More and more organizations are moving their services to the cloud. SMB’s and massive enterprises alike have found benefit in switching over to cloud based technologies, and have encouraged their partners to make the move. For those companies who have always kept their services in house and locked down to their internal network, this can be a scary change. Change is scary, and will come with many obstacles, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. Keep these tips in mind if you are considering a switch to cloud services.

• Have A Strategy – Every business has a strategy, make sure the cloud fits into yours. Get your decision makers into a room, especially IT, and discuss how the cloud fits into your organization. Make a plan for the next year, 3 years, and 5 years. Consider your entire portfolio when creating your cloud adoption strategy. Not all things will be acceptable or accessible in the cloud, and those distinctions should be made clear from day one.

• Do your Research – If you don’t put in the time and do your homework, you are bound to get something different than you expected. Keep an open mind when learning about strategies. Research what other companies have done, but don’t feel restricted by what they have done. Find what’s right for you.

• Make Strong Partnerships – Having close partnerships with your department heads, other organizations, and especially your vendor is crucial to deploying a cloud solution with minimal problems. Implementing a cloud environment can be a daunting task, and having strong partnerships to rely on and ask for assistance will be extremely helpful.

• Leave Nothing In Question – While this is good advice on all fronts, I mean this in regard to the cloud vendor contract. Confusion on the contract, especially when it comes to what services you receive or if support is available, can lead to huge problems. Make sure everything is clearly labeled in the contract.

• Start Small, Think Big – Although you want to keep future years and expansion in mind when implementing cloud services, it is okay to start out small. Starting with a single non-critical service may be the best way to begin, allowing you and your employees to test the waters. This will give you an idea of how much staff training you will need to provide, if any network upgrades are needed, and if cloud services really fit in your business.

The direction of most agencies is clearly aiming towards cloud based services. Some may fight the momentum, but it is only a matter of time before we start seeing more essential services being offered solely in the cloud.