For all the good and wondrous things the mononymous “Cloud” can do for businesses, there’s a reason our refrain is always the same to our clients: Use what you need and not an ounce more. And while some of the talking heads around the IT community believe the Cloud is the be-all end-all for everyone everywhere, the reality is some teams just can’t leverage the tools.
So rather than continue on about how glorious each individual tool is for your group – which we can and will do if you’re looking for that kind of information – we wanted to put together a much more practical look at some of the reasons your team may not turn to the Cloud for answers.
And quite frankly, this blog as a whole is in no way an attempt to talk you out of or into utilizing specific tools, but an honest look at situations we discover every day for our clients, presented in a way that allows you to cross items off your own list at the same time.
So without further adieu, let’s begin!
Are you missing a reliable internet connection?
Cloud-based services rely heavily on secure, reliable Internet connections instead of pulling from wired, in-network locations. Typically that’s a good thing; it means your team can access important information from almost anywhere… as long as you have access to the internet.
If your company operates without a reliable internet connection for any reason at all, the Cloud is likely out of the realm of possibility, though not entirely. Before ruling capitalizing on connected Cloud resources, talk to your IT company. Lacking a reliable connection may cross some items off the possibility list but not all things. If you have a reliable, albeit slow, connection it may be another issue, like a firewall throttling data, rather than a connection unworthy of the Cloud.
Do you have a critical business application that only works on an on-premise server?
If this were one of those “I Love the 00s” shows, this is the topic that all the comedians roll their eyes and chuckle at because, folks, let us tell you a thing about seeing critical business applications.
As one of the primary blockers for companies moving to a complete cloud environment, applications that are built into on-site servers are nearly impossible to close, migrate, and relaunch. Many businesses begin and then stall on this step, failing at ensuring all their critical line-of-business applications will still work.
As we clamor on about the positives of a hybrid approach to Cloud services, this is a fantastic place to observe the system at work. Many line-of-business applications, especially those for industries that tend to be slow to adapt to change, will only work on-premise servers. In situations such as this, our team typically suggests keeping line-of-business applications on-premise and moving email and file storage to the cloud with a service like Office 365.
Deeper dive: On-Premise vs. Cloud: Which is Better for You?
But your solution could be, and is likely, slightly different based on your factors, so let’s chat about that!
Are you tethered by specific regulatory requirements governing data location?
Compliance and regulatory requirements, in general, should not be a dealbreaker when it comes to the Cloud, even when they seem that way. Many Cloud services can actually aid in the meeting of specific highly detailed requirements for storing and processing data.
The problem for many organizations comes when they’re in an industry that requires the physical location of data to be localized to their offices, making Cloud computation and storage effectively impossible. Most Cloud service providers store your information in multiple data centers in different regions across the world, the specific locations all depending on who, why, et cetera.
This storage of data on a global scale is a good thing since it ensures you have access to your data at any time, even if something happens to one of the data centers. The catch for most is that some Cloud services let you request specific regions for storage, but don’t get as granular as state.
If your compliance requirements mean you must keep your data within the state (or something similar), an on-premise server is likely a more realistic option for you.
Is it unnecessary for you, or are you otherwise unable, to join the post-modern business world?
Not every company sees a return on investment when they move to the Cloud – especially those with older business models, clients, and employees. And while it’s true that businesses see huge gains with a switch to advanced tools, in our experience helping companies move to the cloud, it’s always those who over-push to change their processes who ultimately don’t succeed.
Let’s take the example of teamwork: With a traditional on-premise setup, collaborating on a document typically means one person working on it at a time, or creating multiple versions then compiling them into a master document later. With most cloud systems, including Office 365 and Google Workspace, documents can be edited concurrently, which can save time creating a more efficient work environment.
The long and short of it is if your team is unwilling, unable, or simply doesn’t need this kind of resource, the technology becomes effectively useless – at least, to that group.
Fitting, or not fitting, into one or more of these scenarios doesn’t mean the Cloud is out of reach forever. Slow moving organizations and industries will catch up, and regulations can change over time. But, for now, talk to your favorite IT company about your options. Not being able to get to the Cloud doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from modernized tools and a digital transformation!
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