Even the most tech-phobic organisations will have heard of the cloud. What’s more, most use it – even unwittingly – through the likes of Office 365, G Suite, Dropbox or any other software as a service (SaaS). This is because, as we discussed in our recent World Class IT eBook, the reasons to do so are almost endless. With the cloud you can:
- Enjoy remote and secure access to your business information.
- Scale your IT systems instantly.
- Cut your hardware spend, and only pay for the services, storage and computing power you need.
- Collaborate remotely, efficiently and effectively.
- Minimise the risk of data loss with automated backups.
- Provide your team with a single source of truth.
The comprehensive benefits of the cloud have seen the uptake of the technology grow exponentially in recent years. According to Forbes, an estimated 83% of enterprise workloads were in the cloud at the end of 2019.
An IT service provider will act as a guide for organisations undertaking a transition to the cloud. But as with any guide, it’s important to trust the provider to offer the best advice.
Embarking on a cloud-based digital transformation
Shopping for technology can be difficult when you perhaps don’t have an active interest in it. Like shopping for a car when you don’t have an interest in cars, you know you need it, and you simply want something that works well.
Like a great car salesperson, it’s the job of your IT service provider to help you make an informed decision. Certain providers won’t bother, and will oversimplify the options to the point where they only give you one. They’ll show you a car in the lot and say “trust us, this is what you need.”
While you might not have much of an interest in the technical side of your purchase, you should understand what you’re buying and why you’re buying it. You should be offered up a few good options and be granted a choice. Sure, you might not know much about cars, but you understand fuel economy, safety ratings, service costs and features.
Likewise you might not know much about the cloud, but you know about money, time management and the inner workings of your company. A good IT service provider will speak about a solution in terms you understand.
What to expect from your IT service provider…
What should a discussion about the cloud actually look like? The process of a good IT service provider will go a little something like this:
Is the cloud right for your business?
The truth is that while cloud technology is ground-breaking, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your business. There are many cases in which an on-premise solution remains the ideal option, whether for security, control or continuity reasons.
The first step must therefore be an in-depth discussion about existing processes, systems, workflow, data storage, risk frameworks and any other contributing factors. This gives your IT service provider a holistic view of your business operations, your cloud journey to date, the requirements of a potential solution and any other considerations that should be made. A good IT service provider will take this information away and conduct a peer review within their team.
What are the best options?
Review complete, the IT service provider should then return with a number of options and a recommendation. In most cases they will offer an on-premise, hybrid and cloud solution, conducting a demonstration of each complete with potential pros and cons. They should offer their opinion on the best way forward, but they should never play the pushy used car salesman. They will provide you with the relevant information and leave it to you to make an informed decision.
In essence a good IT provider will take a large and multi-faceted decision, and condense it down into easily digestible chunks, allowing you to make the right call on your organisation’s future.
They’ll ensure that you aren’t the grandma who leaves the dealership in a Hummer, or the farmer who’s handed the keys to a Ferrari.