Cloud computing. With more companies making the transition to remote work, it’s become one of the most important modern workplace trends today.
It’s not hard to understand why. Cloud computing offloads your functions, data, storage to outside vendors, freeing up—or even eliminating—your onsite server rooms. Functions that used to be custom coded and stored in your onsite server rooms now can be offloaded to the Cloud, where there’s infinite room for expansion at scale, and unlimited choices for programs, platforms, widgets, and cloud integrations for your company.
In fact, enthusiasm for cloud services is running so high that by 2026, Gartner predicts cloud services will account for 45 percent of all enterprise IT spending. Clearly, a cloud revolution is well underway for companies all over the world.
It’s easy to get swept up in the drive for a modern work environment. Chances are good that your company already has at least some exposure to cloud-based tools. But how many cloud applications are right for your business? How far should you take your transformation? And should you eliminate your server room, and take your business completely to the cloud?
We’ll explore that here. But first, let’s talk about how companies today are putting the cloud revolution to work for them.
The benefits of cloud computing
Cloud services have become so mature now, that the lion’s share of functions on your system can be replaced by a cloud application. Best of all, cloud services do something that server-bound software and systems often can’t—scale. Because most cloud services are based on your traffic, capacity needs or user seats on your systems, they are, by definition, services that grow as you grow.
But that’s not the only reason why companies are flocking to cloud services like never before. Here are some of the key benefits of cloud computing:
- Auto Updates—Cloud software is automatically updated by the maker, at its source. This saves your people enormous amounts of time they’d normally spend pushing through software updates to your staff. Your version is automatically the most updated version, from the developer/manufacturer.
- Saves Management Time—All cloud software/storage is generally administered and monitored off site by your software vendor or a managed IT service provider, eliminating the need for internal hires.
- Improved Cybersecurity— The cloud is host to whole ecosystems of cybersecurity management and monitoring tools. Just as important, there is powerful cybersecurity monitoring baked into nearly all cloud productivity software as well, as most of them are created by major players such as Microsoft. When you buy those tools, you’re buying the continuous monitoring and bug-patching these major players can offer. Cloud services are, by and large, far safer than installing comparable software and managing it yourself. Cloud cybersecurity products can also integrate with BYOD mobile devices as well, for total mobile data security. You can truly improve employee performance without compromising security.
- Remote Leadership for a Remote Work Culture— Cloud productivity software, such as Microsoft’s Cloud 365 for instance, makes it possible for workers to access your systems and work seamlessly, from anywhere, on any device. VoIP systems allow video calling and conferencing. And private clouds and VPNs make it possible to take your company’s network protections, anywhere. Cloud cybersecurity for a remote workforce can be one of your best strategies. Implement enterprise-scale remote tools for everyone and watch your productivity skyrocket.
- Seamless Disaster Recovery— Cloud backup is considered the gold-standard protection for your disaster recovery efforts, whether you’re retaining your own backup server room, or not. Why? Because it safely stores all your data and systems offsite. In the event of a natural disaster, ransomware attack or service outage, you can reload, reboot, and be up and running again in minutes.
- Eliminates the Need for a Server Room—Taking all your functions to the cloud can eliminate the need for a server room onsite. This eliminates significant line items for a company, including the servers themselves, the energy and manpower to maintain a cold, clean server room, and round-the-clock monitoring for it. Server rooms are particularly vulnerable in the event of a flood, fire, tornado, cyberattack, or other disaster.
- Secures Your Logins—Cloud based systems can help you manage remote workplace security by creating zero-trust, multi-factor authentication systems that work, no matter where your employee is logging in. It’s a key tool to manage remote workplace connectivity.
How Do Companies Use Cloud-based, Modern Workplace Tools?
What’s Available in the Cloud
How are companies using cloud services? While this is by no means a complete list of what we can offer you, it covers the general types of products our customers are buying in the cloud. But the real answer to “what can you accomplish in the cloud?” is “everything.” Nearly all software has cloud counterparts these days. Talk to us, and we can show you how to put the cloud revolution to work for you and achieve real remote leadership in a modern work environment.
What You Can Expect
Virtual Desktop/Office Productivity
Cloud Migration: How Does It Work?
Taking the full workplace journey to the cloud is a multi-layered process, usually taking several weeks. However, for most companies, you might find you are already on your way, with several cloud services already part of your corporate systems.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner and a member of the Microsoft Advisory Council, we understand that the journey to a modern workplace can seem difficult. We want to make it easy for you to understand, get started, and succeed.
The following chart is based on a cloud migration process recommended by Microsoft. When we manage cloud migrations for our clients, we adhere to this process. So, we’ll be looking at all the steps, in order, filling in gaps as we go.
As you install modern workplace tools, one by one, we’ll walk you through:
Step One: Identity Management
Looking comprehensively at your signin and authentication processes, moving you to multi-factor, zero trust cloud authentication platforms.
Step Two: Device and App Management
Where we’ll examine your device usage policies, including Bring Your own Device policies, and move you toward cloud-based signins for employees who are doing company work on their own phones, tablets, or home computers. This may involve the writing of a BYOD policy and new employee training. Additionally, we’ll look at your applications, and how employees sign on to these. Integrating signings with MFA or a single signon will be the goal.
Step Three: Productivity and Collaboration
Examining your organization’s current needs and software usage, we’ll work to consolidate all your productivity software onto a single cloud-based platform. This involves managing software licenses, installation and onboarding for these programs. We’ll ensure that your employees are all properly added to networking software like Teams and SharePoint, among others, so your company has all the modern workplace tools you need to thrive.
Step Four: Information Protection
This is the part of the process where we analyze your cybersecurity protections. While some are written into the SaaS productivity platforms you choose, you’ll need more cloud-based cybersecurity tools to safeguard your systems, overall. During this process we’ll make recommendations and begin the installation, rolling your security system reporting into our service ticket infrastructure. We’ll also establish data reporting protocols and key performance indicators that will show the overall health of your cybersecurity and cloud environment.
How Much Do Cloud Services Cost?
How much you spend on your cloud services is unique to your business. Each company will have its own needs, depending on how far along you are on your modern workplace journey. The cost of cloud services will vary greatly depending on several factors, including:
- The type/complexity of service you’re purchasing
- Whether the service is bought separately, or as part of a package including several products
- How many end users are working with your software
- For Cloud based backup, the amount of data being transferred, the number of times per day the backup is rendered, and whether it is immutable or standard backup
- The amount of cybersecurity/compliance you need, and how it will interact with your other services
- How much round-the-clock monitoring and service you’ll need
Modern Workplace Tools: What’s Next?
If you’re ready to move farther down the road on your modern workplace journey, Integris can help. Contact us for a free 10-minute consultation. If you’re interested in learning more about how the cloud revolution can transform your business, check out our modern workplace journey ebook, available now!