A woman sitting at a table outside, drinking a soda and using a tablet.

Is your company ready for the cloud? Take this quiz to find out!

Okay, everyone, it’s time for a pop quiz! Be sure to turn all cellphones off, pull out a No. 2 pencil, and keep your eyes on your own paper.

Answer the following questions to find out whether your company is ready for the cloud:

1. Migration Is Hard Work. Are You Ready?

A.) Our team has prepared a migration plan and is ready to commit the necessary time. The cloud service provider is ready to import our virtual machines.

B.) The team is ready, but our cloud service provider has yet to specify the support it provides for the synchronization of data and potential ad hoc changes.

C.) Due to a heavy workload, migration will mainly be a one-person show, but we expect the migration to run smoothly.

D.) Our team is more of a “go with the flow” type.

2. What Happens When Things Don’t Go Precisely As Planned?

A.) Our environment is prepared to keep legacy and new cloud implementations in sync and is ready for failover should the transition prove more difficult than originally thought.

B.) The applications being moved into the cloud are not mission-critical, and as such, they do not require a contingency plan.

C.) A recovery plan has yet to be finalized in the event migration fails.

D.) We’ve hidden away our migration plans in a small R2 unit should the Empire’s attack succeed.

3. Have You Communicated Migration Plans to Affected Users?

A.) Communications have been sent well in advance of actual migrations. Clients and internal users are aware of the procedure, and any potential downtime has been allocated and communicated.

B.) Clients have been notified of the transition, but hard details and associated downtime have yet to be worked out.

C.) Communications are being drafted now and will be sent out as migration plans become more concrete.

D.) PSAs are being broadcast on C-SPAN as we speak.

4. Have You Addressed All Potential Cloud Needs?

A.) Our cloud business is fully explored, with everything from communication systems to application servers assessed. We know exactly which aspects of our organization will benefit most from cloud services.

B.) We’ve addressed the most pressing needs within our business processes and will continue to explore other cloud opportunities as time and budgets permit.

C.) This is our first foray into cloud services, and we’re starting small with a single business process. We’ll reassess at a later time.

D.) Google Docs has us covered!

5. How Well Do You Know Your Data?

A.) We’ve acquired a detailed view of our environment’s data, along with the compliance requirements it’s subject to. We’re prepared to line up these requirements with the abilities of prospective cloud service providers.

B.) We have a pretty good idea of what kind of data floats through our systems and will look into any regulation needs when the time comes.

C.) No data will be sent outside of our on-premises infrastructure.

D.) We have our financial data sitting in flat text files ready to be emailed to our cloud service provider!

6. How Complex Are Your Current Workflows?

A.) The workflows and business processes we use are typically complex in nature, with a fair amount of repetitive tasks involved. We crave automation!

B.) While certainly complex, the workflows that drive our organization are very hands-on, custom processes.

C.) Our workflow processes are incredibly simple and run flawlessly under our current architecture.

D.) Our recently deployed carrier pigeon initiative has fully automated our business processes.

7. Do You Understand the Relationship Between Hardware and Applications Within Your Environment?

A.) Our environment has successfully documented — and in many cases, abstracted — the dependency of critical applications from the underlying hardware. The needs of our applications are met by our cloud service provider’s hardware.

B.) After identifying hardware dependencies of critical applications, some critical pieces of software require a new migration strategy to ensure a successful integration.

C.) Our environment is mostly composed of custom applications heavily dependent on specific infrastructure.

D.) The applications in our environment are tightly integrated with the Raspberry PI ARM architecture they run on.

8. Why Are You Moving to the Cloud?

A.) Our organization has identified important business processes that need an extra helping of agility, flexibility, and scalability.

B.) We’re looking for creative ways to cut IT costs.

C.) Our data center is at capacity, and we’re in need of more resources and disaster recovery sites.

D.) We recently upgraded our iCloud accounts and have tons of free space to use!

