For small businesses, Cloud solutions seem to deliver innovation, productivity and profitability with ease.
You don’t have to sit around and wait for the “I.T. guy” to install something on a server, then install something else on your computer. It’s all enabled by just signing up to a service in your web browser and entering your credit card number. The secure access, reliability and backups are all handled behind the scenes.
Cloud solutions are an affordable way of accessing some powerful computing power to achieve great things.
Many small businesses still engage the services of a traditional IT support company for their “non-Cloud” things. They setup new computers and new staff logins, fix the Internet and the printer and keep things running and up to date.
So you’d think these technology-savvy professionals would be jumping at the adoption of Cloud solutions. It’s going to make their lives easier, right?
But time and time again, we’re hearing that a small business would have moved to the Cloud, but I.T. guy said it wasn’t a good idea. Are they just afraid they won’t be able to send you a bill for as many support hours or do they have valid concerns?
Here are the top reasons why the I.T. guy hates The Cloud:
Control – The Cloud is just somebody else’s computer, but your I.T. professional doesn’t have control over that computer. They’re used to managing your systems and keeping things running. You’re asking them to place their trust in someone else to run a system that you rely on.
Backups – They know that things go wrong, from major system failures to information being deleted by accident. In the Cloud, they don’t control the backups either. They need peace of mind that the Cloud solution provider has a robust, tested backup system in place and that your information can be recovered quickly and easily. Often they will recommend a separate backup system that enables you to keep an up to date copy of your data that’s also in the Cloud.
Change of circumstances – As businesses change, grow and replace staff, the computer system that’s ‘flavour of the month’ can change too. Add to this a monthly subscription payment model and your I.T. professional will want to know what happens if you want to stop paying the bill. If you don’t own the software, how are you going to ensure you can still access the information or be able to easily move it to a different system?
Security – Again, this is another area your I.T. professional will have no control over in the Cloud. Security concerns range from physical security of where your information is held (including in what country), through to the protection of the Cloud solution against hacking attempts and information disclosure. Larger businesses often use security as their biggest concern, and really need detailed information from Cloud providers to be able to trust their security measures.
Access control – Setting up new staff is easy, but what happens when a staff member leaves, especially in undesirable circumstances? Is it easy for access to be revoked quickly to prevent your information from being stolen or deleted? What mechanisms are in place to protect access to your information if your computer is hacked or stolen? Two factor authentication is also a big deal and a ‘must have’ for a second form of identity proof, especially when accessing financial information.
Internet access – Your I.T. professional will know the technical details of your current internet connection and what load you’re already putting on it. They will need to consider the speed and capacity of your connection and whether an upgrade is available in your area. And they’ll have a good understanding of how well your current Internet setup is performing. The last thing they want is to hear complaints that the new Cloud solution is too slow.
Integration – Great I.T. professionals understand how all of your I.T. pieces fit together to support your business. They’ll want reassurance that a new Cloud solution will fit in with any other systems you already use (e.g. your Customer Relationship Management database). Web browsers and versions are also a concern, especially if you already have specific requirements from another system.
Their own skills – Just like the adoption of Cloud solutions varies from business to business, it also varies amongst I.T. professionals. Some have embraced the Cloud phenomenon early and use it in their own businesses. Some swear that everything must be in your own office. And many have placed Cloud in the “too hard, too busy” basket, because they just haven’t made the time to look into it. Implementing and supporting Cloud solutions means they have to learn some new skills, so an objection to Cloud can sometimes just be that they aren’t comfortable with it.
These objections are not new to Cloud solution providers and many of them have great information aimed at I.T. professionals. If you can ask more questions and get to the heart of a Cloud resistant attitude, you may be able to find that golden nugget of an answer that will allay their concerns.
If the I.T. guy is still not happy with you using the Cloud, you really only have three choices: take their advice and stay with your existing systems, work with them to see if their objections can be overcome, or find yourself a new I.T. guy.
Cloud-friendly I.T. professionals do exist and are often seen snapping up opportunities that others are not skilled to handle.
Moving to the Cloud doesn’t suit every business, but it’s worth examining what the roadblocks are. You need to be confident that your Cloud decisions are being made for valid reasons, whether you’re saying yes or no to a new Cloud system.