Taking advantage of the cloud is a smart business move. It reduces reliance on physical storage, leaves valuable data under the protection of professionals, and increases employees’ ability to work remotely. Each business will have its own reasons for moving to cloud storage, yet it’s critical that those in charge understand the advantages of a cloud database for their business, not just business in general. The following are the major issues to examine when building a data strategy to ensure you get the right price and package.
What do you already have?
In order to find the best solutions, it’s important to understand both the failings and achievements of your current system. Look into what you may still be able to support internally. Does it make sense to maintain your contact lists or move them to the cloud? What about page backups? Consider the people running the servers. You may need to do some retraining for the entire staff shortly after the new system is in place. Instead of daily system administration, the IT department will now take on the role of informed buyers, looking for the best vendor partnership. Take some time determining how equipped they are to handle that task and if they have the skills required for today’s IT responsibilities.
What do you need?
For some businesses, cloud solutions directly impact the customer. (For an obvious example, think DropBox.) In other cases, the cloud serves as a virtual server room, providing more space for internal storage as a priority. Your data strategy may also include running analytics on the database. For instance, you could compare a current database against historical trends to evaluate the likelihood of certain outcomes through a cloud computing tool known as predictive analytics, something four out of five businesses are planning to implement. By having a plan before the move, you’ll be more able to adapt as your needs grow.
Who do you need?
Once you have a team equipped to make a decision and a strategic plan for moving forward, the last step is to choose a vendor. There is no best provider; rather, the choice depends on your business needs. High-tech businesses may just want someone who can set them up and leave them alone, while a smaller, independent may prefer the convenience and ease of 24-7 support. A startup should look for a lot of flexibility, while an established company may just look at the bottom line. Be sure to ask a few questions, including a few in regards to security and safety no matter your business needs.
Creating a data strategy in advance is important, but ultimately you’ll only know the full extent of your needs once you’re working in the cloud. You may find you’re hardly using certain services or that competitors are leveraging a strategy you passed by. To improve your chances of success, discuss scaling with your cloud database provider. By adding storage or removing certain abilities to accommodate peak periods and new staff, you can design a custom solution that works for the long term.