How to Smooth the Transition to the Business Cloud

cloud

Having a Cloud-based infrastructure is becoming more common for today’s businesses. In fact, Forbes reported that over half of U.S. businesses use Cloud computing in some form, as of mid-2013. While the end result is advantageous, the process of transitioning to the business Cloud can come with complications.

Here are some preparations and safeguards to help ease the process.

Security Precautions

When making the transition and backing up data in a virtual environment, there is always the potential for unwanted third parties to gain access to sensitive information. That’s why keeping your data secure is something to take seriously. This is especially true when you’re dealing with information that could be used for identity theft such as customer credit and debit card numbers.

A Cloud provider that goes to great lengths to keep your data secure and implements techniques like encryption, physical security, and has limits to how much information their employees can view is ideal. You should also see what type of disaster recovery plan is offered in the event of a worst case scenario. Taking security precautions should help your business make the transition without having to worry about inside information being compromised.

Briefing Team Members

Big changes like this are sometimes met with mixed emotions, and some employees may be reluctant to use a Cloud-based infrastructure. That’s why it’s important to explain the benefits and how it will make your employees’ lives easier. Everyone should know why your business is moving to the Cloud, what the advantages are, and how each person will be affected. Holding a meeting prior to implementation and briefing everyone on the situation is advised so there are no big surprises.

Providing Instruction

Just like with any new type of platform, there is an inherent learning curve involved before employees will fully understand and be able to use the business Cloud. Accordingly, it’s smart to offer team members at least a brief learning course so they can become familiar with the platform. Many vendors offer online instructional materials and some will even send a company representative to teach hands on for an additional fee.

Otherwise, it should be your business’s CIO or whoever has the most knowledge and experience to provide instruction and get team members up to speed. They will want to start with the most basic features like navigating the dashboard. Then they can move on to more complex features like managing accounts, creating documents, interpreting analytics, etc.

Gradual Exposure

Unless the platform is overtly simplistic, it will probably take some time for team members to fully understand every feature. If you are syncing your business Cloud to mobile devices, it will take even longer. To ensure the transition doesn’t interfere with normal operations, you may want to still use your old system for a period of time until your team members are totally on board.

Technical Support

In all likelihood, you’re going to experience a few glitches and setbacks along the way. Anticipating issues and having an efficient plan to resolve them should reduce your stress and prevent any major disruptions. That’s why you want to have immediate access to professional tech support with 24/7 availability being ideal. There should also be a variety of ways to contact support staff including telephone, instant messenger, and email. This way technicians can quickly get your business back on track.

Although the process of transitioning to the business Cloud may be met with some confusion and difficulties, being prepared should significantly minimize any setbacks. Once you make it through the initial stages of integration, you’ll be glad you made the transition because of the efficiency and convenience of the Cloud. Your business will then be equipped with all the tools it needs to thrive in the future.

Image: Karen Ka Ying Wong, flickr

Nick Mann

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