If you’re a non-IT business, it’s time to get your head in the cloud.

Cloud computing has been growing in popularity for years. It’s convenient, it’s safe, and it can save you money. After all, if IT isn’t your business’s core focus, why would you want to spend time writing your own software, using up valuable storage space running your own data centre, or spending money buying needless hardware that will only be out of date in six months’ time? Let the cloud do the work while you focus on your bottom line.

Yet readying your business for the cloud can be an intimidating process, which can involve a complete overhaul of your security, data storage and IT practices. So allow us to show you how to prepare your business for the cloud. And if, by the end of reading this you think you need a little more help to navigate this complex issue, you can always reach out for cloud consultancy services.

Expand your security infrastructure

This means going beyond a simple firewall. Among other things, you should choose an authentication provider that supports a number of standard protocols, such as Google Identity Platform or Azure Active Directory. These are used to prove the identity of system users and processes, as well as remember, transport and make information available to various components of a system as and when they’re needed. It’s a convenient way to make sure your data is secure and easily accessible to authorised users.

Consider what parts of your infrastructure are cloud-capable

Research which of your software has a SaaS (Software as a Service) version which you can adopt via the cloud, and how you will go about replacing it. Using centrally hosted software on a subscription basis might free up valuable hardware space, but if some key infrastructure can’t be moved, you’ll have to come up with a replacement plan for it.

What cloud software solutions are relevant to your business?

Part of the appeal of cloud computing is that it is a pay-as-you-go service; unlike training and hiring your own in-house IT specialists, you’ll only pay for the services you use rather than a fixed weekly or monthly rate.

Learn what various SaaS solutions do, what protocols they support, how you can access data outside the UI (user interface) and how you will leave if your business needs change over time.

Set clear policies

Create a dedicated page that will take users through your policies clearly and easily, as well as your reasons for them.

For example, what authorization framework, if any, will you use to grant third party websites or applications access to your resources? Will you use HTTPS to secure information and communication across the internet, and if so, why?

Have a backup and recovery plan

For the most part, cloud computing is safe and secure, but even with the most secure service in the world, bad luck, interference and accidents happen. Make a plan for how you will back up and recover data should the worst happen, something that is more detailed than storing binary data to re-upload whenever you can.

Even if nothing has gone wrong in the cloud, you might have an employee or third-party vendor who cannot access the information they need when they need it. Therefore you should be able to look up and access the information for them, even if that means searching for the file the old fashioned way.

Get used to thinking cloud-first

You want your business to be at the forefront of innovation, taking on new tech, gaining experience of it, and helping it to move forward. It’s difficult to do that if you’re still considering what hardware to use to host a new application. The future is now, and the future is the cloud.