By now you’re familiar with the term cloud computing. But do you really know what it is and how it can help you generate value in your business? I’ve heard countless reasons why the cloud isn’t the right move for small business. I don’t know if this is a lack of knowledge, lack of time or just some old school thinking.
I’m not suggesting that you just run out and move your technology environment to the cloud, but you should at least have an idea of what technology components are good candidates for cloud exploration.
So the big question now is – how do you start to move forward?
The biggest issue you will likely run in to right off the top is understanding the volume of options available. Cloud computing complexity is a big challenge for small business. The simplest way to overcome this challenge is to just start trying different options.
Identify one particular operational process, one that has a low impact to your business, and find one free trial, one cloud-based solution (any Software-as-a-Service) that you can test and try without interrupting the normal course of your business. Look to draw out how you want the software to work, how the process and data should flow.
Chances are that your first attempt may not be perfect. When has anything you’ve done in your business been perfect the first time? Identify opportunities to streamline a process, consolidate data sets and improve team collaboration. The opportunity here is to learn from doing and adjust the plan on they fly as you understand how the cloud improves the speed of your business.
Ideally, you’ll be able to build familiarity with some of the options available to you and begin to understand how pieces of cloud computing can positively impact your business. As you gain momentum through small successes, you can formulate a scaled plan on how cloud computing can be implemented in other aspects of your operations.
All of the big cloud providers – Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Digital Ocean – will give you credits, allowing you to try their platforms and services, at no cost. At this point, the question you need to ask yourself is – why haven’t I started already.