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Archive for August, 2020

What are the Primary Benefits of Agile Project Management?

agile project management

One of the greatest sports movies of our time, Remember the Titans, is filled with great quotes. One of those quotes is when coach Herman Boone is trying to pump up his team at the end of practice:

What are you?

Mobile, agile, hostile!

What is pain?

French bread!

What is fatigue?

Army clothes!

Will you ever quit?

No! We want some mo’, we want some mo’, we want some mo’!

While your project manager or fellow developers may not have such a memorable chant, you still can become quite agile and mobile (and potentially hostile). You might have seen agile thrown around a bit, but what does it mean and what does it have to do with project management? Does it have any benefits? What does it mean for the end product?

Today, we’re going to be jumping into how the benefits of agile project management, how you can use it with a number of different areas, and how they can help you accomplish tasks and achieve your goals more quickly and fluidly.

Let’s Talk About Agile Project Management

For starters, what exactly is agile project management? Is it a method of working? A philosophy? A unique approach to project management?

The answer to those questions is: yes, it is.

Project development can take on many forms, especially during the early stages. Planning is crucial for any new project and inexperienced project managers might take a bit of time before they feel 100% confident in their approach.

One of the reasons we’re such big fans of agile project management is because it’s an iterative approach to project management. Stepping away from traditional project management This means that development has multiple releases and sessions with customer feedback. While regular customer feedback may seem scary to some, we’ve found that there are multiple benefits that come with using agile project management. Let’s dive into those benefits right away.

Continuous Feedback

agile feedback

Continuous feedback might sound quite scary to some, but there are plenty of benefits from receiving constant and regular feedback. As anyone that’s ever designed or built something for a customer, their opinion is important but too much of their opinion may cause delays and frustration on both sides.

However, it’s not just feedback from the client that you’ll be receiving, but feedback from your team. One of the big components of agile is making sure your team feels comfortable and open to exchange ideas or thoughts. Therefore, you’re going to be seeking feedback from each member on a regular basis.

Although your web designer is the expert, sending that design to the web developer to receive some feedback keeps them in the loop. Your content writer may send over a quick draft to the web designer to make sure everything seems clear. These feedback loops allow ideas and decisions to be tested early and often. That way, problems can be detected earlier and resolved quicker.

Flexible Changes

The biggest “enemy” (remember, we have to be hostile!) to agile is what’s typically referred to as waterfall management. Projects advance through certain phases and once a project passes on from one phase to another, it’s extremely to revisit a past phase as teams are constantly pressing forward. Any revisitation is both costly, feels like a setback, and can cause more delays.

That’s why making changes with the waterfall approach is so difficult. A tiny change in Phase One could mean bigger changes in Phases Two or Three. Plus, parts of your team might be ready to move onto the next phases but a certain part of your team might be holding everything back. This can grind the project to a halt and make any demo sessions difficult or impossible.

When it comes to agile project management, however, your team is going to have constant opportunities to build, adapt, and learn. Team members can be moved around seamlessly to other areas while issues are resolved. This allows members with overlapping skill sets to make changes and avoid any blocking issues.

Improved Client Satisfaction

At the end of the day, teams want to make sure the client is satisfied with the project. High satisfaction means positive feedback, potential referrals, more future clients, and a happier business. Hooray!

How does agile improve customer satisfaction? 

By implementing agile methodologies, you’ll be able to provide different reviews and checkpoints at a more frequent part. Since you won’t be hamstrung by certain processes, you can show features, functionalities, and progress at standups or reviews.  

Your client can also get early access to projects and help provide important feedback. How much of that feedback you want to take into consideration is up to you, but anytime the client feels like they’re being listened to is important for overall satisfaction. 

Risk Reduction

There isn’t a project out there that doesn’t have some kind of risk attached. Problems can arise unexpectedly at just about anytime, catching your team off guard and instantly setting everyone back.

