Welcome to the cloud. Now it’s time for you to make the most of this new computing technology. So, how does a business paying for the cloud make sure they get a solid return? This practical guide to the cloud should provide you with all the answers.
A Practical Guide to the Cloud
A Solid Storage State
All that data on local server stacks needs to go, but it doesn’t need to go all at once. Before moving every company secret to the cloud, make sure you have a storage solution that offers more space as required, gives quick access to your information and has a high uptime. Popular solutions in for storage space include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Drive, Dropbox or more recent whole-cloud challengers like Microsoft Azure.
Your provider may offer a managed storage solution, but that doesn’t mean you’re bound to accept it – ask questions before any data gets migrated.
Once data has found a new home, it needs to go to work. Just sitting on a cloud server, a company’s information is nothing but a costly virtual paperweight; the true benefit of “big data” comes when companies start asking intelligent questions and mining their unstructured information for actionable data.
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To get the most out of storage, companies need to invest in both a powerful analytics solution – a number of real-time products now exist on the market, for example – and consider employing a data scientist to formulate and then ask the right questions. No software, regardless of its pedigree, is a match for the human mind in creating queries to produce actionable results.
Manage Your Relations
Analyzed data paves the way for the final layer in a viable cloud computing environment: applications. Crucial among these are customer relationship management (CRM) applications and offerings from Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft all aim to provide front line staff with useful data mined from storage and then analyzed for significant trends. Used properly, CRM tools let employees anticipate customer needs and form reciprocal relationships, but without an underlying storage and analytic infrastructure, these solutions are nothing more than gloss, tacked on to look good but without real benefit.
Getting to the cloud means finding a solid provider and negotiating fair terms. Making the most of the cloud, however, means establishing a storage beachhead, analyzing data movements and then deploying strategies to combat common problems, such as customer retention. Rushing into the cloud offers overwhelming choices; well considered steps mean increased ROI.
Author Bio: Doug Bonderud is a freelance writer, cloud proponent, business technology analyst and a contributor on the Dataprise website. Visit http://www.dataprise.com/contactus/officelocations/maryland for more information.