If you run a small business, you want to consider the benefits of using a cloud to store your data. This is a great way to store your data and run your business operations using a more reliable server.
However, you want to make sure that your cloud operations are run properly.
There are many mistakes that a small business owner can make when using a cloud system.
We’ve put together this guide to look at the common cloud mistakes that you should avoid for your small business.
The Guide to Common Cloud Mistakes
There are many advantages to cloud computing that many small businesses simply miss out on. By making common mistakes, one is missing out on these great advantages.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bandwidth and Storage Space
Are you aware of the bandwidth and storage space that your cloud service provider has? If you are a Mac user, learn how to access iCloud and see how much storage space you have. Storing business data is crucial for the continued use of your company.
The more bandwidth that you have, the faster and more reliable your business operations are. If you have many requirements and you have low bandwidth, you will see a slower Internet speed and slow performance.
For example, low bandwidth will make it harder for using a VoIP calling service. Many other applications may function poorly if the bandwidth and storage space is low.
2. Cloud Service Level Agreements
Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) are written expectations between the cloud service provider and the consumers.
You should read in detail what the SLA for your cloud service is before registering for it. It should state the roles and responsibilities of the cloud service provider. It should state what its security and privacy credentials are.
There should also be information regarding the disaster recovery plan and how to exit and transition out of the cloud service.
3. Check out Application Offerings
As applications are a prominent feature of cloud service providers, you want to make sure that you choose a cloud service with a plethora of application offerings.
You should check ahead of time what application offerings your cloud service provider offers. You may need to plan ahead for this one. As you are a small business, you may not consider the importance of certain applications – such as an investment management application – in your cloud service.
But, if later on, you need the investment management application, you might be forced to go through the hassle of switching to a new service provider.
4. Be Aware of the Lock-in Costs
Before you sign up for a cloud service provider, you should be aware that there might be a lock-in cost. You may be stuck in a contract and owe fees for a set duration.
During this duration, you might not be able to transition to another provider. Even if you can, the requirement to pay fees (and often, high fees) may make you reluctant to migrate to another provider.
Research and discuss these lock-in costs with the cloud provider before you sign up for their services. This is also why you need to research and compare different cloud services before choosing which one is best for your small business.
5. Security Concerns
As we briefly hinted in the second tip, you must know about the security precautions that your cloud service provider has.
Concerns around cybersecurity should be one of your company’s biggest concerns. On the cloud, you will likely have sensitive data and files regarding your company. You want to know if the cloud provider has installed layers of security to protect your data. You want to inquire about how often they evaluate possible risks.
You want to ask them how data can be recovered in the case of a natural disaster. Security should be the top priority. If your cloud provider has many great features, applications, etc., but is weak on security – skip it altogether!
As your company grows, you will need more people to access the cloud service provider. Or do you? One of the biggest concerns that a small business owner will have is if all employees can be trusted to not compromise or share any confidential data that is stored on a cloud.
You may want to consider only allowing certain employees to access the cloud. Perhaps trainees, interns, and junior-level employees needn’t have access to the cloud. You may want to arrange it so that only certain applications, files, etc. can be accessed by certain employees.
You can request multi-factor authentication or creating specific accounts to access the applications and data on the cloud provider. If you only let employees access parts of the cloud that pertain to their role, there is a significantly reduced risk of all of your data being compromised.
7. Internet Connection
As accessing your cloud depends on a great internet connection, it’s crucial that you look at the limitations of your current internet service provider before choosing a cloud service provider.
You need to inquire with your internet service provider if they have the capacity to handle cloud applications and accessing cloud services with high bandwidth. If they do not, you will have to switch to a new provider.
We also suggest having a backup internet connection. If one of your internet connections goes out, do you have an alternative? If you use wireless internet, there should be a way to connect to the internet through an internet cable so that work can resume immediately.
8. Not Doing a Test Run
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes that a small business makes is not doing a test run of the cloud provider.
If your cloud provider allows a trial then you should take advantage of the trial. If you are able to do trials of different cloud providers you can decide which is best for your small business.
You should also look at case studies and testimonials of the different cloud providers. This will help you compare and contrast them to decide which is best.
Choose the Best Cloud
Now that you know the common cloud mistakes, you can choose the best cloud service provider for your small business. Make sure you avoid the mistakes in this guide so your company has the best experience with your cloud service provider.
Be sure to read more great content on technology and business.