Building a Cloud Roadmap for Business With Citrix Managed Services

Most growth-oriented businesses have considered moving the to the cloud over the past few years. In fact, research shows that 50% of businesses that have a 10-year roadmap will have migrated to some sort of business cloud solutions by the end of 2018.

These organizations have seen how the cloud helps small and medium-sized businesses grow and scale while remaining flexible. They also understand all of the security and cost-saving aspects of the cloud.

If you’ve considered moving your organization to a cloud-environment, but can’t figure out where to start SSI and premier technology partner Citrix have determined a simple three-step process that many companies use when moving to the cloud.

  • Move your files to the cloud.
  • Move your applications to the cloud.
  • Move your desktops to the cloud.

Easy. Let’s look at these steps in more detail.

Step 1: move your files to the cloud

File sharing (think Dropbox or Google Drive, but way smoother, more secure and more sophisticated) is the first, and most natural, start to any company’s journey to the cloud.

That’s because you can solve a lot of storage, sharing and security headaches and improve the flow of information in your company with very little cost or effort.

Once you’ve got file sharing and storage in place, your information exchange processes will need to be tweaked and your staff will have to lose some ingrained habits. The good news is that cloud-based file sharing immediately kick-starts collaboration, so the transition often happens organically.

Just make sure you let everyone know that sharing documents that are not secure isn’t necessary anymore. Educate them on how easy it is to share encrypted confidential documents using cloud-based file sharing.

Also, point out that collaborating on single versions of documents is the way to go. There’s no need to share (and desperately try to keep track of) multiple iterated versions of documents anymore.

Because file sharing makes it so much easier to collaborate with colleagues and work from anywhere, you might choose to encourage more flexible working among your staff to improve their work-life balance and productivity.

Step 2: move your applications to the cloud

The next logical step on the road to the cloud is to move all of your applications there. This includes your industry-specific apps as well as more commonly used apps like Microsoft Word or Excel.

Once in the cloud, apps can be accessed anywhere by everyone in the company, and from any device. Because they don’t have to be loaded onto specific machines, time and resources aren’t wasted individually on licensing, deploying, managing, patching and updating.

The journey to the cloud is an opportunity to do some IT housekeeping too.

Get rid of the software that you don’t use anymore – with cloud apps, you only pay for what you use. Also make sure your staff (office-based, home-based or road warriors) all get instant, secure access to the apps they need.

Lastly, look for file storage options that can handle all of the tools you plan to use, including analytics, business applications, and business processes.

Step 3: move your desktops to the cloud

Cloud desktops (sometimes called ‘virtual desktops’ or ‘hosted desktops’) are the final frontier for most companies moving to the cloud.

A cloud desktop is all the things that load when you switch on a PC: the operating system, the applications and the files. So, when an employee with a cloud desktop loses or breaks a computer, you’ve lost hardware only. All the data will be safe.

At this advanced point in the cloud journey, you can make sure that all of your IT is in the cloud. Then you no longer have to worry about buying, maintaining or securing any in-house infrastructure.

Which means the staff who handle IT in your company can tackle more important issues, and innovate more freely.

Advanced CSP’s like SSI can even go a step further with hosted workspaces that incorporate all 3 steps into one with added layers of security and efficiency.

Starting your journey with a CSP like SSI

So that’s it. A simple roadmap to the cloud.

But the very first step might be to talk to an expert. IT service providers can manage the whole journey for you, and then run your tech stack – updating and securing everything, backing it up, and supporting your users.

Either way, moving to the cloud can transform your business. Learn more about our business cloud solutions or our cloud advisory services.