Apr 07 2023

Why the Right Hybrid Cloud Approach Can Benefit Small Businesses

Moving to the cloud can help your organization limit costs and build a customized tech stack.

The cloud revolutionized businesses, but it also led to a lot of reactionary efforts rather than strategic decision-making.

A sudden technology shift can be very disruptive to small businesses — and not in a good way. This is particularly true for IT leaders who respond to shifting trends with speed and agility. With any change, thoughtful care is required.

Now that cloud technology is more mature, companies have more complex criteria to consider. It’s also caused IT teams to refine their infrastructures strategically, implementing the cloud where it makes sense while keeping other items on-premises in a hybrid approach.

For many organizations, this might be the ideal compromise as they assess how to leverage cloud resources in a way that custom-fits their business needs.

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The Differences Between Cloud and On-Premises

If you’ve managed on-premises infrastructure for years and then moved to the cloud, you know that the process of managing those technologies can be very different. For starters, it can be more complicated to get full visibility into your infrastructure.

Another factor is the importance of protecting your cloud infrastructure through security.

Perhaps you have a well-tuned firewall onsite, but security becomes more complex now that the information is managed remotely. You’re playing in someone else’s sandbox, and while it’s still perfectly manageable, it will require a different approach to keep data  safe.

That said, a lot of technologies are well suited to cloud transitions. Systems like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Workspace make it even simpler to transfer these workloads. But no transition to the cloud is the same, and often this process will vary from business to business. It may go smoothly for some and be challenging for others.

LEARN MORE: How businesses can head off cloud security threats.

Building Infrastructure to Fit Your Needs

For small businesses, managing  your hybrid cloud infrastructure can be a difficult task. A smaller team means limited resources, so it can be harder to achieve the level of assessment you need. Getting this bigger picture is crucial to figuring out where you need to build next.

To combat this challenge, small-business IT leaders can lean into Software as a Service technology, which effectively scales with your business. For example, Inscape, an anomaly detection tool owned and operated by CDW, makes it possible to manage your infrastructure, detect potential anomalies and get a full picture of your cloud spending across settings, so you know what you need, what’s missing and where you might be overspending.

EXPLORE: Why businesses need solid cloud governance — and how to get it.

Navigating to a Hybrid Cloud Setup with Support

Small-business leaders should remember that a hybrid cloud setup involves several factors and may require added support. It’s more than just leveraging a technology tool and having a team in place to map out the infrastructure; it’s also about having a supportive partner that can identify potential roadblocks so you can succeed.

One way that CDW can help is through value-added services, which can guide small businesses through the complexities of infrastructure and data management. If you don’t have the core competencies in-house to navigate balancing multiple cloud services and an on-premises approach, leaning into services such as CDW AmplifiedTM Infrastructure can help as you refine your multicloud or hybrid strategy.

The key takeaway is not to be afraid to transition to the cloud slowly, and customize the process as you go. For example, if some of your infrastructure is best left off the cloud, that’s fine. You can reserve the right to make those security decisions.

The best advice I can share with IT leaders is that you won’t win any awards for solving your cloud challenges quicker than any other business. Nobody’s judging the speed of your digital transformation. Instead, focus on your own journey and the people and tools that can help get you there most effectively.

You’re running a marathon, not a sprint, so you can put a bit of extra work into the strategy before you hit the finish line.

This article is part of BizTech's AgilITy blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter.


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