In the Information Age, businesses are quickly learning that simply having their information and workflow locally isn’t cutting it. The entire lifeblood of your business rests in the files, data, and information you work with daily, so you must make sure everything is safe and efficient. At least, this is the logic applied by many. In response, a lot of companies have popped up offering cloud assessment services to help you determine if you're ready to take your business digital. These cloud assessment service providers are generally in-depth with their approach; however, many of them focus on the same aspects of the company. We're going to clue you in so that you can have an idea of what to expect, and maybe also save you in the long run by knowing where your company might be wasting money and resources during the migration process.
The three areas that cloud assessment companies usually focus on are:
- Technology and Infrastructure
- Company Culture and Structure
- Financial Cost
Let’s break these topics down to see just exactly what these companies will be looking for.
Technology and Infrastructure
Perhaps one of the biggest elements of the cloud assessment process is the review of your company’s current use of technology. During the review process, the cloud assessment expert will look at the general reliance of your company on technology. For example, several organizations will store their files and informational assets on a local server. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the entire point of a cloud transition is that your company reduces their reliance on these on-the-ground structures.
It is also important insofar as the cloud assessment companies will try to understand what software your company is using so that they can determine if there are ways to integrate those into different cloud services, or if there are superior cloud services available.
Company Culture and Structure
Different companies will integrate into the cloud differently. Your cloud integration is going to be serviced by and through your company structure. For example, having a tightly integrated top-down and bottom-up chain of communication will make for an easier transition across the organization. The cloud assessment companies will mainly try to focus on the following aspects of your company’s structure:
General organizational structure
A lot of modern companies use a horizontal structure, while others have a more traditional hierarchical structure. While both have their various benefits, we don’t need to get into them for the purposes of this article—just know that this will impact your cloud transition.
How information flows within the company
Similarly, the exact way that things get from one person to another or from one team to another in your company will shape the different ways that your company integrates cloud technology. Not only does this shape the way that the integration will look, but it will also impact how it will be taken up. For example, companies with efficient information flows will have an easier time teaching and guiding changes from team to team or individual to individual.
How resistant to change are the employees
This one is extremely important. Your employees must be willing to adopt changes, and the more adaptable they are, the more smoothly even radical changes can be executed while keeping downtime at a minimum.
The whole goal here is to determine the path of least resistance for implementation of cloud integration, if that is indeed what is ultimately determined to be the best path forward for your company.
The most important part of the assessment is the financial costing procedure. This is the point at which the cloud assessment service providers will try to assess your company’s overall procedures and, if you’ve already taken processes toward transitioning to the cloud, how deep underwater you already are financially.
This comes down to a bit of a cost-benefit analysis. What is the most efficient way your company can be shifted to a cloud-based architecture and have operations roll out smoothly online? Because cloud-based services are making huge headlines in tech right now, a lot of companies trying to stay on the cutting edge will try to implement cloud technology in ways that don’t necessarily benefit the company—which may include implementing a paradigm shift that doesn’t actually need to happen. This is the main concern. There have been companies that have gone bankrupt trying to chase technological progress without actually knowing how to pull off the changes.
So, in the end, all these aspects will be analyzed, and an analysis of the organization will be undertaken. This assessment is intended to answer questions like:
- Does your company stand to benefit from the transition to a cloud-based architecture and infrastructure? Or is it just a waste of resources?
- If so, what is the most effective cloud-based strategy for your company to take on?
- What is the most effective way to implement this within the company, based on how information flows and company culture?
Cloud assessment providers are mainly trying to help organizations make the right decisions. Transitioning to the cloud can be a tough process—not to mention costly and stressful. By taking advantage of the brilliant cloud assessment services on the market right now, you can gain an in-depth understanding of how the cloud can benefit your company, and how you can put your business in the cloud with the least amount of headache.