Is Your Business Ready?

isyourbusinessready

To help you decide whether your business could be improved by transitioning toward the Cloud over the next 12 months, we’ve put together a Cloud readiness checklist:

FACTOR DESCRIPTION IMPORTANCE YES?
Competitors Are your competitors utilizing the Cloud? If so, they will be gaining experience in efficiency that is likely to result in a competitive advantage if left unchecked. High
Peak Usage Are there reasons for peak usage in your industry? These could be related to seasonality or your business cycle (for example, if your primary target market is in education where most purchasing takes place in late Summer or early Fall). Peak usage is a perfect reason for moving toward the Cloud as the you’ll only pay for excess capacity when you need it. High
Applications Do Cloud-based applications exist specifically for your industry? Or, are there general applications that could replace existing desktop software? Moderate
System Do you have multiple operating systems deployed? Is the hardware different? Are people using different software to complete same or similar tasks? Moderate
Organization Do members of your IT group have experience with remote hosting or supporting online applications? Are their opinions favorable toward the Cloud? Moderate
Cost Model Would your business benefit from reduced capital expenditures? Moderate
Existing Cloud Usage Do you already host your website or email remotely? Do you use an online service to backup computers? Do you have a Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) system – like Salesforce.com? Low

If you said yes to either of the two factors with high importance, you should definitely have a Cloud transition plan in place and be moving toward implementation. If you answered yes to any of the moderately important factors, you should start drafting a Cloud transition plan as soon as possible, with a timeline for implementation over the next 12 months.

If your IT team has shown reluctance toward implementing applications in the Cloud or remote hosting, you should probably work with them to take a few small steps into the Cloud, like replacing a useful desktop application with a Cloud-based alternative. This would give them actual experience with the Cloud.

Here are some examples:

  • Move your proprietary invoicing system to Freshbooks.com
  • Transition accounting to QuickBooks Online
  • Move your phone system to a VOIP provider like Telesphere
  • Move your CRM system into the Cloud with Salesforce.com
  • Move your lobby and lounge music to the Cloud with Rhapsody or Spotify
  • Migrate your website to a remote dedicated server with Brinkster.

If your business is highly regulated, you probably need to consult an attorney or a consultant for advice on moving into the Cloud. CIO Magazine published “Cloud Computing: 4 Tips for Regulatory Compliance” written by Jim Buchanan on August 08, 2011. This article would be worth the read if compliance is of concern.

No related posts.

About the Author:

John-Scott Dixon is the Managing Editor of Cloud Magazine.