Are You Prepared for the Future of the Cloud?
The Cloud is awesome, right? I love what the Cloud has to offer. We all use it even if we don’t realize it – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Amazon, to name a few. Even the technology that many of us now have in our homes is made possible because of cloud computing – smart thermostats and home automation, video doorbells and security systems.
Our businesses are becoming increasingly dependent upon the Cloud, too. Whatever your industry – Medical, Legal, Accounting, Construction, Manufacturing, Distribution – chances are good that critical applications like your CRM and line of business software are now cloud-based.
This is as true for the IT industry as it is for yours.
Heated Conversations with Stakeholders About Cloud Problems
If the Cloud is so wonderful, then why have I been having so many meetings with prospective clients about problems with their cloud applications, their internet service provider (ISP), and their IT support provider?
These meetings are usually in a group setting with several business stakeholders and their frustration is high. The conversations are usually complex and maybe even a bit heated.
In many cases, the frustration stems from the speed and availability of the cloud services. In other cases, people are upset with the speed and availability of their internet service provider (ISP), and their IT support provider.
The conversation goes back and forth about what’s causing what, and it usually gets more technical than anybody would like.
Inevitably, in searching for a solution, the discussion turns to making a change with either the cloud application, the ISP or the IT provider.
What’s Really Causing the Issues – the Cloud, the ISP or the IT Provider?
Sometimes the cloud application is the cause of the problem. Let’s use Google as an example. In the month of July, Google has reported downtime on July 3rd, July 4th, and July 11th. If you use Gmail or Chrome, you were affected by this. On these dates, you may have not been able to send or receive business or personal emails, which would have been really frustrating.
When something like this happens, there’s nothing an IT provider can do to “fix” it. The same would be true with hosted business applications, like accounting and ERP systems. You'd just have to wait it out.
On the other hand, if the issues are with the ISP or the IT provider, then you have a lot to talk about.
How can you be sure you’re getting the best possible results from your ISP? You may never get a straight answer from Frontier or Verizon about a “slow” internet performance problem. What about your IT provider? Are you confident that you’re getting the best possible results from their services?
Your IT Provider Should Be Equipped for Fast Response
Response time is paramount these days.
If you have to wait five minutes each time you need to talk to your IT provider, that is not good. Every minute you're waiting is a BIG issue to a company of size. You should expect to talk to a live technical person in seconds or minutes.
If your entire company is affected, you should get a Priority 1 response. This means that your IT provider will get to the root of the issue ASAP and take ownership of the problem until it’s resolved.
Not only is response time important, but your IT provider must also have the right skills and tools to quickly determine if your issue is external or internal to your own network.
Sophisticated software tools require a higher level of network engineering and a team that knows how to use them. The team also needs to be following network management best practices in order to determine if it’s you, the ISP, or the cloud application provider who has an issue. If these best practices aren’t in place, you’ll continue to suffer through many frustrating events and never understand the real issue.
So, the next time your system is slow or not available, ask yourself if your team is truly prepared to handle the future of the cloud.
About Marty Kaufman
Marty Kaufman is Founder and President of Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., a Southern California-based innovator in IT thinking. He got his start in the world of Big Data as Manager of Information Systems for General Dynamics. He earned his B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1985 and started Accent Computer Solutions as a consulting firm in 1987. He has spent his entire career researching and implementing Information Technology strategies and processes to help his clients reduce the cost and risk of IT.
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