Cloud storage and other cloud services can be a tremendous asset to your company. They help automate processes and help reduce the cost of maintaining and expanding your current IT infrastructure. One of the biggest challenges is actually making the transition to integrated cloud solutions. Additionally, you need to figure out what systems you have in place that you can still use once the transition is complete.
Some things will become obsolete. For example, if you decide to use a cloud service to handle your storage and email services, there’s a good chance that you won’t need to maintain the server that handles these services. That doesn’t mean you have to decommission it. You might be able to use the same system as an on-site backup for all your company files.
Unless you have an extremely outdated system, finding ways to integrate cloud services with these two systems might not be as difficult as you think. Here are some of the ways that you might be able to utilize the systems you have with a cloud service during your transition, or for a long-term hybrid solution that combines the existing systems you have with a cloud service.
Why Businesses Don’t Take the Big Leap to the Cloud
Understandably, businesses don’t want to interrupt the existing systems they have- they want to make money! Migrating an entire system, even if it’s a small part of the business, takes time and money to build, and time and money to integrate.
The issue is that most of the services that businesses might want to migrate (as you’ll see below) aren’t just a small part of the business. Here are some of the reasons that some companies don’t make a change, even if it does reduce cost and increase productivity over the long run:
If it Isn’t Broken Don’t Fix it!
The system they use (and the one they’ve used for several years) works! Hearing the horror stories that other companies have had with this transition, it doesn’t make financial sense to leap. Especially if it doesn’t pay for itself. This makes sense in the short term, but if your business is planning to grow, or needs to integrate new computer technology, it’s going to get more and more difficult. Suddenly, you’ll have two separate networks.
I Have Systems That Have Business-Specific Functionality
You can’t replace “XYZ” existing system with a cloud service. It serves a specific need that hasn’t been addressed by any cloud service. This is one case where integration to an updated system that syncs with the older system might make sense. Be aware that those software solutions can cost thousands of dollars themselves. There’s a good chance that every system you upgrade in the future will require that same type of integration.
I Need Compliance for a Specific Industry
Certain systems are required to ensure that your company complies with laws or regulations within your industry. Although you can integrate some or all of these systems eventually, they must remain intact until you have an alternative from the governing body that maintains, updates, or regulates that compliance.
These are just a few of the reasons why a company might not upgrade. If you analyze the cost of maintaining, upgrading, or replacing an in-house server, you might realize how transitioning to the cloud can save you time and money.
What Services are Usually Integrated With Cloud Solutions?
Several things that your employees use daily are some of the first things that CIOs and IT Departments move to the cloud. Cloud services reduce the time it takes to maintain and fix issues with systems that you use regularly.
Moving some of this information to a centralized, secure location can reduce the strain on internal servers. However, it still needs to be useful, effective, and easy to use. Some of the services that you should integrate first can include:
Email / Instant Messaging
This includes traditional or industry-standard email systems (Outlook) ways to send notifications, alerts, and other messages.
Shared storage is a great way to integrate your existing computer network, including all computers, workstations, printers, phone systems, and any other device that your entire company might use regularly with cloud-based storage for data storing and sharing.
Customer Relationship Management systems, also known as CRMs, are the lifeblood of your sales department. Using a cloud-based system keeps your lists intact in case of a natural disaster or data loss. Additionally, it can help synchronize contact information with the sales and marketing teams at your corporate offices and any outside salespeople who are out on the road. It also provides an easier way to access information wherever it’s needed.
Calendars / Events
Making sure you sync and update your calendars and events instantly is a function that all businesses should make a priority. That way, when a meeting time changes or an emergency meeting pops up, you don’t have a duplicate event with the wrong information.
Most existing systems have data that the company might need to import or export to other systems. It might be for backup purposes, data recovery, or even to protect sensitive information from thieves. Cloud storage is a great solution for backup and recovery and provides a 100% secure environment for storage and transmission.
All of these systems are critical for your business. Transitioning any of these services to the cloud will decrease cost, reduce the strain on your internal network, increase productivity, and allow your employees to share and update information quickly and easily.
Things to Consider With Integrated Cloud Solutions
Here are some things that you should consider in your decision to migrate any of your existing systems. Or, integrate what you already have with a cloud service.
Can it be Done Quickly?
If you’re upgrading or migrating a service, make sure the transition is as quick as possible. Not only will your salespeople appreciate it, but it will also ensure that if something does go wrong, you reduce the amount of downtime to fix the problem.
Back-Up Your Data and Your System
Any time you switch or test a new system, be sure to back up all the information that’s critical for that particular system (and any systems related to it). If there’s a hiccup or the new system crashes something, you don’t have to worry about lost data or any other problems.
Guard Against Duplicate Data
One of the biggest issues with integrating your existing system with a cloud service is duplication. Most of the time you have to sync up your existing system to an external cloud service. When you do that, you can run across multiple copies when the system doesn’t sync right. Make sure your IT department has a redundancy check in place to eliminate this from happening as much as possible.
Ease of Use
The last piece of advice is to make sure you choose a system that is easier to use. Adding a new system is difficult enough. Don’t complicate the process or transition by selecting a service that creates a learning curve or extra steps to a process. That will defeat the purpose of integrating a cloud service into your existing system in the first place.
Get Integrated Cloud Solutions from Record Nations Today!
Record Nations will help you find integrated cloud solutions that fit the needs of your company. Come and see why we are the first choice for public, private, or hybrid cloud solutions.
We have a network of cloud storage and service professionals that provide reliable security solutions for your business. Our experts can help connect you with cloud storage professionals. They will walk you through the tedious process of selecting the right service. Our cloud storage services will keep your records safe and easy to access.
To get started, fill out the form, or give our experts a call at (866) 385-3706. Our team will help you find the right paperless solution for your business.