Up in the Cloud: A beginner’s guide to Cloud computing
Increasingly, business success hinges on your ability to adopt a flexible approach. Cloud computing, a term that relates to the use of remote servers to host and manage data, can powerfully enable this flexibility.
This somewhat nebulous concept can dramatically improve your business by allowing you to improve your IT capabilities without investing in hefty infrastructure, licencing and training costs. And if the figures are anything to go by, cloud computing is fast gaining momentum with companies – research firm Gartner predicts that the US market will hit $150 million by 2013.
If you’re considering making the switch to cloud-based infrastructure, take note of our four-point guide.
Assess your business goals and choose a service that fits
Whether you’re a lounge room start-up or a booming enterprise, it’s vital that you do your research before buying into the cloud. Cloud-based offerings can vary widely between providers, so it’s important that your chosen service reflects your business size and needs. Consider your employee headcount and negotiate a licensing agreement to match, and ensure that your contract factors in the peaks and troughs in your business.
Take your service level agreement seriously
If your website is down, you’re likely to incur serious costs in terms of time, money and credibility. That’s why tailoring a thorough service level agreement with your service provider should be your number one priority for moving into the cloud. It’s also vital that you have a firm plan in place to address disaster recovery, security crises and backup issues.
Be proactive about security
Outsourcing your IT needs can often mean relinquishing control when it comes to security. Take every precaution with your data and customer information before you move into the cloud, and spell out these terms with your service provider.
Integrate for greater gains
Ensuring that your data centres, IT resources and cloud-based infrastructure work seamlessly together will help you streamline your organisation and heighten productivity. Integration plays a key role in making better use of the cloud and unlocking its ability to create a smarter, leaner business.
Integration is central to creating smarter, flexible businesses. Make sure your on-site applications, data centres and resources work seamlessly with your cloud-based infrastructure to drive productivity gains across your entire organisation.
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