How Small- and Medium-Size Businesses Can Benefit From Cloud Migrations

According to a recent survey, 92% of organizations are actively using services connected to the cloud. Chances are you’ve already considered moving some or all your IT assets to the cloud. But where would this epic migration begin?

Most companies are housing up to 70% of their data in the cloud and 30% on-premise. This trend began with some of the largest corporations in the world, and oftentimes, these investments are expensive. So how does MSI help local SMBs thrive in the cloud?

In our practice, there are two primary cloud scenarios for SMBs:

  1. Migrating an entire on-premise server up to the cloud using a server hosting solution such as AWS or Azure.
  2. Migrating some services to the cloud, such as business back-end services like Active Directory, SharePoint, Google Drive, and others. Many businesses also run accounting applications such as Quickbooks or Sage, which typically reside on a vendor-provided server.

Right out of the gate, moving centralized authentication and security management functions to the cloud should be top priority for organizations using technology.  For many organizations, this is Azure Active Directory- a Microsoft application that authenticates your usernames, passwords, printers, and security. There is also an off-chance that some of your organization’s applications aren’t as effective in the cloud, which is why MSI recommends an initial technology audit before the organization makes a final decision.

At Metro Sales, we invest in many local organizations so we can help secure their environment and help manage it 24/365. Every organization is unique, which is why we take an individualized approach. Whether you have 20 or 500 users MSI can help, but there is never a one-size-fits-all solution.


A construction company moves to the cloud with SharePoint and Office 365

In the case of a local construction company, for example, it made sense to move much of its IT infrastructure to the cloud. Our audit revealed employees kept all their files on individual computers instead of using an on-premise server. Files were shared inefficiently point-to-point.

To address this issue and others, it made sense to migrate the business to Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365. In the process, files were removed from individual computers and moved to SharePoint. In this consistently synced file repository, files are available anytime from anywhere, from any computer or mobile device.

The company now has centralized authentication and access. Before, workers would lose access to files if an individual computer was turned off. Moreover, all permissions are currently centralized, which means employees can control access to all files if needed.

Consider developing a 5-Year IT Technology strategic plan

Again, when evaluating your company’s IT infrastructure for cloud readiness, the solution isn’t always moving everything to the cloud. After a cost analysis, you may find that remaining on-premise with cloud backups is the way to go for you. Furthermore, to get to the best answer for your business, we recommend looking forward five years and developing a plan to meet those needs. If you migrate, the good news is you can recover the cost of a typical cloud migration in a year!

An IT plan accounts for business growth over five years, which could mean increasing computing power, adding more employees, expanding geographically, and much more. Such a plan could include a range of topics and considerations:

Fast enough internet speeds

Is your company’s internet connection fast enough to handle the demands of cloud-based applications? For most everyday applications, 5 MB per employee is typically adequate. However, if you’re running more memory-intensive programs such as CAD, you’ll need a minimum of 20 MB.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) and security

Ensure you’ve deployed MFA security on your cloud-hosted servers and services to protect against bad actors and hackers.

Develop a backup plan and redundancies to maintain business continuity

Ensure you have an ongoing backup plan and failovers to get you through any catastrophic failures. Manufacturing businesses, for instance, can lose $5,000 for every minute of downtime. High uptimes (99.9%) can be written into your service-level agreements (SLA).


Cloud migration benefits

For many small- and medium-sized businesses, full or partial cloud migration is an ideal solution for saving money and improving technology efficiency. Here are four top benefits:

  • Enhanced data security
  • Infinitely scalable (Only pay for what you need)
  • Quicker disaster recovery (Backups)
  • Generally, more cost-effective (Typical one-year ROI)

To find out more about how Metro Sales can help your organization navigate cloud migration, click here.

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