First off, congratulations! Whether you offer products or services, moving your small business operations to the Cloud can be a game-changer, offering capabilities and benefits that will help you succeed.
Unfortunately, moving to the Cloud can be a long and frustrating process. Change is hard, especially if you don’t know what to expect during the transition.
Happily, there are many Cloud partners ready to help your small business make the move. Here’s how a partner can help as well as some peeks at what’s ahead as you transition to the Cloud.
The Benefits of Having a Cloud Partner
Nothing will help your move to the cloud more than a reliable, compatible partner. The right partner has, “been there and done that” and is more than ready to help you manage the effort.
Here are some of the benefits a cloud partner brings to the table:
They’ll Educate You
In the beginning, education is key. A cloud partner can help you explain and sell the benefits of moving to the cloud to other decision makers and your information technology team.
They can also address, and lay to rest, issues of concern such as security and downtime.
Education helps turn the fuzzy concept of the Cloud into clear business terms and benefits. By helping all constituents understand all the whys and whats, you’re putting everyone on the same footing so they can make the appropriate decisions along the way.
They’ll Help With Planning
If you want your business to continue running during your move, you can’t just move everything and everyone to the Cloud all at once.
Instead, you need to plan your transition to the cloud carefully. This means moving one business function at a time in a way that impacts your business least.
For example, say your business is a medical office and you want to move to the Cloud so that all files and records are accessible 24/7/365. Instead of adopting Office365 for everyone, your Cloud partner might suggest picking two employees to start with as a proof of concept. That enables you to see how it works, figure out any issues that may occur, and solve them before rolling Office365 out to the rest of the office.
This approach takes the pressure off your business by:
- Minimizing business disruptions to your customers or clients; and
- Easing the effects of the change on employees.
They’ll Provide A Turnkey Solution
Many Cloud partners offer a turnkey solution, or can create one based on your needs in a timely manner.
The advantage of a turnkey solution is that everything works together smoothly as opposed to a series of individual Cloud apps glued together haphazardly.
There are many risks associated with the latter approach including:
- It’s a nightmare to manage on a day-to-day basis;
- An update to one of the solutions makes it play poorly with the others; and
- One of the solutions exits the marketplace, leaving you high and dry.
A turnkey solution on the other hand is one where all applications integrate solidly. They’re much easier for your information technology team to manage and for your employees to use.
In addition, a turnkey solution is one that’s supported — and that brings us to our final point.
They’ll Make Licensing Simpler
Cloud Licensing can be very complex if you don’t understand how to manage it effectively. This is where cloud partners can make it easy for you.
Many Cloud partners are educated on licensing and they have the knowledge to make your license management simpler which will help you manage your budgets more effectively. Have a single bill for cloud solution every month is a dream and this is the dream cloud partners can provide you.
They’ll Provide Ongoing Support
Your Cloud partner does not go away when the move is done. They’ll be there to help, not only with issues, but with new ideas for increasing your productivity and bottom line.
And, if one part of their turnkey solution no longer plays well with the others, or simply goes away, they’ll bring in something to replace it.
While the benefits of moving to the Cloud are clear, the road to do so can be bumpy.
A competent Cloud partner can help smooth that road from beginning to end and help your company reap the results of the transition.
If you are think about Cloud, get educated by signing up for a free 1:1 cloud consultation.
Cloud Team Photo via Shutterstock
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