In today’s economy, cloud technology is no longer just an option but a necessity. Due to its mobility, flexibility, and efficiency, the past decade has seen companies transfer data and assets into cloud servers. Recent market figures suggest that cloud spending is expected to increase by 14% by 2024, primarily because of the COVID-19 crisis.
While updating business practices is crucial for survival, if not continued growth, understanding what needs updating is just as essential. In their haste to streamline their processes and improve revenue generation, companies around the globe end up wasting around USD$17.6 billion (GBP£12.8 billion) on ill-suited cloud solutions.
Experts advise avoiding being in a hurry to jump on the cloud bandwagon, especially if there’s nothing overtly problematic with your current business operations. Moving to the cloud requires lengthy preparations, from determining cloud-bound data to choosing the correct cloud setup. So, watch out for the following signs to know if your business is ready to make the big move to the cloud.
1. Increasing Complaints on Data Access
Current data privacy laws ensure consumers’ rights to adequate access to personal information. Regardless of the reason, a business that fails to provide this can expect a formal complaint to an enforcement agency or, worse, a lawsuit.
One such case happened in 2019 when a non-profit filed a lawsuit against several tech companies for the violation of Article 15 of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It found that most of these companies failed to fulfill requests for information filed by consumers. Those that did only provided part of the requested data, which barely improved the situation.
Such laws have made data access a crucial business process. Thus, a spike in complaints on data access should be a sign for much-needed modernization.
2. Growing Concern About Cybersecurity
It’s only typical for entrepreneurs and consumers alike to be worried about cybersecurity threats. As technology continues to develop, so do the ways hackers and other criminals steal personal information and use it for their gain.
The first year of the pandemic saw serious cyberattacks increase to an all-time high. According to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), it recorded close to 200 cases relating to COVID, including the theft of vaccine information. Eventually, the number of cases rose to 723, the highest since the NCSC’s formation five years ago.
If such a dangerous trend puts business owners in great unease, it’s only reasonable for them to deploy Buchanan’s managed cloud services and others. After all, among the many benefits that cloud services offer, security is perhaps the most important for businesses. While not entirely immune to cyberattacks, cloud solutions add an extra layer of complexity to deter breach attempts. Specifically, these are a few ways moving to the cloud can protect your data against cyberattacks:
- Locating the servers outside a company’s premises
- Encrypting data stored in cloud-based servers
- Employing physical and software-based security measures
- Designing legal-compliant solutions to suit business needs
3. Remote Working as the New Normal
During the first year of the pandemic, office work was among the first to take the full brunt of the economic ramifications of the health crisis. Quarantine measures meant that employees couldn’t report to the office, leaving them without a job, either for a long time or for good. The situation cut through both the workers’ income and the business’s capital.
Even with daily life slowly returning due to vaccines and other safety measures, most working adults believe they can no longer return to pre-pandemic office work. A recent BBC poll found that seven out of ten people preferred to work from home, either full or part-time. The corporate community is somewhat divided, with some still insisting on restoring office-based work.
Of course, the shift to work-from-home arrangements is part of a larger trend that goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. So, a company that has since shifted to remote work arrangements should consider moving data and assets to the cloud. With these off-premises, employees can access them from their computers in the safety of their homes. Work can progress even when employees aren’t together in the office.
4. IT Systems Are Past the Upgrade Cycle
Technological developments introduce something new every year, be it new hardware and software or new ways of doing things. A batch of enterprise computers and suites procured today may become obsolete after just a few years, prompting businesses to procure another set. Understanding the upgrade cycle is imperative for businesses to get the most out of their IT systems.
The length of the cycle, however, is a matter of debate. Many experts believe an upgrade cycle of three to five years is ideal, but others dispute that figure due to the rapid advances and decreasing cost of chip technology. The disputing opinion commonly cites Moore’s law, which stresses that the number of transistors used in integrated circuits has doubled every two years since 1970.
While modernization is essential, companies should make the most of their recently bought systems before thinking about upgrades. The upgrade cycle for the components of an IT system varies, but servers age the fastest due to their consistent use. If they start lagging or are regularly unresponsive, it may be time to plan a move to the cloud.
5. Limited Cash Flow
It’s not unusual for business owners to see nominal growth but not feel it. Something might be restricting growth despite a string of good business days. Constantly buying new hardware and software to maintain this momentum can improve processes but at the cost of reduced revenue.
As mentioned earlier, sticking to a specific upgrade cycle can help businesses make the most of their IT investments. However, the needs of companies can change more frequently than one thinks. Upgrading to a more future-proof solution like cloud servers enables businesses to utilize their investments to the fullest while maintaining a more beneficial cash flow.
The adoption of cloud technology is inevitable. In the foreseeable future, not be a single business will operate without using the cloud in some form. However, if these companies don’t gauge its necessity first, billions in hard-earned capital can go to waste.
As such, businesses must consider a slew of factors, particularly the signs mentioned in this article, when planning to move to the cloud. The setup should be suitable for their business model and serve to improve cash flow instead of degrading it.