Cloud computing has become such an integral solution for modern businesses, helping enterprises (big and small) in transforming, differentiating, and gaining a competitive advantage in today’s hyper-competitive business landscape.
As such, cloud-first strategies not only help businesses stay ahead of the game, but also win decisively against those not utilizing could solutions. Surveys actually show that more organizations in North America are planning to spend on cloud computing.
“If you have not developed a cloud-first strategy yet, you are likely falling behind your competitors,” says research and consulting firm, Gartner. “IT organizations have moved past asking whether applications can be deployed or migrated to the public cloud. Instead, they are commonly accepting the pace and innovation of cloud providers as foundational to their business.”
Key Steps for Implementing Cloud Computing in Your Business
Without cloud computing to give your organization an edge, you’re not just likely to fall behind your competitors, but also stay behind. To avoid that, adopting cloud-first strategies is a must.
If you’re a business or organization that’s still lagging behind and have not incorporated cloud computing, here’re basic steps and key things you need to do and consider when implementing, building, and maturing your cloud computing strategies:
Step 1. Change your mindset about cloud computing
This problem arises because decision makers often think of cloud computing merely as an IT issue only, and not as a business strategy too. Business leaders, therefore, often delegate the tech-related decisions to junior employees.
The first thing you need to do is change your mindset about cloud computing. Recognize it as a necessary business strategy with many benefits, as well as an important IT solution that can propel your business to the next level.
The decision to adopt a cloud strategy is, however, mainly a business strategy, not an IT strategy. Thus, it demands your full consideration and resource investment just like other core business strategies in your venture.
Step 2. Develop the foundations of a cloud-first strategy
Develop and embrace an enveloping blanket of cloud-first strategy in your business. Start by focusing on laying the technical groundwork necessary for an effective cloud-first strategy in your business, including broad Wi-Fi and ethernet network access.
By laying the ground work and technical aspects in place, you can build capacity to implement a cloud-first strategy and multi-cloud solutions for extracting business benefits that yield greater profitability and give you a competitive advantage.
Channel your investments to the best cloud solutions in response to your varying and or expanding range of business needs, such as cloud workspace, cloud collaboration apps, and cloud printing solutions for advancing cloud computing in your business.
Step 3. Unleash the power of cloud computing in your business
After laying the foundational elements of cloud computing, it's time to find and start using cloud solutions to run your business better and achieve your goals and objectives more efficiently.
You can unlash the power of cloud computing in any or all of the three main service models of cloud computing:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),
- Platform as a Service (PaaS), and
- Software as a Service (SaaS), which is also collectively called the cloud computing stack.
If your organization is reluctant to adopt cloud computing, make them understand the importance of the cloud for businesses and entrepreneurs, and benefits of cloud computing in general.
Some of the benefits of cloud computing include:
- Improving accessibility by facilitating access of applications and data from any location worldwide and from any device with an internet connection,
- Streamlining marketing and accounting processes,
- Offering scalable computing resources, hence saving on cost of acquiring, maintaining and stuffing, and much more.
Step 4. Plan for cloud adoption and maturity
The complexities of cloud computing can be daunting. It may take time for organizations and their teams to get a handle on cloud business solutions and a cloud-first strategy, so plan for it all well.
It is those processes that lead to progress and then maturity of cloud adoption in your business. Thus, be considerate and strategic across diverse cloud adoption and maturity phases.
Step 5. Choose the right cloud services for your business
Besides deciding on the best deployment model, also choose the right cloud service that works best for your multi-faceted organizational needs. That means you need to understand your specific business needs before you can effectively select a suitable cloud provider.
Of pivotal importance is clarifying your specific requirements and minimum expectations ahead. Then, you can compare different providers and their offerings to find the right service for you.
Once you know what you want, you can embark on thorough research to arrive at the best choice for your cloud service. Read reviews online and align, rank, and select the best cloud offers.
Some of the top cloud providers out there include:
- Amazon Web Services, the leader in IaaS and branching out,
- Google Cloud Platform for data management, hybrid & multi-cloud, and AI & ML
- Microsoft Azure for data management and deploying and operating applications on the web,
- Salesforce software as a service for customer relationship management and customer success.
Step 6. Streamline communication channels
Having a communication plan for driving your cloud strategy is crucial.
Everyone in the business should understand the values and goals of the business and be able to communicate effectively with one another for the smooth deployment of cloud computing and implementation of cloud-based services.
Adherence to procedures and policies must also be top of the list for using cloud services. Other considerations when planning an effective communication plan for your cloud strategy include targeting all levels, choosing the right messages, leveraging diverse lens channels, and personalizing as necessary.
Step 7. Evaluate and adjust your cloud strategy on an ongoing basis
Not all cloud strategies are created the same; and not all bring the equal results.
The implementation time of some strategies may also vary, with most ranging anywhere from 60 days to 2 years. This period depends on factors such as the size of the business, nature of services & cloud migration, and organizational capabilities & compliances.
To ensure the success of your cloud strategy and business results, evaluate the effectiveness of your methods on an ongoing basis and adjust them as necessary. Anticipate where the market is going and adapt accordingly.
The benefits of implementing cloud computing are truly immense, from reducing your time-to-market to cutting costs by utilizing cloud infrastructure and enhancing collaboration efficiency that lead to more innovation, efficient processes, and increased success for your business.
With cloud computing, you can stay ahead of the game in your niche and succeed in business.