Agile can reduce your risks almost to zero. Failing or falling short is almost impossible by making use of agile, meaning you and your team can have the confidence in knowing while projects may experience setbacks, failures will be almost non-existent. 

With constant feedback loops and checks, there aren’t long periods of time between the initial investment and checks. If there is project failure, however, it’s likely to be caught early through your open channels and feedback. That saves you both time and money in having to reevaluate or potentially start over.

With agile, you’ll be able to release products earlier to gain customer feedback and make any necessary adaptations to market changes. You’ll be able to stay one step ahead of the competition by making quick adjustments and changes without experiencing any setbacks. 

Speaking of money…

Cost-Saving Methods

All of the above points are all well and good, but we all know that the bottom line is one of the most important factors in any business decision. With the extra money, you can reinvest back into the project itself or into your business.

Not only does agile project management save you money, but it also saves you money quicker. For starters, projects can begin earlier. Development can take place quicker and less is invested in the initial planning stages. Less time there allows for more development to take place. Add in the fact that agile encourages flexibility and regular feedback, and you’re more likely to fix small errors or resolve errors before they become large problems.

A large problem, such as a data breach, can cost millions of dollars. No business can risk such a mistake.

Things to Watch Out For

agile warning

Of course, using agile isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are some pitfalls that you and your team have to make sure you’re keeping an eye out for.  One of the biggest pitfalls is the ease to get sidetracked. With waterfall management, it’s easy to know when you’re onto the next phase of a project and new team members can be implemented on the go. 

With agile, it can sometimes be hard to ensure everyone is working on the correct process. Documentation can easily fall out of order and management can be a little bit tougher. Because of this, it’s also a bit more difficult to measure exact progress. Without being able to track progress by solid benchmarks using numbered phases, it’s a bit tougher to say exactly where a project is in development. In connection with that point, projects can sometimes have no clear end-date in sight. There is no “final phase” and it can be easier to get discouraged with an unclear ending. 

How can you go about avoiding these potential pitfalls?

One way is to make sure you’re working with a small team and keeping things tight together. Agile can certainly fall apart if there are “too many cooks in the kitchen” and feedback loops look more like continuous, endless cycles. 

You should also be documenting all processes and functions in a place where everyone has access. Here at Atiba, we love to use Jira as it’s a great way to monitor progress and communication among team members.

This does mean that everyone will have to be diligent note-takers and project managers should encourage members to document their work and bring in other team members when necessary. 

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are a number of fantastic benefits when it comes to making use of agile project management. Communication is improved, processes don’t face certain roadblocks, and projects can be finished at a faster rate.  Clients will be happier as they feel more involved in the project and your team can react quickly to any sudden changes or market trends. 

At Atiba, we are fans of the agile methodology as it allows us to work better with our clients, maintain higher satisfaction, and get your project pushed out quicker. If your company is looking to get started on your next project, reach out to us today for a free quote. We look forward to working together and becoming more agile, mobile, and (potentially) hostile!

The Value of Wireframes in Website Design

why wireframing is important

If you have a business, you need a website. Customers begin judging a business and its website as soon as they find it. Maybe the website is completely new. Maybe you’re redesigning an existing site. Regardless, you know you’ll be designing, building, and launching something new. As you embark on the journey to building your new website, the right planning and process can save you tremendous time and money. And if you’re committed to creating a website to help your business, the most valuable part of a web design process is wireframes. 

Websites can be incredibly flexible. The opportunity to find creative, unique solutions and experiences on the web can be exciting but also overwhelming. Where do you start when you want to create a website? There’s so much to think about when building a website. From how a user navigates from page to page and element to element. 

Wireframes are Flexible

That flexible complexity of the design and use offers so many opportunities for failure in design. And while having a website is compulsory for any business these days, well-designed websites stand out, help develop customer relationships, and build your business.

Poorly designed websites give customers an excuse to give their money to a competitor. 

