Most companies that hope to be in business for the next 10 years have at least considered moving to the cloud.
In fact, Gartner recently reported that 93% of companies are now using the cloud in some form.
This is because these companies have seen how the cloud is helping small and agile businesses disrupt their markets and grow at breakneck speed.
They’ve also heard the stories about enhanced collaboration, IT savings, and the many security benefits the cloud offers.
Like many companies, you might be harboring a nagging feeling that you should just get going.
We noticed that most companies have trouble figuring out where to start. That’s why we created this article, along with our free guide which provides more detail about the steps in this article.
The simple, tried-and-tested three-step path that most companies use when they move to the cloud goes something like this:
- Move your files to the cloud.
- Move your applications to the cloud.
- Move your desktops to the cloud.
Easy as that.
Let’s look at these steps in more detail.
Step 1: move your files to the cloud
File sharing (think Dropbox or Google Drive, but way smoother, more secure and more sophisticated) is the first, and most natural, start to any company’s journey to the cloud.
That’s because you can solve a lot of storage, sharing, and security headaches while improving the flow of information in your company with very little cost or effort.
Once you’ve got file sharing and storage in place, your information exchange processes will need to be tweaked and your staff will have to lose some ingrained habits. But no worries here, the right cloud provider will make the transition much easier on your staff.
Plus, the good news is that cloud-based file sharing immediately kick-starts collaboration, so the transition often quickly happens organically.
As you start to use file sharing, it’s important to let everyone know that sharing documents that are not secure isn’t necessary anymore.
Make sure your organization is clearly educated on how easy it is to share encrypted confidential documents using cloud-based file sharing.
Remember to also point out that collaborating on single versions of documents is the way to go.
There’s no need to share (and desperately try to keep track of) multiple iterated versions of documents anymore.
Because file sharing makes it so much easier to collaborate with colleagues and work from anywhere, many companies also choose to encourage more flexible working arrangements among their staff. This makes for happy employees with improved work-life balance, which always leads to increased productivity.
Step 2: move your applications to the cloud
The next logical step on the road to the cloud is to move all your applications there.
This includes your industry-specific apps as well as more commonly used apps like Microsoft Word or Excel.
Once in the cloud, apps can be accessed anywhere by everyone in the company. Apps can also be accessed from any device.
Additionally, because apps don’t have to be loaded onto specific machines, time and resources aren’t wasted individually on licensing, deploying, managing, patching, and updating.
The journey to the cloud is an opportunity to do some IT housekeeping too.
You’ll have the ability to get rid of the software that you don’t use anymore – with cloud apps, you only pay for what you use.
Your staff (office-based, home-based or road warriors) will all get instant and secure access to the apps they need.
When you’re moving your apps to the cloud, remember to look for file storage options that can handle all of the tools you plan to use, including analytics, business applications, and business processes.
Step 3: move your desktops to the cloud
Cloud desktops (sometimes called ‘virtual desktops’ or ‘hosted desktops’) are the final frontier for most companies moving to the cloud.
A cloud desktop is all the things that load when you switch on a PC: the operating system, the applications and the files.
When an employee with a cloud desktop loses or breaks a computer, you’ll now only lose the hardware. All the data will be safe and can be accessed again seamlessly.
At this advanced point in the cloud journey, you can make sure that all of your IT is in the cloud.
When you get to this stage, you’ll no longer have to worry about buying, maintaining, or securing any in-house infrastructure.
This will significantly impact the staff who handle IT in your company. They’ll finally be freed up to tackle more important issues and growth-oriented projects.
Starting your journey
So that’s it. A simple roadmap to the cloud.
But the very first step that we left out of the three steps above is to talk to a trusted expert. You want a swift, secure, and smooth transition to the cloud, so it’s imperative to find the right cloud provider for your business.
Good IT service providers (like us) can manage the whole journey for you, and then run your tech stack once you’ve arrived– updating and securing everything, backing it up, and supporting your users.
Either way, moving to the cloud will undoubtedly transform your business.
To find out more about the steps you need to take and how they will impact your business, read our guide by clicking the link below.