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We are obviously living in a digital age and business technology is constantly evolving. Many companies, of all sizes but particularly SME’s, are currently in the midst of a large scale migration from local IT services into Cloud computing. There are advantages to be gained from the Cloud but there are also pitfalls.

Here, IT entrepreneur Gary David Smith, who owns Cloud Support firm, Prism Solutions, outlines some of the issues each firm must consider to ensure that their individual requirements are met.

There are so many considerations to make for any SME embarking on a migration to Cloud computing and yet most of the Managed Service Providers who are advising them seem more fixated on the ‘land grab’ opportunity of new business and not their individual client’s needs.

Gary David Smith
Gary David Smith

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises are keen to move their IT into the Cloud for a variety of reasons; for example, they can see that there are financial savings to be made or they might fear being left behind by their competitors.

However, the most important consideration is that each individual company has its IT systems in the best possible shape for their particular needs in a local environment before migrating into the Cloud.

I will discuss the issues which each company must consider later in this article but at this point I would like to draw attention to the possibilities for ‘Social Business’ that are afforded by Cloud computing.

SME’s are far more flexible than huge corporations and can instigate changes and improvements in their internal policies far quicker.

The way we do business in the future will inevitably affect carbon emissions. Energy is obviously the major issue and the Cloud has a massive part to play.

The business transition to tablets and Cloud computing and the savings in travel time and energy will have a massive effect on future CO2 emissions. Home working, accessing data from mobile devices and digital conferencing techniques will all have huge effects on our need for business travel and fuel consumption.

The transition away from office based desktop computer technology is also leading to a mountain of unwanted business machines that could go on to another useful working life elsewhere. Prism is committed to the re-use of business machines by charities, social enterprises and even individuals in deprived areas of society once all business data has been securely removed.

Now, I would like to return to outlining the major considerations for companies who are planning Cloud migration.

CEO and CFO’s need to be very clear on why they are migrating into the Cloud and be very clear about what it is that you’re trying to achieve.

CEO and CFO’s need consider the following: Is in their company’s interests to acquire compatibility across all key IT applications in their operations? To what extent would their company benefit from enhanced performance and compatibility of scanning and printing?

Connectivity to the Internet is a thorny issue. Is the internet speed in your region able to support Cloud services? In some areas Cloud products will not give the end user the best overall experience.

Would their company benefit from improved access of company data for mobile users? Can they access data offline?

Will you be in a position to provide support your remaining local IT infrastructure? Where will your data be stored, does this comply with Data Protection requirements? Will new legislation affect your Data Protection policies?

What are the terms of the Service-Level Agreement (SLA) quoted by the provider? Are these sufficient for your needs and what cover do you have if your provider fails you? How are you going to get your data back in the event of a breakdown in the relationship with the provider?

Finally, CEO and CFO’s must consider the contractual tie in with the service provider they select. Are they comfortable with a potentially long term agreement for something you haven’t yet tried?


Fully managed hybrid and Cloud IT solutions

Since their formation in 2001, the Prism team – led by Gary David Smith and Richard Alexander – have worked hard to build an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s premier outsourced Managed Service IT Providers.

Technology today is all about being connected all of the time, no matter where you are. The modern business needs to be able to access what they need in an instant, at the touch of a button, whether you’re in the office or on the move. While the need to be connected to our data all the time is important, ensuring that this information stays confidential is always of the highest importance.

No matter if you are a public listed company or a brand new start-up Prism Solutions will either have or develop a hybrid system that perfectly suits your needs.

Prism Disposal was created in 2013 to provide a responsible and environmentally safe route to re-using and disposing of unwanted IT equipment that also guaranteed the highest levels of data security.