A cloud consultant can guide an organization through every step of cloud implementation. This includes an overall review of the business to identify areas where cloud will have the most value. The consultant can identify any gaps the company has that might prevent smooth integration, and suggest cost-effective strategies to fix those gaps. And cloud storage and services continue to fall in cost, especially when compared to traditional in-house setups.
A well-planned cloud consulting strategy developed by an experienced consultancy can help a business in several areas:
Needs assessment and planning
Cloud consultants can review your needs and explore how the cloud can not only meet those needs, but uncover more efficient ways to operate the business. A consultant offers an impartial look at a company’s processes, so they can offer an honest assessment of weaknesses. Any processes that require speed, transparency, and mobile access are ideally suited for the cloud.
Leverage the power of scale
Work with fast-growing businesses to relay the benefits of the cloud’s scalability, including longer-term cost effectiveness and instant scaling. A cloud consultant can work with your company to judge current needs and likely growth, so cloud services can be paired to match. This is one of the core benefits of the cloud, the ability for a company to take on massive traffic or orders without having to worry about the underlying technology. Turning away business due to worries about handling traffic can be a serious detriment for a company.
Stay within compliance
One area of concern for businesses moving to the cloud is control of their business information. With the cloud, information is no longer “on premises” so therefore there are some compliance issues to consider. A consultant that is experienced with the various compliance regulations can help a company review its obligations and then develop cloud solutions (private, public or hybrid) that meet or exceed internal and regulatory standards. Cloud consultants can recommend security protocols, backup systems, and other safeguards.
Find the ROI
A consultant can help a company build a longer-term roadmap where cloud ROI is quickly reached. There can be many benefits of the cloud, from the hard costs of decreased on-premises hardware and related staffing, to the softer benefits of improved employee efficiency. There are also the benefits that come from improved partner/customer relations that can come with the cloud, such as improved correspondence, faster problem resolution, etc.
Be wary of cloud consultants that want to move everything within your business to the cloud without seeing how one implementation affects your business. You want a longer-term partner that will help you assess the impact of moving for example storage or documents to the cloud before moving on to other areas.
A cloud consultants main goals are to ensure clients extract maximum ROI from cloud implementations, integrations perform as expected, and day-to-day tasks are easier and more productive.