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Is It Time to Move to the Cloud?

Created: 12 Apr 2012
Tom Powledge's picture
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For years businesses have had the desire to adopt new technologies ahead of competitors while avoiding the pains of early adoption of unproven technologies. It’s understandable that we have been hesitant to adopt cloud computing in particular. Many of us have been reluctant to put our business information in the hands of someone else, fearing what would happen in the event of a data breach or outage.

But cloud computing is no longer a new technology full of uncertainty. Many cloud providers have established track records of providing reliable, secure service and high availability, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to take stock of your current IT situation and consider how the cloud can help you.

There are several questions you can ask that will help determine whether it’s the right time for you to move to the cloud:

  • Does your resource demand fluctuate frequently, such as having periods of the year with heavy sales and others with less demand?
  • Are you paying for resources that you can’t use efficiently, such as separate servers that each leave part of their capacity unused?
  • Are you hesitant to lay out significant capital for new, untested technology?
  • Do your employees require constant access to corporate resources, regardless of their location?
  • Are your IT staff members spending a lot of time provisioning and updating endpoints?

If the answer to some of these questions is yes, you may benefit by considering adopting cloud services. Cloud offers scalability, to keep up with increasing and decreasing demands. It allows you to pool all your resources to work more efficiently, and there is little or no initial capital required. You simply pay for the resources you use. In addition, cloud computing gives employees access to services anywhere they can access the Internet. And finally, cloud services remove the headache of installing software on individual machines, and constantly applying patches and updates.

Making Your Move

As you decide to investigate how to best take advantage of cloud computing, begin by evaluating your current IT services. Some of these functions could be performed by a specialized cloud provider. Outsourcing some IT functionality also reduces the number of systems for which your staff needs to maintain security. It is also an ideal testing ground for new services, before working to integrate them into the existing infrastructure.

Finding the Right Provider

In order to find the right cloud service provider, you should first determine what you need in terms of service and availability. You should compare several cloud providers to see which one can most closely meet your needs. They should be willing to provide you with records on their past customer service, to give you insight into who will best live up to expectations. Once you determine which provider to choose, you will still need to negotiate a service level agreement (SLA) that clearly outlines their responsibilities, as well as the consequences of failing to meet their commitments.

Moving to the cloud should not be a matter of guesswork and frustration. By taking an organized, gradual approach, your business can take advantage of the cloud’s benefits while minimizing the risks involved. More and more companies are leveraging the power of the cloud to gain an edge over the competition, and it’s only a matter of time until it becomes a necessity. Begin now to investigate what the cloud can do for you, and find yourself better prepared for the future.

For more information on Symantec’s cloud offerings, visit:

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