Cloud storage is more common than at any time in the past. From social media sites to apps, this form of remote storage is what makes information portable. Since you plan on making better use of cloud storage in the future, it pays to hire a cloud computing consulting firm in Seattle and learn what this storage solution can do for your business. Here are some examples of what a consultant can do to ensure you get the most out of your usage.
An Expert Evaluation of Your Company’s Cloud Storage Needs
Before it will be possible to decide what to do with cloud storage, it’s necessary to evaluate how you use storage at present. What sort of data is kept in some kind of central repository? What are the reasons for storing data on something like a local server?
At the same time, there’s data that may be stored on individual machines rather than the company server. Was there a reason for that, other than possibly convenience?
Along with general storage on individual machines and on a company server, are there backups that are in use? This may be a secondary server or maybe even a tape backup. How are those solutions used, and what’s the criterion for deciding how data is stored in a secondary environment?
The answers to all these questions will form the basis of what approach to cloud storage would provide the benefits you enjoy now, add more benefits, and possibly simplify the storage process for your business.
Identifying the Most Secure Cloud Providers
With a good idea of what you’re doing now and what a cloud storage solution can do for you, the process moves on to finding a provider who offers an excellent level of security. That security isn’t just about protecting access from your place of business. It will also extend to offsite employees who need access to data while traveling.
As with any type of data and communication offering, the level of security provided by different cloud services will vary. With the aid of a consultant, it’s possible to compare the precautions taken by different services and determine who is a good fit for your business. That includes knowing which services routinely upgrade security measures to fend off the most recently released threats.
And the Ones Providing the Level of Support Needed
While data security is crucial, it’s not the only point to ponder with a cloud service. You also want to know what sort of support the service provides. Which ones have the best track records in terms of responding to customer queries? Is support available around the clock? Does the provider proactively notify customers if an issue is discovered, and it will take time to resolve the problem?
The goal is to ensure that the service you ultimately choose offers a degree of support that leaves you feeling comfortable and valued. Anything less is not worth the money you would spend on cloud storage.
Determining the Amount of Capacity Needed
Based on today’s needs, how much data storage is required? Projecting anticipated growth, how much storage will you need next year, five years from now, or even a decade into the future? Those are questions that a consultant can help you answer now.
Ideally, the cloud service that you choose can easily accommodate more than what you need at present. As time passes and you begin to exceed 80% of the capacity offered through the current plan, there should be the ability to upgrade and receive additional storage space. If this is not something a particular service can offer, it would be best to look for one that can take care of your business in the future as well as now.
Training for Your IT Team
Up to this point, the Information Technology team that you have in-house has overseen every aspect of data storage. That’s mainly been managing the on-site server and possibly a backup server. While the team is proficient in that capacity, it’s important to note that there will be a learning curve once cloud storage is introduced.
That’s another area where an expert with a cloud computing consulting firm in Seattle can help. The consultant can arrange the training for your IT team. This will ensure they can monitor the upload of data to the cloud, check for network issues on your end, and in general make sure the process is working as it should. Thanks to what they already do, the training will likely go smoothly.
Assessing the Ease of Use Versus the Skill Sets of Your Employees
It’s not just the IT team that will need some training. There’s a good chance that your employees will need some help in adjusting to the new way of accessing and storing data. For those who are used to keeping data on local hard drives, this may be a challenge initially.
All employees who need access to the stored data should be trained. That includes sales team members and others who may travel on behalf of the company. They will need to know how to securely access the cloud while on the road. See the training as one way to ensure there’s no waste of time or resources when it comes to making use of company data.
Determining How to Trim Expenses Using Cloud Storage
In the midst of coming up with solutions, the cost is sure to be on your mind. This is another area where the consultant can help. You’ll find out how this method of data storage can, directly and indirectly, save money over time.
For example, you may decide that the cloud will be the primary point of storage from now on. You can drop the secondary server and other backup methods since the main local server will now be your backup. That translates into lower equipment costs. It also means less time involved in making sure data is transferred between devices properly.
You may also find that cloud storage paired with access credentials means employees don’t have to spend time attaching documents to emails and sharing them through a network. Instead, all authorized personnel can go to the cloud, find what they need, and keep working. No one has to wait until an email with an attachment arrives.
Developing a Plan to Transition Data from Local to Cloud Storage
Now that you have an idea of what the cloud can do for the business, there’s still the need to transfer data from your local storage to that cloud account. This is another area where the consultant can help. Between the support offered by the cloud service and the expertise of the consultant, it will be easy to set up a schedule for data transfer.
This process may focus on transferring data from the primary local server as the first step. Once that’s complete, transferring data from local desktops and laptops can be next. Through it all, the arrangement of the data in the cloud can be monitored. The result is everyone knows where to look for the files and documents they need.
If the idea of transitioning to the cloud as either your primary storage site or as a backup for your local server is appealing, now is the time to schedule a meeting with a consultant. After a full evaluation, developing a plan that fits your company’s needs will be an easy task.