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Success in the cloud: 4 tips for maximizing the cloud’s value

The article below was written by Intermedia’s CTO Jonathan Levine for the publication No Jitter. We found it really interesting, so we are excerpting some of the key points below.

Over the years, cloud services have evolved from primarily raw infrastructure to comprehensive services that can entirely replace on-premises infrastructure like email servers and phone switches.

As the technology continues to mature, your business is likely hearing more about the value of the services and solutions that comprise the cloud. This may be why research firm Gartner estimates that worldwide spending on public cloud services will reach $210 billion by 2016.

Transitioning to the cloud: 4 tips for businesses

While you probably want to get on board, knowing where to start can be challenging. Here are four easy tips that will help you transition your business into the cloud:

  • Do your homework to find the right cloud service provider. Once you know which services you want to move to the cloud — whether it’s your email, phones, file server, Web server, accounting system, or any other software — you’ll want to identify the right cloud provider. While there are many factors to consider during the search process, it’s important to keep these three key components in mind: reliability, integration, and control.
  • Audit existing IT systems before making the move. Many companies make the leap into the cloud without thoroughly evaluating their IT infrastructure. When assessing the move from in-house to a cloud infrastructure, consider the services you already have in place. How can you build around these services to maximize efficiencies? One way to do this is not to jump into the cloud all at once. Instead, slowly integrate just a few services at a time, allowing time for people to get used to the changes. 
  • Don’t forget about security! Security breaches can be a costly drain on time — to say nothing of the risk to your business, your customers, and your competitive advantage. Take the time to research the security background of the cloud providers you’re considering before signing any contract. Dive deep into the details of the security offered by providers, and stick with companies that work with the best-known names in the security industry. Many providers use lesser-known security tools that provide only partial or minimal protection, so in-depth research into security procedures is critical.
  • Plan for the future with a long-term strategy. Cloud technology must address immediate needs, but a successful cloud strategy should be flexible enough to respond to evolving business needs. Like other business endeavors, creating a strategic plan and roadmap will help you stay on track while working toward accomplishing your goals. Part of this process should be identifying and planning for future IT needs.

Paving the way for success in the cloud

With a deliberate approach to gaining new insights into the technology, matching the right cloud solutions to your business needs, and establishing the right foundation for future growth, you can pave the way to success in the cloud.

Read the full article in No Jitter.

About The Intermedia Team

Intermedia's Office in the Cloud™ delivers essential IT services for SMBs and the partners who serve them — including hosted Exchange, Hosted PBX, SecuriSync file sync and share, security, mobility and more.