Do You Need a Cloud Consultant?

Do You Need a Cloud Consultant?

Cloud computing has become so pervasive in technology today that you may be using it without realizing. Everyday processes such as file storage and sharing or backing up the data on your phone use the cloud, but its capabilities go far beyond that. Migrating business applications to the cloud can not only save you money on internal data solutions but also enable your business to be flexible and scalable without a strain on your budget. And if you’re not quite sure what that means, don’t worry – a cloud consultant can help.

Cloud Consultants Mean Tailored Data Solutions

A rapidly advancing technology such as cloud computing can be confusing, and if you’re starting to get lost researching solutions, you’re not alone. While migrating to the cloud has many benefits, it can be frustrating and potentially costly if not done correctly. But don’t let that dissuade you: there are new IT specialists on the block, and they’re here to solve your cloud woes.

Cloud consultants have a different set of goals and values from traditional IT specialists. Old school IT is more or less about hardware, whether it be maintenance of devices and servers or upgrading and introducing newer, better tech. That’s not to say traditional IT doesn’t handle business software and network needs, but its goal is to acquire and sustain technology thingsthat the business needs. Cloud consultants bring a different perspective to the IT table. Because the cloud enables you to pay for only what you use, cloud consulting takes a look at how much value you can get out of current assets, while doing away with the need for time-consuming and costly maintenance of on-site data solutions such as data centers and servers. The first thing on their minds is business application, meaning that they know a solution isn’t a solution unless it benefits business operations and bottom line. Cloud technology can make a business flexible enough for the demands of consumers and markets of the future, and a consultant’s job is to ensure readiness as that future becomes a reality.

How to Screen a Cloud Consultant

Of course, if you’re considering bringing on a cloud consultant, you need to know that they are able to give your business what it needs. Hiring a consultant without screening could leave you with a less than satisfactory cloud deployment and messy record keeping that’s difficult to decipher. There are a few boxes a potential consultant should be able to check, and if they don’t, they should be able to tell you exactly why.

  1. They should ask for a separate system login. This one is just good practice, and helps both you and them pinpoint the problem should something go wrong.
  2. They should backup both the unchanged system and their work. Data loss happens, but it shouldn’t be devastating. Keeping a copy of your system pre-changes, as well as backing up along the way, should be a risk reduction no-brainer.
  3. They should keep logs of all changes. Both you and the consultant should be able to tell what code was changed when, and by whom. Again, this is good record keeping practice should any updates require altering, or if something doesn’t work.
  4. They should have an easy-to-track communication system. Efficiency and clarity are the names of the game for communication. A collaboration platform is almost essential in making sure everyone is aware of what needs to be done.
  5. They should require signoffs on significant project milestones. While it’s easier for an expert to do their work the way they think it should be done without consulting anyone, it’s also bad practice. A consultant should check in with you and make sure you sign off on changes throughout the project.

Migrating business applications and assets to the cloud can help your business become more flexible and cost-effective, but it can be tricky without expert knowledge. A competent cloud consultant can make all the difference.

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