While many businesses have discovered savings in both cost and time with the cloud, putting a little money back into your budget and time back into your schedule are not the only benefits of cloud computing. In fact, they may not even be the biggest advantages to cloud services.
When you store data in the cloud, you have immediate access to the data anytime, from anywhere, which lets you answer client questions and manage your supply chain immediately. Beneficial data management doesn’t happen on its own, though. With a few simple steps, you can streamline your data management and get the most out of the cloud.
Step 1 – Choose the Right Services.
Cloud service doesn’t mean the same thing to every business, nor should it. These days, businesses can do everything from storing files to generating computing-intensive reports from massive amounts of data using the cloud. The services your company needs depends entirely on what your company does, how much data it needs to store, and what type of access you need to data in the future.
Know the services you need, and put them together wisely. It makes data gathering simple.
Step 2 – Teach Employees Well.
The benefits of the cloud get lost if nobody in your company knows how to utilize its services. When you sign up with a cloud provider, there will be plenty of information to help you learn the ins and outs of the services. Take the time to study this information, and make sure you fully integrate your services into your processes.
Make sure your IT team knows how to provision additional computing or storage resources, spin up new server instances and administer user and group privileges. The end users probably won’t see any difference in their workflow, unless you’re giving them the ability to access their data from outside your company network. In that case, set up times for your techs to train groups in the proper, secure use of your file storage system. It’s easy to forget that the average user doesn’t fully realize that using IE7 on the open Wi-Fi at the local Starbucks to access sensitive data can result in millions of dollars in lost revenue. Drive that point home.
Step 3 – Use the Data.
Though some businesses worry about safety of data in the cloud, many business communities have concluded the cloud a safe place for data. Cloud storage providers utilize extensive security to ensure their company reputations, and overall have better security than most offices.
Once your data is in the cloud, you and your employees also have access to it from anywhere. That means, if you need to do some data mining to put in a bid on a project, the information you need is right at your fingertips. While you may not want to interrupt your vacation to do any work, you may want to take an hour out of it to try to score a new client who shows interest in your company. Cloud data storage makes it easy to view data and to collaborate with employees back home.
No business practice is going to ensure you a successful business venture, but having immediate access gives you an advantage over competitors. When you keep your business in the cloud, you can take care of any problem from anywhere, and ensure interested clients never have to wait.