In a recent post on Forbes, columnist Joe McKendrick discusses a Cisco-sponsored IDC survey results showing a lack of coordinated cloud strategies among large enterprises. Nearly half, or 47%, describe their cloud strategies as “opportunistic” or “ad hoc”. The 14% or respondents claiming managed, optimized cloud strategies, report substantial and tangible business benefits. These successes come from how applications are built and deployed, a strategy that does not always work for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).
SMB Cloud is Different
Whereas most enterprise cloud strategies focus on building new line of business applications and rebuilding existing systems for the cloud, most small and midsize businesses are not building or customizing their own applications. When SMBs do use custom applications, they typically rely on outside firms for development and support. When SMBs move to the cloud, they normally start with “infrastructure” services like email and file services. Existing business applications are often replaced by SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) cloud solutions — either from the current vendor or as a replacement.
SMB Cloud Forward Strategy
Without a strategy, you can end up struggle to get all of the pieces of your IT in the cloud connected to each other and/or your on-premise systems. For you, as an SMB decision maker, a sound strategy will:
- Identify your business goals and objectives
- Use these goals and objectives to define and prioritize your near-term and long-term technology needs
- Create an architecture that defines the pieces — platforms, applications, and data — and how the pieces fit together
- Drive your decision to go Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365, and/or another cloud platform or ecosystem
Creating your cloud strategy requires some thought and effort, but need not be a lengthy or overwhelming task. Starting with your business priorities and answering a few key questions gets you most of the way there. Once in place, your Cloud Strategy will guide your product selections as well as the order and timing of your deployments.
Interested in creating or updating your Cloud Strategy? Contact us for a Cloud Advisor session — for free and without obligation, or complete our Productivity Cloud Questionnaire for a free assessment and recommendation report.