Cloud adoption has been accelerated by the pandemic, cementing it as the future foundation of digital businesses. However, it is important to realize that migration to the cloud is only the start of a long-term digitalization journey. To maximize the benefits of the cloud adoption, businesses need to approach their cloud strategy holistically and with a view towards the future. Here are some steps you can take to fully leverage the capabilities of the cloud and ensure it meets your business needs.
1. Rope in cloud-managed services
Many businesses are aware of the necessity of cloud adoption but find themselves overwhelmed by its potential – especially if they have not had prior experience with the cloud. It is understandably daunting to think about changing the way they operate and training or hiring new talent to cope with the usage and upkeep of new technology. This is where cloud-managed services can be a boon. By outsourcing cloud services to experienced third-party providers, businesses can leverage the expertise of certified cloud platform experts to optimize their cloud usage without heavy investment. Some cloud-managed services can even be provisioned round-the-clock, which would be unfeasible for in-house teams.
2. Scale according to business needs
The cost flexibility offered by the cloud is attractive for businesses looking to stay cost-efficient but with the option of scalability. Not only can the cloud scale on demand, but businesses need only pay for the services they use. However, businesses must avoid the complacency trap; without visibility over their cloud usage, they could find themselves either paying more than they need to or not sufficiently utilizing the cloud’s capabilities.
Management should plan their cloud strategy carefully with a long-term view and perform periodic audits of the applications and systems in use, as well as their storage and processing requirements. This ensures that they have better visibility and can scale cloud usage as they need, which optimizes resources and business productivity.
3. Offload heavy processing tasks to the cloud
The world is picking up speed. Tasks that once took days now take hours or minutes, and now real-time is becoming the new standard. The sheer amount of data that must be processed to make real-time response accurate and seamless requires computing power that far outstrips the capabilities of most physical machines. However, the cloud’s ability to quickly process large amounts of unstructured data enables it to take up this task with ease.
Visibility is key. By evaluating the power and computational load of their existing tasks and processes, businesses can select the tasks that place the most strain on their IT infrastructure and offload them to the cloud. Not only can the cloud process data more efficiently, it also expands a business’s capability to handle more sophisticated digital demands. Additionally, companies can save energy and free up resources for other business priorities.
4. Improve cybersecurity policies and processes among employees
Cloud migration makes the cloud the primary repository of critical data and systems, thus it is imperative for businesses to maintain a secure cloud environment. While the cloud already features a robust level of cybersecurity, businesses must ensure that their digital defenses are complemented by better cyber security awareness among employees.
With many cloud breaches attributed to user error, it is clear that cybersecurity awareness is a must-have skill for digital employees, who are a business’s first line of cyber defense. Businesses should educate and train employees in best cloud security practices, and take other mitigation steps such as assigning access control and authorized logins. This will minimize unofficial changes and limit the scope for potential damage.
While migrating to the cloud is an important milestone for any first-time digital business, focus on a “what’s next ” approach, remembering cloud transformation is a process not an event! A good cloud consultant can deliver the best business outcomes, so choose a partner with strategic consulting experience and engineering efficiency to take your business to the next level on the cloud.