With the value of a well-designed site so clear, it stands to reason that the fundamentals of design and the help of qualified experts can pay-off in spades. When it comes to your business, if you plan to go cheap on your website, you might as well just go home. 

website design fundamentals

Source: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/06/following-a-web-design-process/

The five milestones mentioned above are important but it leaves out the necessary attention to the design step. Wireframing is found in the design stage, which is a make-or-break milestone for any website. Wireframes align the website owner, designer, and development team on what will be built, how, and why. 

Why Wireframes Are So Important to Website Design

Without the agreement and clarity of wireframes, there will always be a gap between what was intended and what was created. Even a great idea for a website can fail if the team building the website isn’t aligned around a clear and comprehensive plan. And that’s exactly the function of a wireframe. Not only do you have to plan accordingly, but you have to make sure you’re following guidelines you may have not thought about earlier. 

Wireframes give structure, guidance, vision, and purpose to the designer and architect. They ensure that everyone knows where and why each part of the site exists and how the parts work together. Skipping this crucial process step can leave everyone involved feeling disconnected and lost. When people don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing, it’ll cost you time, money, and sanity.

Let’s talk about what wireframes are, how they work, why they’re the backbone of website design. 

Bad Web Design Equals Bad Experience

frustrated web design

If you’re running an eCommerce site, users are often showing up to your online store with their wallets out. A bad experience on your site is like a negative interaction with a staff member in your storefront. Confusing layouts, poor navigation, and more can lead to a bad experience that sticks around.

In a study by Akamai, “88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience” and “64% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with their site visit will go somewhere else to shop.” So it’s clear that the majority of customers who don’t like a website will go somewhere else to spend their money. Yikes!

More often than not, companies skip the wireframes step as they deem it unnecessary and time-consuming. Had they invested in wireframes in the early stages of their website design, problems could have been identified: pages that were cluttered, page connections that looked like spilled spaghetti, and a lack of general organization or purpose. 

How Do Wireframes Help?

So how would a wireframe help?  If you Google “what’s a wireframe” you’ll come across countless articles all using the same metaphor. “Just like you have blueprints for a house you have wireframes for the construction of a website.” And the reason you’ll find that comparison almost everywhere is because it’s a solid description

Wireframes layout in black and white where everything is, how they connect, and how they function. They function just like blueprints for a house and like blueprints, they’re best when designed by a knowledgeable, experienced, expert.

You wouldn’t want your painter drawing up the blueprints for your house. You’d want an architect. 

The same goes for wireframes. Understanding how websites, code limitations, and user experience all play into designing a website. Add to that understanding what the owner wants to accomplish, with a set budget for build, design, and launch, and you have a very complicated but crucial part of your website design.

Skipping or skimping on wireframes is a surefire way to torpedo any web design project.

So don’t. 

What Do Wireframes Accomplish?

blueprints

OK, we got the how and why out of the way. Let’s talk about what a wireframe should accomplish. 

What

A wireframe will define the pages and structure of your site. This framework will show everyone what all the pieces are. It will outline what is text, image, and action. Showing the design and build team every component and where to put it in relation to the other pieces.

How

Once all the pieces are identified, a wireframe will also show you how they work together. Identifying things like what happens when you click a button and where it takes the user. It will explain if a user sees a pop-up or a redirect. This crucial element is how the design and development team understands the user experience.

Who

Once everyone knows what’s to be built and how they can assign the who to each part. Once people know their roles and responsibilities, they can provide accurate quotes for time, expense, and possible roadblocks.

From those three wireframe outcomes, the project can be fully realized for its scope. You’ll understand what your actual budget, timeline, and the finished product should resemble. You’ll understand how you’ll get there, who’ll contribute, and what they’ll each do.

That’s why skipping the wireframing step any website design process is such a risk. Without it, any design team, regardless of their qualifications or experience, will work without the guidance and alignment they need.

Getting Wireframes

getting wireframes

Ok, I hope I’ve finally sold you on the value of wireframes. So how do you acquire them?

