3 Easy Ways to Move Your Small Business to the Cloud

Small businesses looking to save may be considering a move to the cloud. Customers are online and cloud solutions for small businesses can help you streamline processes without breaking the bank. Whether you’re just beginning to look into cloud services and solutions or are researching ways to make the move as painless as possible, these three tips can help! To get started, here’s a quick definition from Brookings Institution:

Computing can take the form of software-as-a-service (running specific applications through a cloud), platform-as-a-service (using a suite of applications, programming languages, and user tools), or infrastructure-as-a-service (relying on remote data storage networks).

As you look to start a new project for your business or scale it, consider cloud-based options. Here are three easy ways you can move your small business to the cloud.

Start Small

Whether you chose to move one process at a time or one department at a time, start small. Starting small will enable you to determine whether or not a complete move is really the best for your business. It will also help you budget your resources more easily. You’ll want to create a process map that identifies where gaps in services or connections could take place should you move just one of many pieces and whether or not that will hinder your business’s performance. A common system small business owners chose to move to the cloud first is their phone system. With just a few minutes of research, you can find a phone system for your business that is based in the cloud and offers big business features, such as automated assistants, on small business budgets.

Hire a Consultant

If you don’t have the time to do research, but are looking for ways to move one or more of your business processes to cloud-based systems quickly, consider outsourcing your IT needs. You’ll want to be sure to read the fine print so you know when you’ll be charged and under what circumstances. Outsourcing this technology transition can save you time, a valuable resource for small business owners, and you’ll have access to a specialist or a group of specialist. An IT service provider who helps you move processes to online-based systems often provide future support at a reduced cost as well as cost-effective disaster recovery options. Outsourcing isn’t for everyone, however, and it is up to you to determine whether or not the costs of the service are worth the results for your business.

Take It for a Test Run

Once you’ve determined what processes you’re considering moving to the cloud, take a test run of the solutions you’re considering so you can find the one that is the best for your business and employees. Establish who will be using the different aspect of your cloud-based systems and give each person an opportunity to test it out for a few hours at least. Often times, during a trial period you will be able to evaluate whether or not the transition will be seamless, your business will benefit, and whether or not one solution is a better fit than another.

While these three tips can help make the transition easier, you should consider and research what your options are before you move your business to the cloud. Due to resource availability, you may not be able to move all aspects of your business operations to cloud-based systems, but it is important to determine what will benefit your business most. Ask yourself how each service or solution will be managed, supported and accessed. Ask questions to each cloud service provider and consider whether or not the costs are worth the benefits for your business.

Author Bio: Erica Bell is an online copywriter for lead generation company Business.com Media, Inc. She writes on a number of topics including small business technology and social media marketing. Connect with Business.com on Facebook!