Leveraging technology in the cloud allows companies to lower their total cost of ownership and stay current with the best solutions in the marketplace. It works for large enterprises and certainly for small to medium sized businesses.
Many implementation partners for cloud services just roll out the solution, then abandoned their customers or provide them with poor ongoing support. What is worse, they don’t bring the expertise of innovative thinking to integration efforts or alignment with proprietary processes or application. Be prepared by taking a few steps to ensure the right choice.
When looking to introduce new cloud technology to your enterprise, you should consider a few things to ensure maximum business impact. 1) Choose a cloud solution with a proven track record, 2) ensure the cloud application is open enough to allow for integration points with key internal applications, and 3) align key business processes so the configuration or implementation partner is able to be more effective for you.
1. Choose a Proven Cloud Solution – There are many cloud applications on the market for every key business function. However, many are still experimental, unproven for your industry, or lack the functionality or near term roadmap to ensure the right fit for your business. Ask the provider for references in your industry, a glimpse into their roadmap, and have them demonstrate functionality aligned to your business needs.
2. Get an open application – As your business advances and needs change, it is important to have an application that can grow with you. At the very least be an open enough platform that allows for integration into proprietary systems or new innovations to separate your business from the competition.
3. Align Key Business Processes – One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is not thinking through existing and best practice business processes when choosing a cloud product. Go through the activity of documenting current and then ideal business processes. If you don’t have the bandwidth or expertise within the organization to accomplish that, leverage a good partner to help you identify key business needs.