Whether you’re setting up a business or looking to revamp your technology needs for an existing business, making the right technology decisions can be overwhelming.
Often owners of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) feel confused. They don’t know what steps to take. They don’t know how to transition from one cloud service provider to another. Or, maybe they want to upgrade their legacy hardware but are unsure of what technology decisions will best support their company’s future.
It doesn’t have to be confusing. Let’s get clarity on how your business can make the right technology decisions.
Clarity’s SMB Technology Solutions Checklist
We’ve taken our expertise and know-how and created a checklist for small and medium sized business owners. So they can confidently access their technology needs.
Step 1. Start with Candidly Identifying Your Real Needs.
Ask yourself the following:
- Do I want to build and manage my IT infrastructure?
- Do I want to set up the hardware?
- Do I want to build the environment?
- Do I want to configure everything?
If the answer is no, then the solution is clear. Moving to a cloud environment is the best choice for your business. Cloud platforms can eliminate a large portion of these tasks.
Step 2. Consider Your IT Spend.
In assessing your IT spend, ask yourself the following:
- How much do I spend on average every 3 to 5 years when refreshing my business’s hardware and licenses?
- Is it an upfront high capital cost every few years for buying equipment? If it is, then that’s a Capital Expenditure (CapEx).
Perhaps you are currently running all your servers and workloads on-prem and need to upgrade your equipment. If you have a high CapEx, then one solution is cloud migration. By migrating to the cloud and still maintaining your servers and workloads, you can switch your costs from CapEx to Operating Expenditures (OpEx).
Switching from CapEx to OpEx may have some tax advantages. Also, it’s an attractive solution for businesses with limited cash flow.
Step 3. Assess Your Existing Applications and Platforms.
This is a critical step. Ask yourself the following:
- What applications and platforms does my business currently use?
- Is my business a Microsoft shop? Am I using Exchange, SharePoint, Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)?
- Is my business a Google Shop? Am I using Google G Suite (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides)?
When it comes to applications and platforms the challenge is keeping them updated to satisfy regulatory and compliance requirements. But there are options. No matter what existing applications or platforms you use.
For example, if your business is a Microsoft shop, then shifting to a cloud based MS 365 offers you a solution. Since MS data centers are set up to satisfy compliance and regulatory requirements.
But perhaps you are looking for something else that works better for their team. Then Google G Suite offers an alternative to MS 365. When it comes down to assessing your applications and platform use, what you choose is truly based on your business’s appetite for transformative changes.
Step 4. What Are My Back Office Needs?
Figuring out your back office IT needs doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Ask yourself the following:
- Do I want to manage my own backup?
- Do I want to build out a backup plan with hardware, software and licensing?
- Do I have the resources to manage it?
If the answer is no, then it’s clear. Your business would benefit from Managed Cloud Backup services.
Step 5. What Cloud Migration Resources do I have?
If by step 5, it is clear that working in the cloud and cloud based services are better for your business, then the next questions you need to ask are about your cloud migration resources.
Ask yourself the following:
- Do I have the resources to migrate to the cloud or do I not know how?
- What is holding me back from migrating to the cloud?
- Am I concerned about service or workflow disruption?
- Does my IT team have the resources to successfully migrate to the cloud?
- Does my IT team have the time to undertake migrating to the cloud, or will I need to pull them off of other projects?
- What are the compliance and regulatory requirements?
If you determine that you don’t have the cloud migration resources, or that your IT team doesn’t have the time, then seeking out experienced technology solutions service providers is the best option.
Experienced technology service providers are faced with these same questions and challenges every day from customers. They have worked with real world problems and applied measurable solutions. They can guide you through your cloud migration.
Step 6. Review Your IT Services Contracts and Costs.
Part of getting clear about asking the right technology decisions for your business is reviewing your existing IT services contracts and agreements.
In assessing your costs and contracts, ask yourself the following:
- What are my current EA (Enterprise Agreement) and Contract costs?
- How much am I paying for my Licenses (Server, Database, 3rd Party Applications)?
- How much am I paying for Azure, GCP, AWS and OCI Consumption?
During your review, if you determine that a workload in Azure can run in GCP, AWS or OCI more efficiently, then you have a clear choice.
Never forget, there are options. You can always diversify your cloud portfolio and leverage deployment credits. There are programs available to customers that leverage better discounts and save costs.
Working through these six steps should give your business a clearer picture and help you make the right technology decisions.
In today’s market, it’s important to make the best technology choices. If you need help determining what are the right technology solutions for you, connect with Clarity.