It’s very easy to see the Cloud as the answer to all your business IT problems. After all, when it comes to business VoIP phone service and other hosted services, all of the heavy lifting is handled by the provider. As end users, your business gains a nice web portal to customize everything, loads of features, and even cost savings. But, at the end of the day, the Cloud might not be the be-all and end-all for every single situation.
Time and again, businesses pigeonhole themselves into many cloud pitfalls, resulting in more issues than solutions. Whether your business put all their eggs in one basket or made a hasty transition without properly planning, there are countless cloud mistakes that anyone can fall into. Getting a bit more specific, many businesses feel that moving to the cloud means an outright reduction of on-site IT staff, allowing for cost savings.
If the provider is doing all the work, then why do you need extra hands on deck that will just be redundant? Well, that couldn't be further from the truth. So, we wanted to explore some of the caveats associated with Cloud Migration, and how depleting your IT department totally or too soon can be a massive mistake.
1.Migrating Your IT Mess into The Cloud
Relying too heavily on the Cloud to fix all of your IT woes is a major mistake that can lead businesses into spending a lot more time and capital to fix their issues than necessary. If your on-premise system is already a mess, and your IT staff is constantly scrambling to fix issues, then unloading this mess into the Cloud will potentially only make things much, much worse.
The cloud isn't some magical force than can automatically hit the reset button and fix all the issues you're already running into. Without a properly trained IT staff, there are still aspects of the service that can go wrong on your business end, like incorrectly provisioned IP phones, or improperly installed firewalls.
The Cloud simply adds more complication, and requires a completely new approach to IT. If your team isn't properly trained, and doesn't have a strong hold on how the Cloud works, then you'll me moving your mess from one location to the other.
2. Reducing IT Staff Too Soon, Or Too Drastically
With cost saving a major factor behind migrating the Cloud, many businesses might be jumping for joy at the idea of being able to reduce, or outright remove on-premise IT staff. With everything hosted in the cloud, and handled by a third-party provider, you might not need a fully staffed, massive IT team taking care of a giant server room.
But, don't be so quick to cut out the entire IT staff and all of your previous hardware -- it will take time for your business to understand the ins and outs of cloud computing. Even with the heavy lifting done by the provider, it will still be necessary to keep IT staff on-premise for certain scenarios, at least in the beginning stages of the transition. There will be a bit of a learning curve to understanding Cloud services, and how to best utilize these services.
Even though providers go a long way to make the transition as smooth as possible, there is some work to be done on your business' end. Without a team on hand to handle all of these issues, you're pretty much left in a bit of a pickle.
IT teams should also be properly trained to understand the Cloud, how it will work in-conjunction with, or replace current on-premise solutions. This small investment in the beginning will help your transition run as smoothly as possible, and lead to the expected cost savings in the future.
3. Depending Too Much on The Cloud
The way we do work in the Cloud will differ vastly from how we do work utilizing on-premise solutions and networks. Depending too much on the Cloud itself to solve all of our issues, and make our work incredibly smooth and easy is another major pitfall related to our discussion.
Without properly trained IT staff to understand and handle the Cloud, you'll potentially find yourself running into issues without any way to resolve them. Cloud services can be an absolute god-send for the less tech-savvy companies, but this doesn't mean they'll completely save the day and solve all your solutions.
Even though you utilize cloud servers, there are still issues that can pop up on the organization's end. Cloud providers can do a great job of providing support, and making it easy to contact support for when things go wrong, but sometimes it will be necessary to have in-house involvement in solving the problems that do arise.
Your IT teams will need proper training to understand the services they are utilizing, how the services work, and how they can help when a problem does arise -- without this proper IT training, you could be left with a far more expensive issue eating away and time and capital.
4. Forgetting About Security and Compliance
Utilizing a Cloud solution solves a lot of issues by removing the headache from your office, and bringing it to the provider's doorsteps. However, just because the provider is handling the data hosting and transfer doesn't mean the ball is entirely in their court. One of the major roles of any IT department is to ensure the highest level of security and compliance measures are in place to protect your business.
Even with hosted VoIP services, security measures like Session Border Controllers and Hardware Firewalls will still be necessary to keep your network protected. Ransomware is always a real threat, an IP phones are even at risk of acting as a gateway into your organization's sensitive files.
Many company's might feel that since the service is hosted, then so would the security and compliance measures, but that's not true at all. Speaking of compliance, this itself is its own beast -- many providers will ensure their services are HIPAA compliant, but its your IT department's responsibility to ensure these measures are in place and are being followed.
The Bottom Line
Its very easy to put all your eggs into one basket when it comes to a cloud service. Whether that be Business VoIP with a Hosted PBX, or even just utilizing a cloud data center to store all your data, the main appeal is that the heavy lifting, the nuanced processes are handled on the providers end. The selling point is that everything should be stress free for your business, and should always run the way its meant too -- if there are any problems, then the provider will sort it out.
But its also very easy to end up in a bad spot if you think that a service provider is going to have every single aspect of the service covered. Just because the data center isn't located on your organization's premise doesn't mean its time to ditch that expensive IT team. It might be possible to downsize, but completely removing your IT department is just asking for a disaster. Don't fall into these major missteps, keep your IT team properly staffed and trained, and any issues that do arrive on your end can be handled as soon as possible.