In recent years, cloud computing has rapidly grown in popularity. Spurred by a desire to reduce IT costs, increase efficiency and improve flexibility, more businesses are opting to move their infrastructure to the cloud. In fact, by 2025, experts predict that 85% of enterprises will have a cloud-first approach.
Migrating data to the cloud offers a number of benefits, including:
- Streamlining of business operations.
- Access to a variety of online tools, such as internet-based phone services and online cloud fax solutions.
- A more secure, affordable and scalable solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
But despite the numerous benefits, cloud migration isn’t without its challenges. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the process of migrating to the cloud, the benefits of doing so and how cloud fax services can benefit your business.
What Is Enterprise Cloud Migration?
The way that companies share data internally has changed drastically over the past several decades. Before computers became widely available, paper copies and filing cabinets allowed companies to create, collaborate on and store information.
As files became digitized, the space required to store them and how quickly they could be duplicated and shared changed. Companies began relying on in-house databases, as well as tools like copiers and scanners that made it possible to move their files to the cloud.
The cloud is the next revolution in how businesses operate. Enterprise cloud is a computing model that enables businesses to store their data online, streamline their digital infrastructure, access virtual IT services and take advantage of online services like faxing. This latest revolution in how data is stored, used and shared allows for faster, more streamlined workflows and lets employees collaborate from anywhere.
What Is Driving Cloud Migration?
The many benefits of cloud migration are spurring the growing number of businesses making the move.
- Having your business’ data stored on the cloud and providing access to automation services makes it faster and easier for employees to get access to the tools and data they need.
- The cloud streamlines collaboration, so employees from around the world or in separate offices down the street can work together more effectively.
- Moving from an on-site storage solution to cloud-based storage offers major cost savings.
- As your business grows, scaling your cloud resources is easier, as well as more flexible, than with other storage solutions.
- Cloud expenses can be adjusted to fit your business’s current budget.
- Most cloud infrastructure options today provide top-notch security to keep your business’s sensitive data safe from the growing threat of ransomware and other forms of malware.
What Are Some of the Common Cloud Migration Challenges?
Making the move to the cloud offers plenty of clear benefits. But this doesn’t mean that businesses won’t face some roadblocks along the way. Which challenges your business may face will depend on your unique situation, as well as your strategy for migrating. Some common challenges businesses face include:
- Lacking a clear strategy from the start, which means that different applications and sets of data are then being migrated individually. This can cause delays and slow down the process.
- Not having a plan can also cause costs to swell, as new tech and applications are added as needed without considering overall spending.
- Depending on the industry, another big challenge may be ensuring compliance during the transition to the cloud. For instance, HIPAA privacy rules require that extra care is taken to ensure data security and compliance at all times, including when migrating data to the cloud.
What Does the Cloud Migration Process Look Like?
Much like the challenges that businesses face, the cloud migration process will vary for each. But to guarantee a smooth transition, businesses should follow some similar steps when moving to the cloud.
Step 1: Planning
The first step is to create a cloud migration plan. Planning ahead helps you clarify your company’s “why” for moving to the cloud. With this information solidly in place, you can then make decisions about which applications or technology to invest in, which data needs to be transitioned first and what security measures you may need for data protection.
This approach can help with cost optimization, as your business can take the time to consider which applications and services to invest in first, and which can wait.
Step 2: Migration
The next step is the migration itself. With a plan in place, you can transition each department or data set individually and smoothly, and be ready for each set as it comes.
Step 3: Upkeep
The final step in a successful cloud migration strategy is to have a plan in place for ongoing upkeep. Having the right cloud migration tools is essential to ensuring that data is safe and secure and that your business’s workflow isn’t interrupted during the process. This includes having a backup system in place to protect you from data loss, as well as a security suite to safeguard your data and infrastructure from malicious actors.
Can You Fax from the Cloud?
Besides making it easy to store and access data, migrating to the cloud also opens up new opportunities to take advantage of web-based technologies that can save your business time and money. Cloud faxing is one such technology.
Traditional faxing is time-consuming, costly and prone to delays and breakdowns. Fax machines—and especially aging ones—must be serviced frequently. When they go down for maintenance, your business is left without a way to send or receive faxes.
For businesses in certain industries, like healthcare, traditional fax machines also pose a security risk. After sending patient data, anyone could walk by and pick up that data from the fax machine. You’re also tied to the fax machine, which means tracking down another machine if you need to send a fax while away from the office.
But cloud-based faxing offers a solution. With a cloud-based fax server, you can get rid of your outdated fax machine without giving up a vital form of communication for your business. Enterprise cloud fax solutions are just one of the many tools that businesses can add to their cloud migration strategy.
How Does Cloud-Based Faxing Work?
Cloud faxing skips the traditional fax machine and instead allows users to send faxes via the internet, using your regular email account. Rather than having to run your fax through a traditional machine, you can upload, scan or create digital documents, then send them via an app or web browser to your recipient. The fax-to-cloud process is quick and easy and can be done from any device, from anywhere, with no fax machine or office space required.
To send a cloud fax, you’ll first need to create an account. You can do so by downloading your fax app or opening your online fax service in a web browser. After creating your account:
- Select your document and add a fax cover sheet.
- Add the fax number of your recipient or select one from your saved numbers in your account.
- Hit send, and your fax is instantly sent to the recipient.
Cloud fax adoption can be a quick and seamless part of your business’s cloud migration.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Fax Services?
A cloud fax service offers a number of clear benefits over traditional faxes. First off, you’re no longer tied to a machine that needs upkeep and maintenance—not to mention the associated costs—or that requires you to be in the office to use it. Instead, you can send faxes from anywhere, at any time, as long as you have access to the cloud.
As your business grows and you find that you need to send more faxes, cloud faxing enables you to scale your faxing capabilities with ease. Whether you need to add more users to your online fax account or scale the number of faxes you’re sending out, an online fax service eliminates many of the hurdles you’d face with a traditional fax machine, like increased maintenance, the need for additional machines or the domino effect of downtime.
Making the Move to the Cloud
Whether your business is looking to cut costs or preparing for future growth, making the move to the cloud is an important step. If you’ve already migrated, now is a great time to consider adopting online faxing as well.
Start your free trial today to see how eFax can help you revolutionize how your business sends and receives faxes.