How Can Brick-And-Mortar Firms Become Cloud-Based?

0
406
How Can Brick-And-Mortar Firms Become Cloud-Based

All businesses evolve. Changes aren’t random, either – they’re strategically overseen in conjunction with wider economic and market shifts.

We all saw how the pandemic caused a surge in cloud adoption practices by businesses. However, the integration has become more than just using the cloud as a tool. Today, many companies use the cloud as the entire foundation for their firms. Everything is digital.

Despite many firms undergoing the transition, it’s not always conducted via a painless process. Some companies can have a bumpy road ahead of them if they fail to prepare for a smooth transformation period.

How can brick-and-mortar firms become cloud-based feasibly and sensibly? Read on after the jump for tips.

How Can Brick-And-Mortar Firms Become Cloud-Based?

Utilizing PDF Compressions Tools

PDFs are versatile file formats. Their use means that important company data can be shared between almost any device and platform, including those pertaining to the cloud.

Obviously, digitizing everything about a business will create an immense amount of data. Contracts, invoices, and even things like staff handbooks and product catalogues will all be predominantly digital. Any firm that isn’t ready to manage the volume of files they’re about to be inundated with shall struggle.

Utilizing PDF Compressions Tools

So, we’re making the case for firms to compress PDF data. Some cloud servers have an indefinite amount of room, but others don’t. Moreover, smaller files can be uploaded to a cloud server faster and downloaded with equal speed. Bandwidth can be reduced with PDF compress tactics too. Cloud-based platforms have to run with nimble efficiency, but businesses need to know how to use them effectively for that to happen.

It’s easy for firms to use a PDF compressor with these broader digitization aims in mind. The tools can be accessed for free, and they’re trusted by over 6,000 businesses and institutions worldwide. These tools guarantee an easier time for sharing, emailing, and storing all important business data, and conversions can occur within seconds. Companies never have to compromise on the quality of their documents, either.

Secure the Transformation

Business transformation can only proceed smoothly if everybody in a company is on board. Any resistance raises the likelihood of staggered transformations and crucial oversights.

We mentioned PDFs first because they’re easy to secure. The files can be encrypted, ensuring data is well-protected, whether stored in secure cloud servers or in transit. Secure protocols like SSL/TLS can also help make encryption safeguards more dynamic. Virtual private networks (VPNs) and firewalls may be able to obscure parts of your network from outside sources and prevent intrusions.

Any cloud transformation should have a support system where any concerns and technical problems can be immediately reported. Team messaging platforms, project management software, and document-sharing tools should always be the basis of a closer collaboration network. Still, these resources may need to be drawn on more heavily while changes are underway.

Employees should fully comply with data backup and migration procedures to avoid losing sensitive company information. Some firms can be vulnerable during transformation and prone to outside attacks. Teaching workers about IDS/IPS solutions can help them monitor traffic on the company network and flag intrusion attempts and other suspicious activities. Any threats uncovered can be blocked in real-time, giving workers more agency in safeguarding the cloud-based transformation.

Optimize Scalability

A big reason brick-and-mortar firms become cloud-based businesses in the first place is to heighten their prospects around scalability. Fewer physical assets mean companies can be more flexible and ambitious with their ever-expanding infrastructure.

More needs to be done than merely trying to become a digital business, though. There needs to be a sense of organizational behavioural change to become a truly digital business, and without it, firms can get nowhere despite their intentions and long-term ambitions. It’s not just about scaling up, either – sometimes firms need to scale down when becoming cloud-based to streamline processes, reduce costs, and put consumers first throughout what can be a hectic process.

Optimize Scalability

Mapping scalability is an intrinsic part of that process, and it should be part of the fabric of a firm’s cloud-based transformation. Future growth needs to be anticipated to accommodate not only volumes of data but also things like transaction loads and user demand. Becoming a cloud-based business means a firm could do more, and companies need to have an eye on that potential, even if they’re scaling down first.

Cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services have the best tools to ensure a company’s ever-changing infrastructure is fully scalable. These resources also allow users to dynamically remove or add computing resources, databases, and virtual machines, while also having auto-scaling and load-balancing features too.

Remember Compliance Procedures

Brick-and-mortar firms becoming cloud-based should view the shift as a procedural effort. While their own needs should be thought about carefully, there are others they need to please to – especially regarding compliance procedures.

For example, there may be Data Processing Agreements between the business and the cloud service provider (CSP). These documents are legally binding and outline the duties of the CSP and the companies they work with. Everything from the protection of personal data to how it’s processed can be covered here, and firms need to ensure they adhere to the nature of these deals.

CSPs shouldn’t be selected on a whim, either. It’s highly recommended that firms investigate CSP’s level of compliance with national data protection policies, ensuring they have all the proper certifications in place. Knowingly working with a devious partner can be as bad for businesses as engaging in shadier practices directly.

GDPR compliance may also be worth looking into. Even if a business is US based, it will still need to comply with some GDPR if it trades with firms within the EU. All data management practices must comply with the law, as should a firm’s cloud infrastructure framework.

Consider Multi-Cloud Strategy

Brick-and-mortar’s don’t need to transfer their assets and data to one CSP. Instead, they could spread the load and mitigate risk by working with multiple CSPs instead.

CSPs can be hit with data breaches of their own, as they’re often targets for cyber criminals due to the wealth of sensitive information they can store. Even if a CSP is prolific and reputable, it can only mean a bigger target is placed on their backs.

Moreover, server outages can also hit CSPs due to mismanagement or bad luck. When that happens, the firms subscribed to their services can similarly plunge into darkness.

Consider Multi-Cloud Strategy

So, it’s a good idea for brick-and-mortar firms to explore a multi-cloud strategy early on in the transition process. That way, they can plan around risks and work with multiple CSPs.

Multi-cloud strategies can also help organizations optimize costs during the transition period, as they’ll have a range of pricing models for specific workloads and have a greater awareness of one-time discounts and offers. It can also grant them leverage for negotiating better prices with individual CSPs, as they won’t be locked into an overly dependent partnership with one vendor.

Conclusion

Brick-and-mortar firms may encounter many twists and turns when transforming into a cloud-based business. They have file compression tools, security and scalability, and compliance measures to consider for themselves and any prospective partners. One might argue that they shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket. As there’s so much to think about, companies should take their time, seek support where possible, and undergo the transition with a sense of cautious optimism. That way, they won’t run before they can walk.