Should SMB’s even consider moving to cloud, there are some ground reality we would need to consider for business needing IT and how they are setup. For businesses there are 5 key areas of IT for making sure their team has access to information they need and depending from where they access this information, what systems they require.
With options available for Cloud, it is important to understand where you can use such systems to be more cost effective, and lowering in-house headache of maintaining and keep them running. Below are some aspects of IT every business needs. Depending on how big your business is each aspect may need to be considered more than other, but you are using them in full effect every day.
5 Key Areas of IT
IT Essentials: Essential systems are mission critical for business to safe guard them from online threats, backup and recovery mechanism for all information, keeping devices up to speed for day to day work on computer, smartphone, or other systems. Lastly be able to manage their team with tools they need to be getting their job done.
Communication Systems: We might be on our computer, smartphones or any other device working. We need set of systems to talk with our team and customers. These include emails, phone, fax, file sharing, and business collaboration tools and options in each aspect which can be overwhelming to consider for most, while the equation becomes easier while you think of its use and how you do communicate today or would like to tomorrow.
Business Applications: These are systems we use for saving information for our customers, our team and vendors. With different departments of the organization you may have your systems from simple excel files to completely running CRM system to get all pieces together. While in our experience with business it is always a mix of systems. Using CRM for client information, QuickBooks for finance, and Excel to maintain reporting for marketing or other methods.
Information Security: Business need security in IT for Data, Email, Computer, Network, and Web. While every business wants all very few succeed to implement. And for some industry like accounting, law firms or others it is mission critical as they need to comply with compliances and it is unsaid promise to keep for most.
IT Support: To make your business IT always functional, and your team members need adequate support or they end up wasting their time in tasks they rather not be involved in, and mostly end up wasting time when the dead line is near. Support for most businesses is when something goes wrong or a application stops working, while that is one major aspect of support. There are few other considerations if taken on time can make sure your systems don’t fail. This would include regular maintenance, keeping a check on critical system services and fixing them when something goes wrong proactively rather than your team loosing access to application or systems they are depending to complete their tasks.
As we considered all different areas of IT, which of them can run from cloud. Mostly all, today any business can run with computer, smartphone and connection devices while just having wireless connection to keep them connected. This might not be a reality for most but having the right reasons is important. Now when I said all, I even Support functions except when you need someone to move something physically or do wiring.
Coming back to where we started, should SMB’s be looking to move on cloud solutions. Let’s discover why most businesses choose cloud systems is to lower cost, month to month and scalable, centralization, ready to implement services, not getting in hassle to maintain in-house systems and more… Why most businesses don’t implement cloud solutions is because of implementation costs, planning, or not having a team to back them up through the process, understanding of cloud systems. One other aspect which can be speed and considering ROI of systems as management becomes internal responsibility.
This can be tricky, and as business decide to move their IT on cloud or even have mix of systems in-house or on cloud their need to be a few aspects taken in account. While we have discovered major key arears of business IT, let’s see what impacts business IT moving to cloud need to take in account. Main three aspects which determine a businesses looking to move on cloud would include.
Team Size: First consideration for any business looking for option in cloud is size of their team. The reason why this one is a important, is due to the fact a small business can today run over cloud with set of applications being able to collaborate better with their own team and clients and not need any further IT infrastructure; while as the business grows the requirement running over a cloud can change getting a server for control rather than just running centralized over few applications.
Location of work: If your business has more than one location, or your team travels a lot. It makes a lot of sense to have systems over cloud. Cloud makes IT more centralized for access while providing you options to manage security using SaaS applications such as Office 365, or FixKar Cloud. Need better connectivity from different locations having more on cloud makes sense as all locations, as they can work from one central repository rather than having multiple instances of systems at each location. While in-house systems can be configured to run the same function with network connectivity to most services reviewing user mapping to systems. Missing mapping of systems seems to be a reality for bigger business in some cases where these considerations can assist making management easier and IT streamlined.
Security Requirement: Cloud is very secure, however the applications and systems you choose guide how secure you really are. For example you don’t want information to leak out of your company, you need dedicated connected systems, while if your requirement is to just keep an audit of your information and get your team to easily access it from where they are, and you may need a simpler solution. Some businesses don’t consider cloud, due to security and how they want to have their systems and rather prefer in-house deployment and connectivity.
There might be one last consideration, business may need to think about is speed. While running systems in the cloud the connectivity does take time, not to the effect that applications run slow. However let’s say you are in a manufacturing setup and work on heavy file transfers you may not want to consider some applications running on cloud as data transfer or synchronization happen and can be a little slow for your engineers who need to get the work done quicker opening multiple files at a time.
Cloud is the next change for business already moving and using one version of it or another using SaaS applications such as QuickBooks, Salesforce or other over web browser to Office Emails or File Collaboration. However, for your business function you would need to consider which IT element would you want to run from cloud and what considerations apply for your business. We call it Integrated IT when all devices work in sync, your team has access to information they need and security your business needs.
Like It? Share It!