If you’re embarking on a web design project and you don’t already have someone on staff who’s knowledgeable and experienced in building wireframes, I highly recommend you consider hiring someone who is. And let me explain why.

The person who creates a wireframe for a website can listen to all the goals, ambitions, and dreams of a website owner and translate those abstract ideas into a two-dimensional guide that manifests a vision into reality.

That’s heavy stuff and it takes a special person. The reasons you need a wireframe, all those opportunities for crossed wires and misunderstandings, are the same reason not just anyone can build them.

Qualities of a good wireframe designer:

  • Translate non-tech into tech. They have to have listening skills to take what a website designer says they want and need and put that into a schematic and framework IT teams need to create that vision.
  • Identify potential gaps and cliffs. This comes from experience. A good wireframe designer makes sure all loops and paths lead to the right places and that users are never led to an internet wasteland without a way back.
  • Passion for user experience. They should have a vision for how all the parts create the user experience the website owner is trying to accomplish.

Remember, a bad wireframe will result in a bad design. Good wireframe designers are worth paying for. Find the best person you can to help you build your wireframes. It’s absolutely an investment.

Here at Atiba, web design is one of our specialties. We not only work with wireframes but all parts of the web design process. Reach out to us today for a free quote!

 

How to Do a Local SEO Audit in Under an Hour

local seo audit

If you’re a local business, one of the most important things you need to do is build up your local SEO. Local SEO is a bit different than regular SEO and while the broad strokes are the same, the nitty-gritty is going to vary slightly.

That’s why you need to perform a local SEO audit. You can take the pulse of your current standings on the web while also looking at what your direct competitors are doing. Running an audit can sound scary, but it really doesn’t have to be. In fact, we’re going to tell you how to do a local SEO audit in under an hour.

Let’s get started.

What’s the Point of a Local SEO Audit?

The goal of any local business is to improve their organic rankings. According to HubSpot, only 25% of Google searches will advance past the first page. If you’ve got your business ranking at the top page, it’s no doubt that traffic, clicks, and eventually, customers will increase.

An audit is there to help you figure out where you’re standing and what you need to do to improve. If you see yourself ranking lower than you want, which of these steps can you focus on? If you’re ranking high, what can you do in order to stay there? What is going to set you apart?

Your audit is not going to solve all your problems. It’s going to get you started on the right path but this is the first step towards success.

Step 1: Don’t Freak Out

When people run audits on their websites, they can sometimes get overwhelmed by the number of things they feel like they should be doing immediately. If pages aren’t optimized and listings aren’t perfect, then your site is bound to fall into the depths on Google and never be seen again, right?

Wrong.

An audit is a part of the process to give you a comprehensive local SEO strategy. From your audit’s findings, you can lay out what has to be done and what steps should be taken next. Don’t feel like you have to rush in and fix everything immediately. Take the time to make those changes and best improve your rankings.

So, what are those steps?

Step 2: Layout Keyword Research

keyword research

Keyword research can be a lengthy process for big websites but for local sites like yours, it doesn’t have to be a giant ordeal. That’s because your website should be focused around a few search terms in order to zero in on your audience.

One of the best free tools to start out with is the Google Keyword Planner. It can tell you keyword volume and difficulty for ranking for a specific keyword. You do have to create a Google Ads account to make use of the tool, you can access it without paying.

If you’re willing to pay, there are a few other options such as SEMRush, Brightlocal, Moz, and Keyword Finder which can help you find certain keywords and terms related to your business. Many of these services offer free trials, so you can test the waters to decide if you want to pay or not.

For example, if you were running a local plumbing business, you might want to target keywords such as:

  • Plumber Nashville
  • Nashville plumber
  • Nashville plumbing service
  • Best plumber in Nashville

Once you target some of your keywords, you’re going to want to move onto the next step.

Step 3: Competitor Research

One of the most important steps during a local SEO audit is checking to see what exactly your competitors are doing. How do you expect to outrank them if you don’t know their strategy?