Answers:

  • Mostly A’s: Congratulations, your environment is ready for the cloud!
  • Mostly B’s: While you’ve still got some work to do, your cloud business is headed in the right direction.
  • Mostly C’s: Chin up! Though your environment needs some foundational help to get ready for the cloud, at least you know where you stand.
  • Mostly D’s: You’ve got quite the sense of humor, don’t you?

So, does your business make the grade? The cloud is changing how companies work every day — preparing for it should be every organization’s homework.

Visit Vonage Business to learn more about what cloud services can do for your organization.

About Joe Hewitson

With a degree in applied computing technology and over a decade of experience in the IT and software development industries, Joe Hewitson has his finger on the pulse of cloud technology. From developing communication applications for the cloud to deploying VoIP solutions in enterprise environments, he’s seen it all. The one thing Joe loves more than staying on the cutting edge of cloud and VoIP technology? Writing about it.

Linkedin  |  Twitter

Two men and a woman sit at a table for a meeting.

If your New Year’s resolutions involve breaking down silos, invite other teams to your meetings.

Here at the beginning of the year, it’s easy to poke fun at resolutions — like when you see the onslaught of newbies at your local gym. But there is something about this time of year that makes people want to be better versions of themselves over the next 12 months.

However, some resolutions tend to be too vague or predictable to make a meaningful difference in both personal or professional lives. So, instead of resolving to be a better leader in your CIO role or to be more organized, consider adding these four tangible New Year’s resolutions to your list:

1. Focus on the Integration of Technology and Marketing

You will only have a job as a CIO if your company makes money. And the way that you make money is to have effective marketing. However, the most sophisticated and effective marketing tactics these days are supported by technology that it to the next level through data analytics, automation, and even augmented or virtual reality.

Yet no matter how brilliant your marketing department is, it likely does not have the skill set to do everything on its own. By bringing ideas to the marketing department about how it uses technology to learn more about customers, your entire company will win.

2. Integrate Technology and Advanced Features into Your Business Communications System

Phones are no longer just for calls. If your employees still view them this way, you’re really limiting the productivity of your company. A great step this year would be to change your company’s mindset from that of a telephone system to a communications system. Follow this with a to-do list that may include adding video conferencing, call recording, visual voicemail and many other features to your company’s communication system.

3. Reduce Silos and Create Cross-Functional Teams

Your IT department used to be separate. And back then, people mainly cared about IT when something didn’t work. However, these days, nearly every business function includes IT, as nearly everything your department does affects others in the company. It often only takes one C-level employee to change the mindset of a whole company, which will likely dramatically affect customer satisfaction, productivity, and the quality of your products and services.

When your team has meetings, start inviting other departments whose skills can improve your projects. On the flip side, strongly encourage other departments to include IT in their projects from the beginning, not as an afterthought — as much as people love going a meeting to recap what happened at another meeting. It often only takes a project or two for everyone to realize the benefits of having cross-functional teams from kickoff to launch to make a permanent change.

4. Enable Employees to Work On-the-Go

When your customers take the time to contact you, they assume your employees have the technology to respond right away. Companies that delay responding to potential customers and assisting current customers can end up losing business to others that have quicker response rates by letting their employees work on-the-go. By providing technology that lets your employees answer emails and phone calls from whatever location works for them, you’ll make your employees and your customers happier.

That’s the essence of technology-driven unified communications, which allows employees to have one user profile that sends texts, emails, or phone calls to whatever device they happen to be working on. Because employees often log in after hours, you can increase productivity with virtual desktops that give them the exact same access and tools that they have at work. Team members can use mobile devices to perform the same functions, regardless of whether they’re in a motel in South Dakota before a business meeting or waiting for their bus to weave its way through rush-hour traffic.

By taking the time to develop actionable New Year’s resolutions that will truly make a difference for your company, you can improve both your standing in your company and your company’s standing in the market.

For more information on how to start 2017 on a roll, contact a Vonage Business representative.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

Linkedin  |  Twitter

All Features

Looking to make your phone system even more powerful?View our series of VoIP features.

See All Features

Making
Global Calls

Reach out to international clients with affordable international calling rates.

View International Rates