8 insights to get you ready for a cloud-based communications system

Posted by Johnny Kromer and Elmarie Turner on 17 Apr 2019 11:00:00 AM

As many businesses move their operations to the cloud it’s becoming increasingly evident that cloud-based operations will eventually become the norm, and with the right service provider, the move needn’t be stressful.

"Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction." That’s the official and rather glowing nutshell explanation of cloud computing by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

So, yes, by now you’re aware that migrating your business communications to the cloud allows you to carry out automatic updates and achieve increased levels of flexibility and scalability, but you are also investing in pay-as-you-go technology rather than physical solutions. These technologies often need to be replaced and can cost you large amounts of money over time. Whereas if you moved your operations to the cloud, you would end up saving money that you would have otherwise spent on hardware fixes and system updates.

The long-term benefits of moving to the cloud are thus obvious, and while moving your systems to the cloud may seem daunting at first, with the help of our team of experts it can be done in a relatively pain free way.

1. Hybrid or full cloud solution?

There are three different cloud solutions: public, private, and hybrid. Public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Compute Platform, and Microsoft Azure, are controlled by the hosts, whereas a private cloud runs on your own servers using cloud software. A hybrid cloud solution lies somewhere in the middle.

Your specific company needs will decide your cloud solution, and while some companies may require a full cloud service, a hybrid solution would work better for others. For instance, where companies can’t have highly-sensitive data leave the premises, a hybrid solution allows them to store everything on the cloud except for this sensitive data, which would be stored in another on-site solution.

2. Security

When moving business information off-site it’s natural to be somewhat nervous about security issues but cloud offerings have various security measures in place, which, in most cases, are provided by the cloud service providers.

As cloud technology progresses so too do the security measures. When moving to the cloud there are organisations that have global reach and access to experts who are solely focused on addressing security issues 24/7, unlike if you had an on-premise solution. Cloud-based solutions also provide you with trackable regular updates and packages that allow you to streamline your services while also ensuring that your data is always kept safe.

3. Integration with the cloud

When acclimating to the new cloud system, it is important to check the network readiness of your business. For instance, legacy applications have to be evaluated to see if they integrate seamlessly with the cloud solutions that suit your needs.

 


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4. IaaS

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is what all cloud-services are built on. This technology gives users access to the virtual servers that make cloud computing possible.

5. PaaS

Platform as a service (PaaS) is the software development stack on top of the IaaS that enables you to migrate in-house applications to the cloud. The nature of these applications will need to be considered for rework before being deployed to the cloud.

6. Internet speeds

Cloud computing shifts the stress on the internet bandwidth from your network to connections between your network and the cloud. Cloud computing needs reliable and fast internet, not something that our current ISPs in South Africa are particularly known for, and your old DSL line you used primarily for email and sending the odd Word document simply won’t cut it. Ensure that your internet is upgraded to handle the extra load your cloud services will put on the connection.

7. Top-down onboarding

Executives should be involved and visible throughout the entire onboarding process. In doing so, they can learn how the new technology benefits the company in each department and how it can improve overall productivity.

Ensure that there is buy-in from everyone in the company to prevent resistance to implementation. Take a top-down approach when implementing cloud-based systems. It is important employees see that management and high-level personnel show lower-level employees these solutions can actually help them and everyone in the company.

8. Training of new users

It’s important to ensure that employees using the system are trained to use it to its full potential. Focus on showing your employees the benefits of the cloud-based system, and how moving to the cloud can improve their personal efficiency.

The Great Trek

In getting your communication operations into the cloud, Nashua Communications follows a three-pronged approach that assesses your company’s viability for cloud operations and makes recommendations based on these assessments (Envision), then manages the process of getting you ready for cloud operations (Onboard), and when all is done, they handle the tasks that come with using the cloud (Operate). During these processes, the following are considered:

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