Small Business Cloud Migration (part 1): – You Should Really Look Before You Leap
Emerging cloud based technologies and services uniquely designed to
help small businesses prosper are appearing at an unprecedented rate
Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that there were 30 million (approx) small businesses in North America. Clearly, SMBs are the foundation of our economy, and we’ve seen emerging cloud based technologies and services uniquely designed to help them prosper at an unprecedented rate and accelerating.
In 2013, Louis Columbus authored a piece in Forbes exploring forecasts and predictions for SMB cloud computing. According to Columbus, small business cloud adoption will hit 35% by 2015.
Small business cloud migration advantages
Small business cloud migration ushers a host of advantages: lowered costs, more exhaustive support of IT resources and organizational agility to name a few. But even if you are already “cloud sold,” how does a small business owner determine which cloud provider to trust with your critical small business cloud migration?
Small business cloud migration prelim questions:
1. How does a prospective cloud provider assure client data security in its cloud environment? Both inbound and outbound security must be deliberated. For inbound, anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-malware filtering are obvious critical precautions, while for outbound, content filtering and encryption. What disaster readiness precautions are in place?
2. Will the small business cloud migration be relatively painless? A solid cloud service provider should be able to help you easily migrate existing email, software applications and relevant server functions to the cloud without any downtime or data loss.
3. What service options are available through the cloud provider? Small companies benefit immensely from solutions like cloud hosted email exchange and Sage and QuickBooks Hosting, which feature dependable performance and agility as well as anytime/anywhere access for staff.
4. What about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) adoption? For many small companies, the BYOD trend is increasing collaboration options, enabling staff to work remotely while staying in close communication as well (or better) than strict in-office workers. A cloud service provider should rightly offer device-agnostic solutions that make BYOD viable for any company.
5. Is the prospective cloud service provider knowledgeable and adroit with your specific industry mission and compliance needs? Your compliance and mission necessities are determined by your business necessities, as well as your specific industry. If you require compliance obligations such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards, your prospective cloud provider should be experienced and knowledgeable, ready to support such requirements in your cloud environment. Archiving is an additional consideration; do your compliance needs demand specific archiving protocols or rules? Archiving solutions should include at the ready backup of all email, instant messaging, web or audio conferences, document scanning and storage, and more.
With the right cloud provider, your company can thrive in the new virtual environ, providing you and your employees with the freedom to focus on what’s really critical to your mission.
Header image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Are you ready to explore your small business cloud migration options with one of North America’s most respected managed cloud providers? Remember us: Schedule a demo or a 7-day trial and discover first hand why Cloud9 Real Time is the #1 choice of cloud computing providers among more accountants, CFOs, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CPAs. Or come to Cloud Summit 2014 in San Diego September 17-19 and find out what all the hubbub is about!