Cloud, there’s often an urgency to move as many fast  as possible.  However, migrating any application requires time, planning and expertise that many SMB’s lack.

A comprehensive IT Assessment should be initiated with the primary objective of creating a long-term roadmap.  For some businesses, certain decisions are no-brainers.  For example, a 10-person firm faced with a Microsoft Exchange upgrade would be wise to consider transitioning to Google Apps or Microsoft 360 post haste.  However, a larger organization with multiple application platforms, legacy infrastructure and diverse requirements would be well served to perform a comprehensive plan.

The steps to developing a Cloud strategy include:

  • Engaging key business stakeholders to understand business, application and user requirements
  • Assessing application portfolio and infrastructure platforms including network, server, storage, voice systems, mobile devices, etc.
  • Base-lining IT costs and depreciated assets including equipment, service and maintenance agreements and software licensing
  • Documenting future-state requirements and analyzing alternatives, costs and benefits
  • Prioritizing applications and services that should be Cloud-enabled and developing an appropriate implementation schedule
  • Determining ongoing support requirements and planning accordingly

We’ve worked with many companies to develop Cloud strategies and navigate them through the entire process, which often results in business owners asking “why didn’t we do this sooner?”  While I can’t answer that question, we can certainly help you determine if Cloud is right for your business.

Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in learning more.