You don’t have to deep dive into each competitor, but you should know who you’re competing against to start. If you’re not sure, start by Googling the keywords that you came up with. From there, make a list of the top 5-10 competitors in your niche. That number could vary based on things like location, local area, and more.

You should be looking at things like:

  • Their GMB profile
  • Rankings for the KWs you’ve selected
  • Local listings
  • Review count and presence
  • Basic social media presence

Most of this information can be taken right from a quick Google search. It’s best to put it into a spreadsheet so you have a bird’s-eye view of everything.

Step 4: Audit Your Google My Business Page

Get ready to see the acronym GMB so many times it will make your head spin. You can’t do any local SEO without making sure you have a proper GMB page.

If you don’t have a GMB page, then it should be one of your top priorities to make one as part of your local SEO strategy. For those that already have a GM page, what should you be looking for? Your quick checklist should include:

  • HIGH-QUALITY Images related to your business (we cannot stress high-quality enough)
  • Correct category and sub-category
  • Description and proper keywords (750-word maximum)
  • Hours of operation
  • Any relevant information (menu for restaurants, basic Q&A, etc.)

If you don’t have any of these items, make sure you add them to your to-do list of things to take care of. Having all of those properly listed will not only give potential customers all the information they need but will also help build up your local SEO and improve rankings.

Step 5: Check Out Your Links and Citations

links and citations

There are plenty of things that determine your ranking on Google, but one of the most important is the number of links you have pointing towards your website. The more links you have coming from high-authority, relevant domains, the better it’s going to be for your business. On the flip side, if you have lots of low-authority domains pointing towards your website, that could be hurting your rankings.

But how do you check out the quality of your backlinks? The tools listed above also have backlink checkers, but Ahrefs offers a free trial of their backlink checker tool. You’ll be able to plug in your domain and check out how your links look from a quality and quantity perspective.

Along with the topic of links, you’re going to want to check out your citations. A good citation is one that has the following criteria:

  • Lists the NAP (name, address, phone number)
  • Uniform across all citations
  • Placed on high-authority websites

When we say uniform, that means uniform. That means ‘street’ isn’t the same as ‘st.’ or ‘Nashville Plumber Service’ isn’t the same as ‘Plumber Service Nashville’.  When it comes to finding citations, BrightLocal is a great tool to help you manage them. Run your business through their checker and see where errors may be popping up.

For adding citations, should you just blast your business listing everywhere? Most certainly not. In fact, there is a list of the top citation sites where you should be building out your business listing.

Step 6: Review Your Reviews

One of the most important parts of running a business is garnering online reviews. Over 90% of Americans say they trust online reviews, so having a few one-star reviews may send your business cratering.

Do you have a lot of reviews? If you don’t, what can you do to get more reviews? Are you responding to reviews?

Responding to reviews is a way to show Google that you are an active business that continues to participate and pay attention to your customers. In fact, it’s a sneaky important ranking factor. For your reviews, make a plan on how to obtain more of them and the best way to respond to customers who aren’t satisfied.

Step 7: Get Started on Your SEO Plan

Now that you’ve gone through the audit, it’s time to start laying out your plan. You’ve done the groundwork and now it’s time to start taking actionable steps. As you move onto the next part, it’s important to remember a few things.

The first thing to remember is patience is key. SEO is a long game and it will likely be months before you start seeing yourself climb the rankings.

The second, which goes hand-in-hand with the first, is to not get caught up in daily rankings. We often see people get frustrated because they search for their service and city and don’t see it climbing up. Be dutiful, smart, and celebrate the baby steps.

Conclusion

Performing a local SEO audit may seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do all of these steps in just under an hour. Remember, this is just an audit and not a list of things you need to do immediately. Proper SEO takes time and while you may want to see results right away, a thorough audit is the first step to climbing in the rankings and seeing more results.

Here at Atiba, we perform SEO audits and a larger number of other SEO services. We can look at your local SEO and also do a complete audit including analytics, links, in-depth competitor research, and more. Reach out to us today to schedule a free SEO audit and start achieving the rankings you want to achieve!

