Week one of our 30-day guide to moving to the cloud looked at what you need to consider before actually making the move to the cloud. Now it’s time to make specific decisions and begin the move.
Moving to the cloud week two: action
- Find your core apps. During last week’s research you no doubt came across some online tools and apps that piqued your interest. Now you need to knuckle down and check out the competition: look for the specific cloud services that you identified as being of most use to your business.
Check out what apps we use at Turbine to get an idea of what cloud apps can actually do for a small business.
Ask providers the right questions and refer back to what you determined you wanted from the cloud to help you decide which apps will handle your data storage, collaboration, human resources, purchasing and expenses needs. Look for a good reputation, online help and clear information on their data privacy and security policies.
- Understand your core apps. Once you choose a cloud-based program or set of apps, spend time in the free trials learning the full extent of your new capabilities. Have a really good play around and stretch it to its limits to see how well it could scale as your business grows.
- Decide how the cloud can grow your business. This is one of the key benefits of moving to the cloud: as well as offering numerous advantages to your current operations, the cloud can also help you to advance your business. Don’t be afraid of a little flexibility when it comes to your business model if those modifications will help your long-term growth.
- Communicate the change. Depending on the size of your business, this step could involve a simple head’s up to team members or a full calendar detailing the transition. Also, if vendors or clients will be affected, remember to inform them of the change ahead of time.
People tend to fear change, even when it will be to their advantage, so having a communication and adoption strategy will help get everyone on board.
- Transfer information. This is most likely the step that caused you the most concern about the cloud in the first place, especially if you have large amounts of data. Take the time to create a model that your employees can follow so as to ease the transition and avoid important data being missed. The best apps make it pretty easy so if you find yourself struggling, ask your provider for guidance. It’s a great early test of their customer service responsiveness, and if there are any problems you can pull out and switch before you’ve rolled out the new way of working to the whole business.
So now you’ve taken action, and started your migration, next week is all about making sure your implementation is thorough and successful. Just a hint – communication is going to be key.