How Your Business Can Transition to the Cloud

Most businesses these days want to transition to the cloud, or have at least thought about doing so. But because the term “cloud computing” has become sensationalized and misunderstood, many business owners are either intimidated to make the transition or have a strong misconception about what cloud computing actually entails.

There are three major barriers that most businesses face when transitioning to the cloud, but first, it’s important to recognize the major misconceptions that have made cloud computing so misunderstood in the first place.

Myths and Misconceptions of the Cloud

These are some of the biggest misconceptions about what “cloud computing” or “the cloud” actually are:

  • The cloud makes everything better. There are a ton of advantages to cloud computing, including remote storage of information, increased efficiency, and access from multiple systems, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, or that everything is better once it moves to the cloud. Cloud computing is better for some applications than others, and once migrated, there are still some important management considerations to keep in mind.
  • The cloud is unsafe. There’s still a looming fear that cloud-stored data is somehow less safe than information stored in a physical location. Perhaps it’s because the information isn’t stored in a tangibly recognizable location, or perhaps because it’s theoretically accessible from so many different devices and locations. But with the proper protocols, data stored in the cloud can be just as safe as its physically stored counterparts.
  • The cloud is totally safe. On the other hand, it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security with cloud computing. Believing that all cloud storage is inherently secure is a mistake as well. If you want your information to be secure, you need to choose the right services for the right applications and enact proper security measures.
  • Migration is a challenge. Depending on the complexities of your systems and needs, migration to the cloud can be a challenge. However, most systems are designed specifically to make it easy for businesses to transition. There’s a learning curve, and it’s not always perfectly straightforward, but it is approachable with the right mentality.
  • The cloud is a fad. “The cloud” has become a buzzword, but that doesn’t mean the concept is just a fad. Cloud storage eliminates most of the inherent problems of physical storage, and because the technology is still developing, it has ample room to scale. That’s not to say that cloud computing is in its infancy—in fact, it’s already come a long way-but it definitely still has room to grow.

The Three Main Barriers

So with these myths and misconceptions dispelled, why aren’t more businesses transitioning to the cloud? These are the three main barriers businesses are facing during the transition, and how you can overcome each of them:

  1. Security. Security shouldn’t be a worry for your transition to the cloud, but it should be a consideration. Your data-whether it’s private company information or data stored from your customers-is highly sensitive, and your systems need to be able to accommodate that data appropriately. Part of this comes down to choosing the right systems and choosing the right modes of encryption, but it also comes down to ensuring you and your employees are following proper security protocols, such as using strong passwords and secure Wi-Fi connections.
  2. Legacy support. Your transition isn’t going to happen all at once (even if you want it to). Your employees will be used to your old systems, your data and procedures will be tied to those systems, and it may take time to set yourself up on the cloud. Supporting yourself in both worlds-your traditional, legacy systems and your new cloud applications-can be daunting.
  3. Costs. As a general rule, cloud-based solutions are less expensive to manage than their physical counterparts, due to the efficiency in storage and reduced need for ongoing maintenance. However, making the transition can be a costly affair, depending on what you’re transitioning, and when and how you’re doing it.

Getting Started

Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. You don’t need to have perfect solutions right away. What you do need to do is equip your business with the resources necessary to operate as efficiently and cost effectively as possible; and cloud computing is only going to become more important as the technology develops and data becomes more of a commodity. Start with one system or one function- small one if need be-and make the transition gradually. Over time, you’ll perfect the art of the transition, and you’ll be able to move more of your business elements to the cloud.