Most technology professionals would agree that cloud computing is here to stay. With advancements in cybersecurity and a clearer understanding of how the cloud functions, a large number of businesses will refine their IT strategies and implement cloud-based solutions this year. In fact, recent studies from the International Data Corporation show that spending on cloud solutions has increased more than 20% over the last year. Here are four methods for adopting cloud in 2018.

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Before reevaluating your cloud strategy for this year or beginning the process of migrating to the cloud, it’s essential to consider how the cloud has evolved and will continue to evolve throughout the rest of 2018. Here are four strategies and suggestions on how to carry out your plan for migrating to the cloud successfully.

Start With Your Basic Business Data

The simplest way to begin integrating cloud-based solutions into your business is to start with the small stuff, such as email and data storage. For many companies, it’s likely you’re keeping your documents safe and secure on an external hard drive or other data storage device. The cloud is an easy and quick alternative to a hard drive that cannot be lost, broken, or stolen. Previously, many companies avoided using the cloud because of security concerns. However, cloud security is better than ever and will only improve moving forward. While data breaches have happened in the past, they resulted in cloud companies taking steps toward improving their security. In fact, many would now argue that it’s safer to keep your data in the cloud than on an external hard drive.

Invest in Cloud Migration Services

Moving your data to the cloud may seem like a daunting task, but there are services and vendors available that assist with the migration of your information quickly and securely. With this in mind, finding a cloud vendor that offers this service, or even paying for a cloud migration service is well worth the investment to save your company time and ultimately money by making sure the cloud is implemented properly. These companies are able to create a cloud strategy specific for your needs, which can alleviate stress on your IT department if they don’t have an appropriate level of resources.

Consider Using a Hybrid Cloud

Aporeto CEO Dimitri Stiliadia predicted that hybrid clouds will become more prevalent in 2018. The term “hybrid cloud” is fairly flexible in its definition, but essentially, it’s one that utilizes both a public cloud provider and a private cloud platform or private IT infrastructure. The public cloud operates independently from the private cloud or private IT infrastructure, but they communicate with each other for the portability of data. This structure is beneficial because hybrid clouds allow for more control over the individual components and increase flexibility in terms of movement of information. Your company will have more control over where particular information is stored, meaning your data will be easier to manage and more secure if it’s primarily kept on the private cloud network. If you have the capacity to use a hybrid cloud, the flexibility and customization alone makes it worth considering as a solution.

Phase in Cloud Migration Over Time

Thought-leaders haven’t shied away from weighing-in on cloud migration either. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd is well-known in the industry and is advising companies and prospective customers that while the industry is gradually migrating to the cloud, it’s important to not rush it. Although cloud usage is growing rapidly, cloud solution companies like Oracle are still offering on-premises software, as opposed to pressuring customers to make the shift to the cloud immediately and completely.

Although cloud usage is growing rapidly, cloud solution companies like Oracle are still offering on-premises software, as opposed to pressuring customers to make the shift to the cloud immediately and completely

This approach is great for companies as it puts their needs and current capabilities first. It’s incredibly important for companies to take their time discovering exactly what level of cloud-computing service is best for them and to take their time transferring their data.