These days, it isn’t a question of if you’ll make the switch to cloud apps, but when. A smoother transition can be hoped for if you set your expectations in the right place for the practicality and benefits cloud apps are going to bring your business; or not bring. Though they aren’t a magic bullet, in more and more cases, cloud apps do make good business sense. Here are four things to consider before you subscribe.
- Unreliable or slow internet automatically disqualifies certain businesses from switching to cloud apps in certain areas of the nation. For some, the infrastructure is simply not caught up to more progressive areas. It stinks, but that’s the way it is. When considering subscription, educate yourself about the ideal internet speed for peak performance of the app. Test your internet download/upload to see how things line up. speedtest.net
- If your business is really small, avoid unrealistic expectations of how much financial overhead switching to a cloud app is going to save. Yes, saving money on hardware with cloud apps can be expected since the need for a server and thus maintenance is eliminated; workstations alone get the job done. However, for a really small business the workstation might be the acting server. In those cases, there isn’t a lot of hardware to begin with. The larger the business, the larger the costs scale up. It’s for these businesses that cloud apps start significantly cutting financial overhead.
- Liberation from server and app maintenance appeals to many businesses; large and small. This is one of the larger draws of cloud apps. How much is it worth to a business owner to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with putting maintenance on an outsourced businesses’ plate instead of their own? The answer of course is subjective. When considering a subscription, evaluate your in-house team resources and search your feelings.
- How old are you? How old is your team? Actually, these questions are quite relevant to how well a cloud app is going to gel. With apps on a local area network (LAN), as long as you can keep your database corruption free, updated with the latest patches, keep the server updated and hope that the software doesn’t out age available hardware and operating systems, you can stay on that baby for a long time. The team settles in to the buttons and potentially, those buttons could stay in the same place and do the same things year after year (until one of the above forces an upgrade). Two more of the great draws of cloud apps are instant updates and always having the latest technology. Evaluate your team’s positive mental attitude. Do you have a team that has the wherewithal to be willing to change and learn regularly without digging their heels in, grumbling and rocking the boat? Surely there are exceptions, but younger team members may be better suited to absorb regular updates that cloud apps benefit your business’ bottom line with. The transition will be smoothest when owner and team share the same mentality.
Many businesses are already subscribing to some type of cloud application for critical functions. The market is demanding more and more cloud development and in the coming years more resources will be funneled in that direction over apps designed for LAN. After a global survey of 10 countries, Gartner, Inc. predicts, “The traditional deployment model for on-premises software is expected to significantly shrink from 34 percent today to 18 percent by 2017.” Consider these things as you evaluate when it’s time to explore the benefits cloud apps have to offer your business.
Gavin Walker is Founder/Operator of Walker Tek Solutions, LLC DBA Creative Software Solutions. Creative Software Solutions is a producer of custom apps; cloud based or LAN. They also specialize in HL7 data interfacing and hosting services.