What are the Benefits of Cloud Migration Services?

cloud migration services

If you’re responsible for the storage, strategy, or maintenance of business data this post is for you. Because in the new digital, work-from-home, buy everything online world we live in, you probably need a cloud strategy for your business data and servers. Cloud migration services provide savings, flexibility, security, and simplicity to all kinds of businesses. Let’s talk about how. 

The Future is Cloudy

Rat Race is an all-time silly comedy. One of the characters, Nick Schaffer, says, My grandfather used to say that good things take time, but great things happen all at once.” Midway through 2020 and people are still trying to decide if things are changing all at once or if it’s taking time. Regardless, I think it’s clear to many people that things are definitely changing. 

The way we work, shop, socialize, memorialize, are all changing. Increasingly, what we see is a dependence on digital lifelines to connect us. Businesses who can create reliable, helpful, and effective solutions for their customers and employees will inevitably fare better than those who don’t. 

There are many ways that businesses create those digital solutions, but one of the most powerful and most helpful is by utilizing the cloud.

Let’s talk about how a solid cloud strategy can benefit almost any business. We’ll start with a quick overview of what a cloud solution is. Then, how cloud solutions save businesses money. Finally, we’ll dive into what you need to do if you aren’t already using cloud solutions for your business. 

How Cloud Migration Services Help Your Business

Just what are cloud migration services? How do they connect with cloud solutions? Amazon, one of the most prolific cloud service providers, has a great definition

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

It’s hard to believe that people still keep money in their mattresses. While you could put bundles of cash in your mattress, they probably won’t be as safe as they would be in a bank. 

Even though a bank could cost you a little money for the service, your money will be protected from looting, nibbling mice, housefires, or a lack of space. Additionally, if you need to send or transfer money, it’ll be much easier to go to a bank instead of digging around in your bedding. 

The cloud lets businesses keep their digital valuables (systems, data, etc..) in a secure, accessible, and scalable space that is safe from disasters and thieves.  For many of the same reasons you don’t want to keep your life savings under your mattress, you should consider keeping your business servers and data on the cloud. 

Let’s dive into how a cloud solution can provide business savings, security, and flexibility. Let’s look at cost first, because, after all, money talks, right?

 

Space

Let’s start with space you’ll need to store data and servers.

Even modern equipment, as sleek and compact as it is, takes up space. For almost any business, space costs money. Paying for a box to sit on a shelf in an office probably isn’t the best use of your business dollars. If the “location, location, location” motto holds true, then you’re likely also paying a premium for space to hold your data and servers

Utilities

The boxes that already cost you space are heating up that space, too. In order for servers and data systems to work properly, they must be effectively cooled.

This means you’re going to have to crank the AC and invest in infrastructure to keep those boxes happy. If you ever got upset because someone left the fridge door open while they tried to decide if they were hungry, you might want to draft up a will before you check your utility bill in summer for in-house data and server equipment. 

Staff

staff consulting cloud

Once you get into on-site data and server territory, you’ll quickly discover that setting-up and maintaining that equipment takes knowledge and time. Because it isn’t just plug-and-play. If you want an in-house solution, you’re going to have to look for custom solutions.

Which likely also means custom software.  Which will likely lead to additional costs in staffing and or consultants.

Even if you don’t hire full-time employees, you’ll likely need to contract part-time experts. The average salary of a data specialist can run you $93,750 a year! YIKES! 

Disaster

If all your business data and systems rely on the equipment in your office, you’re in trouble if that place ever floods, burns down, collapses, or is seized.

Real trouble.

If you can’t get to your systems or data, you’re probably not doing much business. Having redundancies and backups only works if those are securely stored in different locations. The backroom may feel separate but won’t be separate when the building burns down. 

