Top Thirteen Uses for the Cloud, Excluding Costing Savings and Management Efficiency
1) Allow me to begin by saying both management efficiency and cost savings is not a reason to invest in the VeloCloud. You do not get involved with the cloud for these purposes. The cloud delivers these options, but do not get caught up in it. These two options are a shadow of what you will get with the entire package.
2) Do not move to the cloud because it is trending. This is the same as having a baby to save your marriage. It is not going to work. Later on, your child is going to resent you because of it. The cloud is going to resent you too. It is not up to you to move everything from one place to another. The cloud saves you money, this much is true. The only problem is you will miss out on how to transform your business. Your business is where it all rests. Taking it to the next level should be your main goal. The cloud can and will help you. Transferring one location to another is like taking advantage of a good thing.
3) Take some time and understand your users. This is the key to being successful with the cloud. You have the technology at your fingertips, but this technology is not what will bring you success. How you use the technology and get feedback from your users is what will bring up forward. Remember, this is a learning experience. It is going to take time. Do not rush things.
4) Change is an internal sales job with the cloud. It is not enough to move your business forward. You have to constantly educate your users and staff on how the cloud can improve things. It is sort of like being at an “evangelical church”. Some feel that bringing people in and deploying out the masses is enough. It is not. You need to keep people engaged. You need to give people a reason why it is working. Otherwise, your congregation will leave your church. Same goes for the cloud.
5) The cloud will come with its fair share of partners. You need to know which ones to pick. Pick wisely here. One wrong pick and your cloud usage can go down. The idea is to establish common ground with your vendors. Establish long-lasting relations with your vendors. Finding a “niche” may be popular, but it is not going to work out for you in the long-term.
6) Have a contract in place with the cloud. This is the same as having a prenup in place when you marry a rich person. You may need an exit strategy. The contract may be cool in the beginning, but plans change. People change. Sometimes the conversations you have in one month change in three. You need to have some exit strategy in case something does not work out. The cloud is great, but each plan is different. You may be looking to switch to a different cloud plan. Make sure it is possible to do this.
7) Understand the dotted line before you sign it. Understand the software before you use it. It is not enough to have a “build it and they will come” attitude. This works to a certain degree. The more you build around you, the more you lose sight of what you intended your goals to be. It is like having 500 Facebook friends and only 3 of them are genuine. It is better to surround yourself with a few good people and move from there. The bottom line is customization is not a good long-term goal for your plans.
8) The network you surround yourself with will say a great deal about you. You need to surround yourself with a class act. It is best to network with only those who are A-list. Compare this with choosing your friends. You would not want to pick a bunch of riff raff. You are who you surround yourself with. Same goes for business.
9) The job of managing the whole thing is still your job. The cloud is there, but most of the responsibility falls on you. Some users assume the cloud will pick up the slack. This is not true. The support staff will be there to help answer any questions you may have. However, they do expect you to figure out most of it on your own.
10) The “carrier-grade” services are important, so take advantage. What happens when something goes down? It will happen. Mark my word. You need to have some kind of safeguard in place. This is especially true for those who have multiple businesses and accountabilities. When one goes down, it becomes an isolated incident. When more than two go down, then it is more than a coincidence. This service will keep things safe for you.
11) You may want to consider delegating some authority with the cloud. The cloud is not something that needs every person watching it. Delegate a few people to keep an eye on the day-to-day dealings and move on from there. It is the same as having “too many chiefs, not enough Indians”. Some people need to be in charge. Some people need to carry out the orders. Same thing goes with the cloud.
12) Plans change. You need to come to expect this. This has never been a technology issue. This has always been a “people issue”. Some people need to adapt more to change and go with the flow. Start re-adjusting the mindset in your business thinking. This is the only way to succeed.
13) Not every person or company will be meant for the cloud. You will never know though unless you try. Give it a try. Stop making excuses for not doing anything.