As of 2022, over 60% of all corporate data across the globe was stored in the cloud. Over the last several years, this rate has grown exponentially as more and more businesses shift their resources to improve agility, security, and reliability. This acceleration of cloud computing implementation shows companies recognize the benefits of a cloud infrastructure.
With a successful, growing business on your hands, you likely need greater technology and more efficient operations that allow your team to do more than ever before. The cloud will empower your business to adopt a powerful, cost-effective, convenient alternative to traditional content and data-management approaches.
It's normal for first-time cloud users to have questions and concerns. Moving large-scale operations that require many different computer resources to a completely digital environment can seem daunting. In this guide, we'll discuss how to use cloud computing for a business with some vital tips to make better-informed decisions for your team and ensure an easy migration.
8 tips for businesses that are new to the cloud
By now, you've probably heard of the advantages of doing business in the cloud. But are you prepared to make a company-wide move? Before you do, it's important to learn how to use cloud computing and carefully consider how you will execute this cloud migration. With any large-scale technology project, there are many moving pieces to account for. Check out these tips for making a seamless transition to the cloud.
1. Educate yourself beforehand
Take time to learn about cloud services before implementing them. Anytime you adopt new technology, it can be a bit intimidating, particularly if you're migrating your entire business to a new platform. Though you and your team may be familiar with the cloud, you may not understand all its capabilities and how it works. Before jumping in, learn about the various tools and features available. That preparation can create a smoother cloud implementation experience.
Whether you take a few short courses online or have a meeting to discuss some basic terminology with your team, find out what the cloud can do for your business and what that will look like for improving productivity. After all, spending hours trying to resolve a cloud computing migration issue because something was done incorrectly will only waste your time.
2. Take it slow
Adopting a new business model takes time. While you might be pushing to transform your entire company overnight, this can lead to more problems and overwhelm your team members. A bunch of drastic changes can also make it more challenging to cover all the necessary elements, like transferring your paper documents to digital ones and enabling security features like encryption to protect your data.
When migrating to the cloud, move slowly and give everyone enough time to get accustomed to the new features, tools, and services before shifting entirely. You may even begin by starting with one area of your business at a time and making adjustments as needed. Taking things slowly can help you make the most of the cloud's features and functionality.
3. Create security guidelines
Cloud security differs from regular cybersecurity in many ways. You can create security guidelines in advance. When you transition to the cloud for the first time, take note of security and privacy issues. With proper tools from the right cloud computing solution, you can create a framework that helps prevent most data leaks and breaches, like malware and ransomware.
It could also be necessary to create new guidelines for your team members who will have access to the cloud. These rules help your people see how to securely manage documents and business files to protect sensitive company data. Discuss these guidelines with your hybrid or remote workforces specifically. Their processes may differ slightly from those of your in-person team.
4. Prepare your IT team for tech support
Moving large volumes of data and physical documents over to the cloud can be a tedious — but necessary — process. When you migrate to the cloud, surround yourself with plenty of tech support that can tackle complicated issues and help you avoid stress. Make sure your in-house IT team understands the cloud service you're adopting so they can offer on-site tech support to your team members.
This on-site support can make dealing with large electronic files much more manageable and prevent you from wasting time with slow downloads and transfers during the initial phases of cloud migration. Remember, every new technology has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. If you prepare properly by looking into the right solutions, you can avoid a headache down the road.
5. Encourage collaboration
The cloud makes collaborating easy. Whether you have in-person, remote, or hybrid teams, everyone within your organization will benefit from easy, consistent, secure access to the content they need right when they need it.
To make the most of the cloud, encourage your team to use all of the features available to them. Cloud computing makes it easier for your team to communicate and engage with each other. It could even be a reason you're moving to the cloud in the first place.
The cloud acts as a central and accessible location where teams can view, manage, edit, and share files in real time rather than saving and sharing older versions of files. Before you deploy your new cloud system, have a meeting with your team to discuss all the new and improved ways your departments can collaborate.
6. Be careful with BYOD policies
The cloud makes it easy for team members to use their own devices. But be careful about implementing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, as it can create issues with IT and security. If you want to use a BYOD policy, ensure every device has adequate security controls enabled, like encryption and threat detection, before letting users access the network.
Keep in mind, particularly with hybrid and remote teams, that when these devices leave your workplace, they may join less secure networks, which can become tricky when your cloud storage contains sensitive business data. Thoughtfully plan how your team members will use devices and connect to these networks both in and outside the office.
7. Stay on top of maintenance and updates
Cloud-based maintenance is much easier than it is for on-premises servers and hardware. Depending on the type of cloud platform you choose, you can access your maintenance management system over the internet or through your third-party provider. More comprehensive and reliable cloud providers take care of all maintenance and updates for you so you don't have to.
Knowing how often you need to check in on your cloud maintenance and updates can prevent unscheduled downtime during your most productive business hours. Working with a cloud content management platform that goes even further and does this work for you takes the burden off you and your team so you can focus on other high-priority tasks.
With a robust maintenance system in place, your cloud provider will notify you with alerts about potential security threats or necessary updates.
8. Have a plan for your cloud usage
Cloud services provide many benefits for your business, but if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want from the cloud, you’ll get less out of it. Make sure you know what you’re using cloud services for.
Before moving to the cloud, create a plan for how you and your team will accurately name, organize, locate, and archive your files. Designate a few team members from each department responsible for uploading files and managing access permissions.
Cloud computing was designed to help businesses improve visibility and efficiency. Creating a plan in advance for how you will use your new cloud services can keep your transition from becoming unorganized and chaotic. By choosing a few trusted team members to monitor and control access to your cloud environment, you can avoid liability and security issues and maintain a consistent document management system.
Discover the power of the Content Cloud
With a single secure platform for all your content, Box enables you to manage the entire content lifecycle: file creation, co-editing, sharing, e-signature, classification, retention, and so much more. We make it easy for you to collaborate on content with anyone, both inside and outside your organization. Frictionless, enterprise-grade security and compliance are built into our DNA, so you get total peace of mind that your content is protected. And with 1,500+ seamless integrations — as well as a range of native capabilities, like Box Sign — the Content Cloud provides a single content layer that ensures your teams can work the way they want.
The Content Cloud is a game changer for the entire organization, streamlining workflows and boosting productivity across every team. Contact us today, and explore what you can do with Box.
Streamline your transition to the cloud
**While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blogpost is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.