You might also have SLAs (service-level agreement) with customers about how quickly you’ll be restored and running again if anything ever does happen. So in addition to being out equipment cost, an inability to do business because you don’t have data or systems, you might also face fees and penalties for missing deadlines and agreements.

That’s gonna sting. 

Equipment

If space, utilities, and staffing aren’t already barriers to an affordable solution, then equipment might be the straw to break the camel’s back. One estimate puts the price of purchase and installation can easily run into thousands of dollarsDepending on the number of servers your business needs, you could be looking at a significant upfront cost. 

And here’s the fun part. The lifespan of that equipment might be shorter than you think. Some recommendations give server and data equipment a 3-5 year lifespan

Stretch equipment to make it last beyond its lifespan will cost you additional maintenance costs.  One source estimated that “servers reaching that 5-year mark have an estimated increase of 200% service cost.” Double Yikes! 

Sizing 

When businesses make plans, flexibility and adaptability are crucial. Unfortunately, your physical equipment just doesn’t provide that level of flexibility.

Imagine you had a business where your entire staff came into an office every day and worked off shared resources stored on a server they could only access from the office. In an age where remote work is becoming more of the norm, do you have a plan in place?

What if you own a brick-and-mortar store with limited eCommerce action? With a huge shift to eCommerce, can your server adapt its capacity to handle such a change?

2020 taught us that changes like this can literally happen overnight. We can go from needing very little computing power to doubling, tripling, quadrupling our needs. Unfortunately, we can see the inverse. We can go from needing a ton of space and resources to only being able to afford a fraction of what we could a month ago.

Businesses choose cloud services because you can make those changes immediately and remotely. Physical hardware has limitations of time, space, resources, and knowledge. Making rapid scaling changes can be difficult, even impossible.

Cloud Solutions Might be Your Solution

OK, so you’ve decided that because of all the reasons above, cloud solutions are perfect for your business. How do you begin the process of utilizing cloud services? How do you move all the data and systems you had on servers and databases? How do you decide which cloud services you need?

Step One: What’s Most Important

deciding what's important

Decide what’s most important to your business. The migration process is no small undertaking and listing out your most important assets is crucial.

For some businesses, data (like customer information, employee files, inventories, etc). For other businesses, systems are the priority.  Ask yourself: “If I couldn’t get into my office/shop/building tomorrow, what would be the most important thing to gain access to first?”

Step Two: What’s it Worth?

This tricky but important step. Once you figure out what’s most important to your business, try to assign a price point for it’s value to you.

If you lost it tomorrow, what would it cost you; what would you pay to replace it? If you’re honest with yourself in this step, this figure might surprise you.

Step Three: Get Help

If you’re not techy, this is a good time to get help from an expert. That might be an in-house employee or it might be time to contract some help.

While cloud services will allow you peace of mind, flexibility, and greater accessibility once their set-up, it takes knowledge and experience to create a strategy, migration plan, and maintenance program. An expert will not only help you plan and implement your cloud solution, but they can also help you assess and plan for set-up and maintenance costs.

There are many pricing programs to consider and it’s worth a little planning ahead of time for the best solution based on your needs.

Cost Questions

As you work with your expert on what you need, here are a few questions you should consider:

  1. What do you need to move to a cloud service (a system, data, or both)?
  2. How much space will you need?
  3. How will you be billed to migrate (by the hour, by gigabit, etc.)?
  4. Ongoing Cloud Service charges
    1. Will you be billed for each backup/sync/user?
    2. Will you be billed for each gigabit?
    3. Are there other ongoing or incidental charges?

Those questions will be a good foundation to understand what your investment will look like. Even if you start small, moving only essential business to cloud services, you might find in time that the flexibility, security, and other advantages of cloud solutions outweigh the cost. Many businesses do.

Here at Atiba, we specialize in cloud solutions, including migrations and maintenance. We can help you lay out a cloud migration strategy. Our experts have plenty of experience in working with businesses of all sizes to find something that fits your needs and helps you accomplish your business goals. Reach out to us today for a free quote!