One of our clients, a nearby Kern County pediatric medical practice, maintained that they needed their on-premise server to store medical records and other administrative files. But when we asked why the onsite server was necessary, no one had a clear answer. “That’s how we’ve always done it,” was the common refrain. We were able to show this clinic (just as we’ve shown many others) that a shared cloud solution provides a higher level of security, stability, and function than that old server sitting in the storage closet. We transitioned their entire Electronic Medical Records system to the cloud, and now the caregivers and administrators alike wonder why they didn’t make this transition sooner.
Getting to the Cloud in the First Place
The experience like the one above often reminds me of something a mentor once told me—always remember the difference between something complicated and something difficult. Things that are complicated have many moving parts, many different components, all of which have to come together in the right order and at the right time to be addressed successfully. Things that are difficult may simply require more effort and energy, but often can be solved with sheer force of will. For example, solving an algebra equation can be complicated–there are different variables and values to be addressed with different functions. But that complexity doesn’t imply difficulty for a person who has learned algebra. Conversely, running a marathon isn’t necessarily complicated, but I’d challenge you to find anyone that thinks it’s not difficult. Complexity and difficulty are two very different things. Sometimes they go together, sometimes they don’t.
I’m reminded of this every time we work with a small business looking for ways to improve their infrastructure and network. For most of them, there is a preconceived notion that transitioning from in-house resources to the cloud is both complicated and difficult, and so many small businesses never even explore the potential of the cloud out of fear something will go wrong. The reality, however, is that migrating to the cloud doesn’t have to be either complex or hard, and, if the cloud is the right fit for you, but does present complexity or difficulty, each challenge can be addressed through a detailed process that makes success assured.
More Ready Than You Might Think
For many small businesses, applications they are already hosting on-site like Exchange, Timberline, or Electronic Medical Records systems can be transitioned to cloud-based infrastructure without much difficulty, and the data that these applications call on can be migrated without much complexity. You might be surprised to find what other applications can be moved to the cloud. Just a few are:
- Quickbooks: Most bookkeepers and CPAs use some form of Quickbooks. Quickbooks can be hosted in the cloud for convenience and security.
- MailStore: Permanently archiving both sent and received emails to the cloud is a breeze with MailStore.
- Microsoft Sharepoint: Many companies have been using Sharepoint for years on on-premise servers. Sharepoint works great for SMBs on a cloud infrastructure.
- RamQuest: This critical title processing software can be hosted in the cloud, giving your agents accessibility to perform a closing from any office location with ease.
Our experience is that in most cases, small businesses are much better prepared for a transition to the cloud than they imagine. All it takes is breaking up the migration into manageable steps and actions that, together, result in a successful transition. After all, a person runs a marathon one step at a time, not all at once, and algebra follows an order of operations.
The key step in moving from in-house infrastructure to the cloud is a comprehensive network assessment. Laying out the tools that your organization uses every day and how those tools interact with each other will help your transition to the cloud. Furthermore, a quality assessment will uncover areas of improvement where your network will get even stronger after you make the move. Most important, a network assessment should include a step-by-step plan, complete with milestones and action items for getting your network to the cloud securely and successfully. A well-defined and detailed plan for your business’s migration to the cloud removes complexity and difficulty before the first application or byte of data is migrated.
If your small business is eager to explore how the cloud can improve operational efficiency and productivity, the DiamondIT team can help. We’ve performed hundreds of migrations to the cloud and always start with a comprehensive assessment of your entire network. Our engineers will design a plan and then carry that plan out, step by step, until your organization is finally able to realize the utility and power of the cloud. We invite you to learn more about how DiamondIT can take your business into the cloud, handling all complexity and difficulty, making your transition seamless.