You’ve probably heard the benefits of moving your business to the Cloud by now: promises of improved productivity and the ability to work anywhere, without sacrificing your security. And these benefits are real for most companies!
But the Cloud isn’t the perfect fit for every company. If you fit any of these scenarios, moving everything to the Cloud isn’t going to provide these benefits—in fact, it could hurt you.
If you don’t have a reliable internet connection
Cloud-based services rely on an internet connection rather than software installed on your computer or a server in your office. Typically, that’s a good thing because it means you can access your information from almost any location and any advice—as long as you have access to the internet. If your company operates primarily in an area(s) without a reliable internet connect, however, the Cloud probably isn’t the right choice for you.
But, before ruling it out entirely, we’d recommend making sure there are no other options for you. If you’re currently working with an IT company, talk to them. They may be able to help you find another internet service provider (ISP). If you have a reliable, but slow connection, it may be something like your firewall throttling your data, rather than a terrible internet connection.
If you have a critical line of business application that only works on an on-premise server
This is one of the primary blockers we see for companies moving to a complete cloud environment. Before you move your on-premise server to the Cloud (or really, make any significant tech change), you need to make sure any critical line-of-business applications will still work. Many line-of-business applications, especially those for industries that tend to be slow to adapt to change, will only work on-premise servers.
In situations like these, a hybrid model is a good solution. The most common set up we recommend is to keep line-of-business applications on-premise and move email and file storage to the cloud with a service like Office 365.
When you aren’t willing to modernize your processes
Not every company sees a return on investment when they move to the Cloud. In our experience helping hundreds of companies move to the cloud, it’s the companies who aren’t willing to change any of their processes who don’t see success.
Let’s take the example of teamwork: With a traditional on-premise set up, collaborating on a document typically means one person working on it at a time, or creating multiple versions then compiling them later. Most cloud systems, including Office 365 and Google for Work, allow you to work on documents concurrently, which can save time creating a more efficient work environment.
But you have to use them that way. If you continue to work the same way, just using cloud-based tools to do it, you’re not going to see any improvements.
If you do want to move to the Cloud, but you’re worried about your staff not adapting, make a plan BEFORE moving that includes written process changes and user education (your IT company or Cloud migration partner can help with this!). Sometimes, the reason people don’t change their process is that they don’t know they can.
If you must meet regulatory requirements governing data location
Compliance and regulatory requirements, in general, are not a dealbreaker when it comes to the Cloud. In fact, many Cloud services can help you meet specific requirements for storing and processing data. But if you are in an industry with compliance requirements for the physical location of data, the Cloud may not be an option for you.
Most Cloud service providers store your information in multiple data centers in different regions across the world. This is a good thing since it ensures you have access to your data at any times, even if something happens to one of the data centers.
Some Cloud services do let you request specific regions, but don’t get as granular as state. If your compliance requirements mean you must keep your data within the state (or something similar), an on-premise server is a more realistic option for you.
Fitting into one or more of these scenarios doesn’t mean the Cloud is out of reach forever. Slow moving industries will catch up, and regulations can change over time. But, for now, talk to your IT company about your options. Not being able to get to the Cloud doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from modernized tools and a digital transformation.