Are You Cloud Ready?
Are you cloud ready? Give yourself two points for each â€œyesâ€ and one point for each â€œno.â€ Tally your score, and see where you fall. 15-20: Cloud Mover and Shaker. Get set to elevate your business to new heights. 9-14: Cloud Thinker. Explore â€œwhat-ifâ€ scenarios. Under 9: Cloud Student. You donâ€™t need a total cloud solution, but keep it in your line of site.
1.Is bandwidth important to your business?
FACT: On-premise infrastructure (the physical technology in your office) today runs at 100 to 1000 Mbps. In the cloud, you need about 1.54 Mbps transfer speed per user. So, a 3 Mbps circuit will give you a couple solutions in the cloud while a 10 to 20 Mbps circuit will give you a lot in the cloud. Bottomline: the cloud offers scalability.
2.Do you use a single Internet connection?
FACT: Two redundant Internet connections enhance data security and prevent downtime when one fails.
3.Is your firewall set-up for circuit failover?
FACT: When a firewall goes down, everything hosted in your office stops. Email access may be denied. Client communication is restricted. Your secondary internet immediately kicks when you have the right firewall system and configuration in place.
4.Are you looking to upgrade your applications?
FACT: Think of software as a client service. This is completely different from the way we all started out purchasing and using software. Case in point: Salesforce and other 3rd party software packages have hosted cloud options for running your business. Here, you donâ€™t have to worry about updates or backing up because both are automatic.
5.Is it important to access email from any location?
FACT: Email in the cloud allows users to access mail anywhere from any device. Email has evolved into an application. Added benefit: pay only for what you use. Microsoft Office 365 is a great solution to check out if you are looking to move your email out of your closet and into the cloud.
6.Are you limited to a physical, onsite phone system?
FACT: According to global analyst firm, Ovum, VoIP will account for nearly 100% of voice communication by 2015. VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol. Basically, you talk over the public Internet instead of a landline. A phone system hosted in the cloud stores data in a server accessible via the Internet. Think Skype, GoToMeeting.com, or ShoreTel.
7.Do you need better system backup?
FACT: When it comes to backup, expect the unexpected. Moving backups to the cloud is an essential security measure for many reasons: natural disasters, onsite contamination, and fire. Recovery and restore options in the cloud oftentimes minimize downtime and save your business from imploding.
8.Is a virtual work environment important to your team?
FACT: Cloud technology allows users to access, edit, share and create documents from anywhere. Same goes for phones, meetings â€“ just about anything you need in order to get the job done. Itâ€™s an era of mobility. Thatâ€™s why companies are adopting BYOD or bring-your-own-device best practices and tapping top talent from a state or even country away. All this leads to greater virtualization.
9.Do you wish software updates kept up with your business?
FACT: Technology evolves. Service as a Software, a term referencing software applications in the cloud, means that updates are seamless and immediate. You always have the latest version. As developers continue to refine their products, your business benefits.
10.Do you want to improve cash flow?
FACT: With the cloud, technology moves from capital expenditures to operating expenditures, lowering your total cost of ownership and impacting cash flow.
U2, Biometric Hand Scanners, and Your Cloud Future
Letâ€™s look at three quick examples. Back in the eighties (cue the U2 music), you may have installed a space-hogging, expensive server or state-of-the-art phone system or pricey accounting software. The cloud displaces the server with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. And the telecommunications closet with multi-colored spaghetti wires? Empty. A cloud-based phone system sends voicemails to your inbox, integrates with your CRM software for brilliant reports, and finds you instantly so you never miss a call. As for the accounting software, when developers add features, you do too.
Of course, one question we often here is: how secure is the cloud? Letâ€™s take a tour. Behind the cloud are data centers equipped with generators, barometric hand scanners, redundant Internet connectivity, a fire suppression system, and natural gas or diesel generators. When you think about it, itâ€™s a lot more secure than the typical server room or telecommunications closet down the hall.
Lastly, if you like the quiz featured in our blog, youâ€™ll love what 3Points has coming up: Watch for a cloud readiness score added to the audit process later this year.