One of the biggest challenges is actually making the transition- and figuring out what systems you have in place can still be used once the transition is complete.
There are some things that 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 handled 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Unless you have a system that’s extremely outdated, finding ways to integrating cloud services with these two systems might not be as difficult as you think.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 don’t business take the big leap to the Cloud?
It’s understandable that 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’s 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 numbers of years) works! Hearing the horror stories that other companies have had with this transition, it doesn’t make financial sense to make the leap- especially if it doesn’t pay for itself. This makes sense in the sort-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, and suddenly, you’ll have two separate networks.
I Have systems that have business-specific functionality
“XYZ” existing system can’t be replaced 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- and there’s a good chance that every system you upgrade in the future will require that same type of integration.
I Need compliance for specific industry
Certain systems are required to ensure that your company complies with laws or regulations within your industry. Although some or all of these systems can be integrated eventually, they must remain intact until you have an updated 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- but 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 right off the bottom line.
What services are usually integrated with Cloud Services?
In 2008, the cloud computing industry was $46 Billion. In 2014, it’s $150 Billion. That’s a growth of over 300% in 6 short years.
Several things that your employees use daily are some of the first things that CIO’s and IT Departments move to the cloud. Cloud services reduce the time it takes to maintain and fix issues with systems that are used regularly.
Moving some of this information to a centralized, secure location can really reduce the strain on internal servers, but still need to be useful, effective, and easy to use. Some of the services that are integrated 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: Shared storage is a great way to integrate your existing computer network, including all computers, work stations, printers, phone systems, and any other device that your entire company might use regularly with cloud-based storage for data storing and sharing.
- Contacts: Customer Relationship Management systems, also known as CRM’s, 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, and can help synchronize contact information with the sales and marketing teams at your corporate offices and any outside sales people that are out on the road. It also provides an easier way to access information wherever it’s needed.
- Calendars / Events: Making sure your calendars and events are synced and updated 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.
- Data Import/Export: 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 being accessed. 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 when migrating or integrating your systems with the cloud
Here are some things that should be considered 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, it will ensure that if something does go wrong, you reduce the amount of down time 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 times 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, and much easier than your existing system. 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.
Not sure what cloud solution will work? Record Nations can help!
Record Nations will help you find the right cloud solution that fits 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 cloud storage and service professionals that provide reliable secure solutions for your business. Our experts can help connect you with cloud storage professionals that 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 to the right, or give our experts a call at (866) 385-3706. Our team will help you find the right paperless solution for your business.