There are endless cloud solutions on the market to choose from today. It can be hard enough to run a small business without weeding through unlimited pages of cloud solutions and software.
Here are five things to think about when choosing a cloud solution for your small business.
1. Inventory your devices and software.
Before making any major decisions, conduct a wide-ranging inventory and software audit. As more people begin to embrace the flexibility of hybrid models in the workplace, companies are becoming less uniform in the devices and software employees use.
If your team uses Microsoft exclusively, that may push you toward deciding on a service like Microsoft Azure because most of your tech and systems are already aligned. This would make integrations and functionality much more manageable than going with a competitor’s cloud solution. Everything will take longer and won’t be as seamless.
This is where you can get accurate numbers and percentage breakdowns of how your team is working and what will work best when choosing a cloud solution.
2. Consider security levels.
The security needs of a business are not one-size-fits-all. It is essential to sit with your team and list what you are looking for in a cloud solutions system. Your team may require two-factor authentication, virtual private network (VPN) access, or data encryption.
Some businesses require even more robust security solutions like on-premises storage, allowing data to be self-hosted internally. Other companies do not need to spend money on these additional features.
This is why it’s essential to work with the team to decide which level of security will work best for your organization.
3. Plan for storage needs.
Just like a business’s security levels, the storage needs also depend on the individual business.
A small business may consist of just a handful of employees but can quickly grow into a major company. It is crucial to take stock of the storage needs your business currently has and the needs it will have in the future.
When deciding on a cloud solution, ask yourself these storage size questions:
- How much storage are we currently using?
- What are we likely to need in the next 12 months?
- How much storage do we expect to need in the next three years?
As a small business, it is more than likely that every cloud solutions service will be able to handle your storage needs. However, you’ll want to use a platform that has storage available as your organization grows.
Suppose you are unsure where your business will be in the next year. In that case, it may also be wise to be on the lookout for a cloud solutions provider that offers unlimited storage capabilities.
4. Compare providers and make a decision.
Once you have worked through the steps above, you can start comparing providers.
Today, some of the most popular providers on the market are AWS, Azure, Dropbox, OpenDrive, and Google Cloud Platform. Comparing your needs to what the various providers offer will make it easier to make an informed decision.
Each of these platforms has various features, depending on your business needs. These options also provide excellent customer service, unlimited storage, and strong security.
Suppose you’re still on the fence after you’ve compared providers’ websites. In that case, most providers offer demos. They are available for phone calls to answer any questions you may have before deciding.
5. Choose a cloud solution.
All of the major cloud solutions on the market today have excellent reviews. There isn’t necessarily a “best” platform that fits everyone. The best platform for your small business might be the worst platform for another small business.
Choosing the right platform is a process that involves going through the checklist above and selecting a provider that meets those needs.