How can anyone get into cloud computing?

The cloud in medium-sized businesses: three good reasons why you should start!

The use of cloud solutions is increasing particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to Bitkom's Cloud Monitor, SMEs are catching up with the big ones when it comes to using the cloud. You can clearly see that the topic of cloud services is gaining popularity across all industries. Not so long ago this was not the case. The concerns were great when it came to the topic of cloud computing in their own company. The bottom line was that sometimes it was simply because the added value was not entirely clear. That is no longer the case today. Why is that? And why should medium-sized companies in particular start into the cloud right now?

Almost all companies recognize the simplicity of cloud solutions, because the complexity of many IT issues in the company can be greatly reduced by using a cloud solution. Short or manageable runtimes and ease of consumption ensure that medium-sized companies are becoming more courageous to try out the cloud for themselves in various forms. And it is only in daily use that many of the advantages of the cloud really become apparent.

The start in the cloud does not always require long preparation

The clear recommendation when it comes to the cloud: show yourself willing to experiment. Perhaps that even means showing the courage to leave the gap. You should and can grow flexibly with the cloud. If there is positive enthusiasm after the first few attempts, the next steps will be correspondingly easier. Some companies simply start by relocating basic technologies, for example in the area of ​​office applications, to the cloud. Others already begin with more complex topics and projects that result from a specific need in a company within a specialist department. Examples are HR solutions that run completely in the cloud, a digital personnel file or a “basic ECM package” with basic document management functions. There are practically no limits to your imagination to gain your first cloud experience with a simple step at an affordable price.

In principle, however, with all cloud storage solutions you should always be clear about the benefits you expect from the form of provision in the cloud. And whether this value proposition is in relation to the costs of implementation. When it comes to the actual implementation, sooner or later the question of the right model for the cloud arises almost automatically.

Public, private or hybrid - which cloud model do you use correctly?

This decision should always be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is no silver bullet for companies here. There may be historical, conceptual, or other reasons why one should choose one or the other. But one thing is certain: Even the handling of sensitive data no longer requires the private cloud, because highly secure data centers in Germany, comprehensive certifications and multiple encryptions ensure that, for example, personal information is also stored in a public cloud on external servers without fear of data loss can be held. For an individual decision-making, you should definitely fall back on the expertise of reliable partners and providers and get advice on which cloud best suits your needs and requirements.

As a customer, regardless of the model, you should always ensure that the transfer between the hosting center and your own interfaces to the operational business runs smoothly and securely. For this reason, it is advisable to rely on established partners who, on the one hand, provide the right structures and, on the other hand, can fall back on a wealth of experience in a large number of projects. The search for successful best practices is therefore worthwhile.

Three good reasons why mid-sized companies should move into the cloud now

1) Lower license costs and usage-based billing

The licensing of software including software maintenance and thus also the classic software license management is becoming less and less important in cloud computing. In the past, the acquisition of a software license usually involved a lot of effort and corresponding costs for implementation and interface configuration. In the context of a cloud provision, these efforts are no longer necessary - that means farewell to the classic licensing model. More flexible pricing depending on the actual application becomes possible. Rather, a provider is remunerated on the basis of mostly usage-dependent billing models for IT services. In these services, the costs for the provision of the software as well as for its maintenance and support are usually included.

2) Less IT effort due to external operation

One of the great added values ​​of the cloud is the outsourcing of IT expenses. For small and medium-sized companies in particular, internal IT is often a necessity in order to be able to keep up with the competition for efficient processes. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage IT support on your own, especially in complex system environments. To do this, it means finding qualified and at the same time affordable employees. Not an easy undertaking in times of a shortage of skilled workers. If corporate applications can be obtained from an external service provider via the browser and are also administered, maintained and looked after there, new, value-adding potentials arise in and with the cloud, especially for SMEs.

3) Scaling services individually

In addition to the significantly lower IT costs and flexible billing models, the individual scalability of the services actually used is the decisive criterion for successful use in medium-sized companies. Corresponding specialist solutions can be booked online at the touch of a button and used immediately without the need for complex on-site installation. Should the need for more comprehensive services arise later, for example by adding a workflow for the electronic processing of incoming invoices to the previously used digital archiving of company knowledge. The number of users can also be individually scaled in the cloud. Services can also be canceled if they are no longer needed.

Good advice is half the battle

Basically, it can be said that cloud services have very likely triggered a paradigm shift in the classic, on-premises IT world and will continue to do so. Small and medium-sized companies are already making use of these new opportunities and are benefiting from them. Many more will follow when this “innovation” has reached the decision-makers' minds as a given. Which providers make sense in individual cases and when their offers will pay off, including all follow-up costs, depends on the individual situation and requires a detailed consideration by an expert.