Women Entrepreneurs Tips: A Guide to Moving to the Cloud

Preparing for the digital era has never been so crucial for women entrepreneurs who want to stay ahead of the game. Whether you’re a mompreneur or a small business owner, to cloud or not to cloud is fast becoming one of the biggest questions facing businesses today.

Enterprise IT executives expect 60% of workloads to run in the cloud by 2018

Data generation is getting more complex than ever and we crave greater flexibility and ease of access to make our businesses shine.

There are plenty of business buzzwords flying around the corporate community that make finding the right regimes tricky. Big data, best practices, value add, agile and cloud computing. The list is endless. And unless you understand the corporate jargon, it can be hard to determine which business decision is right for your goals.

Almost as essential as a glass of wine after a long stressful day in the office, cloud computer is taking the business world by storm. And if you don’t want to get left behind, it’s time to start reaping the rewards for yourself too. Here’s what you need to know:

Cloud Computing: What are the Benefits?

Moving to the cloud is more than just accessing data from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s an inherently flexible business solution that works and grows with you and your corporate needs.

Cloud computing provides mompreneurs, entrepreneurs, and enterprises of all kinds a better way to collaborate. Your hard drive is no longer the central hub, risks of losing important documents and data are eliminated and projects are more effectively tracked. Business is made easy, leaving you with more time and energy for more of life’s essentials.

Other benefits of moving to the cloud include:
Real-time view of your financial position: With cloud accounting software like Xero, you can get direct data feeds from financial institutions.

Greater integration which streamlines workflows moves paper-based processes to the digital era and automates tedious tasks. Basically, it allows you to work smarter.

Convenience: No need to carry bulky hard drives or run the risk of losing USB sticks – everything you need is securely stored off-site. Providing you have access to a computer or mobile and internet connection, you can do business.

Encourages Innovation and Boosts Productivity: Traditional workflows are sped up and business minded people are encouraged to think differently about how the way they work. Cloud computing pushes the boundaries and motivates results in a tech-driven world.

Safe and Secure: Less risk of data being stolen because the information lives in the cloud, not on your laptop, hard drive or USB stick. This eliminates issues with losing data due to natural disasters too and prevents downtime. The level of access can also be controlled.

Understand What You’re Committing to When Moving To The Cloud

Migrating to the cloud is an exciting business decision for entrepreneurs

It’s like purchasing a shiny new car and being distracted by the immaculate upholstery. Or booking that much-needed holiday and losing yourself in places to explore, Champagne to drink and delicious food to consume. Cloud computing has a host of shiny new services and pioneering technologies to experience – but it’s vital to know what you’re committing too first.

Cloud computing covers multiple platforms from storing backups to running all systems remotely.

Planned well, and it can save you a fortune in time and money. Planned poorly and it can be a business burden. Before making the move, evaluate why cloud migration is relevant for you and how deep into it you want to go.

Prepare a Detailed Business Plan Ready for Migration

Defining the workflow prior to migration is important to the success and efficiency of the cloud infrastructure. Make a list of the services you want to migrate and review the network architecture for reliability and availability. Generally, the benefits outweigh the challenges but slow internet connections and security of sensitive data can make the migration a negative burden. Review related costs and consider trying any cloud software before you buy.

Depending on the size of your business and its goals, will determine whether you choose a public or private cloud infrastructure. Public gives you little data control but is cheaper, whereas private offers better security, privacy, and flexibility. Remember – cloud migration doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Move at your own pace and allow it to grow with you and your business.

Get Password Savvy

Cloud computing needs a strong level of protection so learn to develop effective password practices. Strong and unique passwords are vital – even the top security systems are only as good as their weakest link. Two-factor authentication is a smart idea for an extra layer of protection, especially if you’re thinking of storing sensitive data on the cloud.

Trust, But Verify

There’s a lot of misconception that cloud computing isn’t safe. If you’re smart about it though, it is. Choose the right service provider and review their support, security, and compliance. Ask where and how your data will be stored, if it’ll be encrypted and what security procedures are in place. Find out whether the data will be deleted if it’s removed from the cloud too.

Take Advantage of Activity Monitoring

Knowing who is accessing your business data and when is a valuable tool for cloud security. Activity monitoring comes with most cloud services and provides logs with times, location data and other essentials to prevent unwanted data access. If you’re dealing with super-sensitive data, you’ll want to upgrade to real-time monitoring to keep your finger on the pulse. This feature detects and shuts down suspicious activity to prevent data breaches.

The benefits of cloud are substantial but like all infrastructure changes need to be understood, planned and aligned with valid goals to truly benefit you and your business.


About Your Guest Blogger:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Office Solutions IT – Perth’s choice in IT Services and Secure and Reliable Cloud Based Solutions. You can catch her on Google+.