Technology has shaped the way people use language, and the internet has given us a multitude of buzzwords like blockchain, bitcoin, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These ambiguous words will leave a non-IT person grappling for meaning. For instance, in information technology, the cloud is not a lump of condensed liquid in the air. It is a global network of servers designed to store data or run software and IT services, which can be accessed using browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. If you’re an individual or a small- and medium-sized business (SMB) who uses Google Drive to store and share photos and documents, you are using the cloud. Other examples of cloud services are Slack, Netflix, Yahoo Mail, and Office 365. The cloud is a cost-efficient, fast, and accessible tool for collaboration, data management, file sharing, and many more. Entrepreneurs are adopting the cloud for its time- and money-saving qualities. Antivirus giant McAfee said in a 2019 report that cloud services are introduced weekly, with business applications such as Office 365 and Salesforce comprising up to 70% in cloud services. The question is, when is the best time to shift your business processes and data to the cloud? Here are some tips to help you determine when you need to move. Upgrading is costly. Hardware and software upgrades can burn a hole in your pocket, especially when you are clueless as to what equipment you need to acquire. A proactive cloud-based service provider will give you the appropriate guidance on what tools to purchase depending if you’ll store and back up data on your business premises or off-site. With your data in the cloud, however, you only pay for the storage that you need, and it’s easier to scale up or down as the need arises. You are also not tied down to equipment that you end up not using and this helps curb redundancy and save on hardware costs. Your business is expanding. Business growth can cause disruption as you implement changes to your organization’s structure and systems. During this stage, your system can be vulnerable to data breaches and loss. Using the cloud for business expansion helps keep your data in one place and makes it accessible to you and your team regardless of location. And since your data is diligently collected and stored in a safe place, a potential cyberattack would be far easier to detect while the rest of the transition process is being conducted. When it’s time to scale up your IT infrastructure. Part of business growth is the need for your IT infrastructure to cope with the demand for increased computing power and network speeds. This is where the cloud becomes handy. It has unlimited scalability, is less expensive than expanding on-site infrastructure, and helps you save on energy costs. When you need professional IT know-how. If you go the do-it-yourself (DIY) route, or hire undertrained IT staff to save on costs, you may eventually encounter far worse security issues, like erroneous configuration settings, malware attacks, or redundant hardware. Having a team of legitimate IT experts from a trusted provider who looks after your systems 24/7 means you are assured of sound advice on data management, proper hardware procurement, as well as spotting and resolving real-time technical incidents. Moving your business to the cloud is a wise investment. The cloud offers mobility for your employees by having them access information through a mobile device with internet access. Its limitless scalability saves you money by doing away with unnecessary hardware purchases and making it more convenient to access your data when it’s freed from the confines of on-site infrastructure. It would be wise to consult and partner with a trustworthy MSP with the IT expertise and business acumen to ensure that your cloud migration is seamless with the least amount of disruption to your business. And their IT experts will make sure your data remains secure the whole time. If you’re an SMB looking to move your data to the cloud for more efficient data management and smoother accessibility, contact us today!