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Article ID: 2929352 - Last Review: August 15, 2014 - Revision: 2.0

Your journey to the cloud holds some important decision-making opportunities. First, you have to decide if moving your data and applications makes good business sense for your company. If it does, the next step is to plan how to make your move, and then do it. This three-part series walks you through information that can help smooth your transition.

Part 1: Does a move to the cloud make sense for your small business?

What is the cloud anyway?

The cloud describes a collection of important business resources stored on web-based servers instead of your own computer, external hard drive, or server. These resources include free or subscription-based online services that enable you to access and store data, such as email and business applications. Examples of current cloud-based email services include Yahoo, Outlook, and Gmail. Office 365, Google docs and AppExhange by Salesforce are examples of cloud-based business applications.

Would a move to the cloud help your business?

Moving to the cloud can make it easier for your team to work from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Web-based meeting software such as Lync, Skype, or Adobe Connect means you, your team members, and customers can collaborate from a convenient Internet connection with almost any device. Need an important document? You can access, save, and share files over the web.

Using cloud-based business applications also means no more saving up to afford the latest software upgrade and no more trips to the store for the shrink-wrapped version. Your cloud service provider automatically provides you with the latest version of your applications on all company devices as soon as they are available.

Need a cost-saving strategy to grow and contract with your business?

Cloud-based business applications also let you respond quickly to seasonal downshifts or growth spurts. You can add or remove licenses, through your online administration portal, to adjust to your changing needs.

Does the threat of accidental data loss worry you?

Do you regularly back up your files? After you move to the cloud, you’ll no longer have to worry about what might happen if your computers, servers, or devices are damaged through theft, fire, flood, or human error. With a trusted cloud service provider, your data will be kept in a secured system, reducing the risk that your data will be lost.

Are IT costs a concern?

A move to the cloud empowers you to manage your IT services from one portal with your own online administration center, without having to pay an IT specialist. And since your cloud service provider owns and maintains the cloud servers, you’re spared the headache of managing servers in-house.

Did you answer yes to any of these questions?

While you may not be ready to make your decision to move to the cloud today, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you are probably ready to learn more information.

Stay tuned for the next two articles in this series:

Part 2: Prepare for your move
Learn essential steps to take as you decide which aspects of your small business to take to the cloud, including email, documents, productivity applications, and unified communication functionality. This article also covers the pros and cons of moving manually or choosing a consultant to help.
Part 3: Execute a successful migration plan
Whether you go it alone or partner with a consultant, there are critical elements to be considered before migration, such as syncing servers, doing a Domain Name System (DNS) sync, and handling account and user provisioning. This article will hit these and other key points of the migration process.
Learn more about Office 365
  • What is Office 365? (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/what-is-office-365-for-business-FX102997580.aspx)
  • Why Office 365? (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/why-office-365-for-business-FX104138860.aspx)
  • Email and calendars on the go (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/office-365-business-email-and-shared-calendar-services-FX102996755.aspx)
  • Remote file sharing (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/office-365-file-sharing-online-collaboration-tools-FX102997013.aspx)
  • Web conferencing (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/office-365-video-conferencing-FX102996964.aspx)


Applies to
  • Lync Room System
  • Windows Software Development Kit for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4
Keywords: 
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