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6-steps To Push Businesses To Tipping Point With Cloud

By Expert Author: Alex Smith

Great working environment, smooth networking, maximum uptime, high return on investment, low cost of ownership, and more – we want our business environment to be embellished with all. The potency of the cloud-enabled software services often dubbed as Software-as-a-Service (S-a-a-S), Platform-as-a-Service (P-a-a-S) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (I-a-a-S), and many other variants has got subtle attention from all small and medium business owners, as revealed by IDC, a global authority on rendering market intelligence and advisory services, in a report admitting that one of every seven dollars expense on IT by a business by 2015 will happen through cloud technology, and the only reason being the attributes discussed finding cloud as their solemn savior.

Sadly, there is a great conflict in opinions when it comes to adopting such naïve services into the business ecosystem considering complexities, risks, costs and compliance related issues. This development, demanded by transition in technology has been perceived as opportunities for small & medium business IT support providers. They are trying to reap the benefits by helping businesses to overcome meanwhile technology hurdles linked with the integration and management of cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions which pave the way of healthy utilization of business resources – tangible and non-tangible – to achieve short- and long-term objectives.

The discipline of small & medium business IT support is not confined to integration and deployment of the cloud-services; additionally support services are rendered for troubleshooting existing issues and taking precautions to avert future problems or crisis that may erupt. Getting essential updates and fixes is not an issue as such packages are readily available over the cloud. Automated IT health-checkup, compatibility evaluation and diagnostic tools with simple user-interface are also at end-users’ disposal to let them overcome any meanwhile issues without asking for professional or paid support. With the evolution in cloud based solutions, services like desktop management, server management, network management and storage solutions have become redundant, and businesses hardly need to ask for different packages to manage their IT resources.

However, before you plunge into the cloud technology, here are a few important considerations asking your quick attention:

Create application inventory

Take a note of the number of IT-managed applications, including commercially-available and custom applications that you deal with or that you might need in future. Don’t be surprised if you find hundreds.

Prioritize them well

Whether each application is core or contextual, map them accordingly. Applications fueling key business processes like customer support system should find their place in “Core” section, else in “Contextual” section (for e.g. a tape backup and archival system). Typically 60% percent will be contextual.

Identify each asset’s lifecycle stage

By when the applications in question would ask for upgrade, this is an important factor considering the stability and security of your data. Typical depreciation cycle for the physical assets is three to five years, and for software it may range from five to ten years with extended support from vendors.

Technical assessment

Number of integration points, extent of customization of the applications, network connectivity requirements, and security requirements – analyze all in the purview of the required regulatory compliance or framework. This technical feasibility will help you choose the right kind of cloud solutions.

Analyze TCO

The amount of capital flow is the first and foremost thing for any entrepreneur. Get a blueprint of the total cost of running the infrastructure, including direct and indirect expenses like staff, data-center real estate, cooling, power, software costs, maintenance, and support and compare it well with the cloud solution expense and outcomes.

Evaluate ROI

What tangible effect you can expect with your business endeavors by bringing cloud into the picture? This is critical to answer, but yes you have to. Determine if the cloud can really reduce operational cost, streamline processes, or create value, and eventually increase revenue.

Seems a herculean homework? Don’t get disappointed. CIO (Chief Information Services) services available with selected small & medium business IT support providers can help you with the evaluation task and provide a smooth runway to have a determined take off on to the cloud.

Techvedic Inc is a Tech Support company, offers Small Business It Support, outsourcing companies, tech support, it support and more in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.

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