Cloud computing has been a game-changer for businesses, helping them save time and money, while fueling innovation, and enhancing remote work collaboration and productivity. With easily accessible data, automatic syncing, and easy backups, cloud-based solutions offer tremendous advantages, especially for small businesses. While operating on the cloud is the new normal, it’s not without challenges and risks. Here are some of the common challenges, and practical advice to overcoming these hurdles.
1. Security concerns
Data security in the cloud is the top concern for most small businesses. With data stored on remote services, and threats continuing to evolve, there’s potential for unauthorized access, data breaches, and the regulatory and legal consequences of failure to protect data.
The key to maximizing security is choose a provider that prioritizes security and has a strong track record in protecting customer data. Ensure your provider understands the compliance requirements of your industry, and all relevant data protection regulations. Ask who can see your information, and what measures the provider uses to ensure to protect and encrypt your data. The goal is always prevent a data breach before it happens, but there also needs to be a proactive plan in place on what to do to mitigate any damage in the event of a malicious attack. Together with your provider, regularly review and update your security policies and practices to address evolving threats.
2. Integration with existing systems
Once you make the decision to switch to the cloud services, the challenge can be figuring out what systems you have place can still be used once the transition is complete. Integrating cloud services with existing systems—especially legacy or bespoke systems—can be complex, especially for small businesses with limited IT resources. Data migration, even for a small business, can cause disruption to daily operations.
The solution is to work with a provider who can walk you through the process of selecting the right cloud services to integrate with your existing software and system, and then manage the integration and migration tasks. Often there are industry-specific systems or compliance-specific systems to consider, which is why a planned, phased migration to the cloud makes the most business sense, to allow for adequate testing and minimizing potential disruptions.
3. Concerns about start-up costs
While cloud computing can lead to cost savings in the long term, small businesses may be concerned about the initial investment required to implement cloud solutions. Businesses moving to the cloud grow their investments in servers, storage, and other cloud-based services ranging from billing and monitoring to security. Without proper guidance, small businesses can also find themselves with unused cloud services and cloud services that are difficult to forecast, causing them to go over budget.
To manage and control cloud costs, it’s essential to find a cloud servicer provider that offers a pricing model that both meets your company’s requirements and aligns with your budget. Ask about scalable solutions that allow you to pay only for the resources you use, ensuring you’re not overspending on unnecessary features. Also, be sure to continuously monitor and optimize your cloud resource usage to minimize costs.
How to choose the right cloud services provider
Choosing the right partner to implement cloud computing solutions is vital. Adopting cloud-based solutions can provide significant benefits for small businesses, but overcoming common challenges is crucial for a successful transition. That’s why you should look for a cloud services provider who understands the unique needs of small businesses, and can help you address data security concerns, ensure seamless integration with existing systems and manage costs. For more than a decade, SYMBITS has provided flexible IT solutions to small businesses. Our cloud-based services help small businesses harness the power of the cloud and reap the rewards of a more flexible, scalable, and efficient IT infrastructure. Find out what cloud computing can do for your business. Get in touch with Geovani Aday, COO of SYMBITS at [email protected]