Harlow Technologies Blog
How to Get Your Business Cloud-Ready?
Businesses have increasingly started migrating to the cloud in the last decade. Remote work has become the new norm, and the COVID-19 pandemic took things to an even higher level as people were forced to work from home.
The pandemic forced many businesses to become cloud-ready in mere weeks, if not days. Even though COVID-19 is no longer the main impetus behind most remote work transitions, companies have continued to realize the value of the cloud in their day-to-day tasks, security, and data management.
According to Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.4% in 2022 to total $494.7 billion, up from $410.9 billion in 2021. In 2023, it is likely to reach nearly $600 billion.
The bottom line is that your business needs to be cloud-ready as soon as possible. Being cloud-ready helps you:
- Ensure a smooth migration to the cloud
- Implement data automation from the get-go
- Keep the cloud infrastructure costs down
- Minimize certain security risks
To get your team started, here are six ways you can get your business cloud-ready.
1. Understand Your Company Culture
To be cloud-ready, your business needs to have a company culture that’s open to technological transitions.
The good news is that many companies now have a more “pro-technology” culture, thanks to the pandemic. As consumers moved to online channels during the pandemic, businesses responded. People are more used to working online and virtually than ever before.
Only about 7% of SMEs showed interest in cloud technologies before the pandemic (2019), but this number more than doubled (16%) during COVID (2021). The same goes for other technologies such as IoT, Big Data, AI, and Virtual and Augmented Reality.
Still, you need an inclusive approach when making your company culture cloud-ready. The first step would be to create a sense of urgency among your workforce. Explain why it’s important to start making changes now, before the next public health scare or shut down.
Then, identify how to implement the cloud technology collaboratively. Start by getting your leadership team on board and cloud-ready. This needs to be a company-wide change, involving everyone.
2. Create and Implement a Training Plan
Transitioning to the cloud environment is never exactly easy. Every individual in your organization will play a specific role in the new cloud-based environment. That also means they will need training and support to ease into their new role.
The responsibility of implementing this training and support falls on your HR team, managers and leaders, and the IT staff.
Your in-house IT team can likely take care of the training. However, this isn’t the same as maintaining a traditional IT setup. You need to understand this skill gap and plan the transition accordingly.
You will need cloud-native engineering and security experts to train and support your staff. They will need to do the research and provide a path forward. If you don’t have an in-house team with the required knowledge, you may want to hire a cloud computing expert.
3. Consider the Cloud Computing Costs
Cloud computing helps you save considerable money over time. However, the initial transition isn’t going to be cheap. You’ll need to pay the cost of infrastructure and technology upfront, and you may need to hire a cloud-ready workforce. Make sure to consider these costs before setting out to revamp your IT infrastructure.
Some businesses start planning for these costs three to five years in advance. Depending on your current financial situation, you may need more or less time. Take the overall costs of cloud computing into account and act accordingly. Fortunately, many cloud computing vendors offer pay-as-you-go options.
Pay-as-you-go is a payment method that charges based on your usage. It offers several advantages. One of the primary benefits is cost savings. In this system, you pay only for the storage space and services you need. There are no wasted resources.
It also offers flexibility. You can scale up or down as your business requirements change. And most importantly, if you need increased bandwidth, you can get it instantly. You don’t have to waste time updating your infrastructure or worry about adding new hardware.
4. Reward Your Cloud-Ready Employees
Rewarding and recognizing your employees improves employee engagement, which increases retention. It also increases employee motivation. That’s why we recommend rewarding cloud-ready employees to encourage your workforce to adopt cloud technology proactively.
Cloud-ready employees are the ones who have completed their training successfully. Acknowledging their success can be as simple as a public thank you. A public “kudos” can do wonders, especially in a meeting, on social media, or in your company forum.
If your employees put in extra hours to be cloud-ready, a great reward could be an extra day off or a gift card. You don’t need to go overboard with large cash gifts – just something that shows your appreciation.
5. Hire Cloud-Ready Workforce
While you can train your existing workforce, getting them cloud-ready will take time. Hiring new cloud-ready employees with the required skills can help speed up the transition. These new additions can help your existing employees learn the ropes of cloud computing.
Unfortunately, the cloud-ready workforce is in short supply. According to a recent survey, 61% of recruiters believe finding qualified candidates is the biggest challenge, while 25% think it’s standing out from other companies to attract talent. You will need a well-thought-out recruiting plan to attract the right talent.
Penning down a clear job description is the right place to kick start your recruitment process. If you give an exact idea of what you expect from a candidate, it’ll be easier to fill the vacancies. You can also leverage social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, to reach out to potential candidates.
6. Consult an IT Support Provider
While hiring cloud computing experts in-house is an excellent option, it’s also expensive. Many companies can’t afford to hire new employees. If you don’t have the resources to hire new employees or train your existing ones, you may want to think about working with an IT support provider.
Working with a real IT consultant can save you money and time. You don’t need to staff a full-time IT department, which is often expensive and unnecessary for small and mid-sized businesses.
Managed cloud services from an IT support provider also mean predictable recurring monthly costs. Plus, with the provider managing all applications and servers, you can focus on growing your business.
However – you must find an IT service provider that fully understands the challenges of adopting cloud technology. They can help you devise a future-proof cloud training and migration plan.
Cloud computing brings flexibility, scalability, and ease of collaboration to your business. It also helps you cut your overall IT infrastructure costs.
Of course, your business needs to be cloud-ready before you make this move. Hopefully, these tips will help you get your team fully prepared.
If you are hesitant to move to cloud-based technologies, reach out to Harlow Technologies. We will help your business transition smoothly and get the most out of your existing IT infrastructure. Set up a strategy call today.