July 08, 2021

Use Case
5 min

Harness Your Small Business’s Data and Contain Costs with Public Cloud Solutions

By leveraging public cloud solutions to manage data and scale their workloads at will, small businesses can ensure they won’t be left behind.

What's Inside

By leveraging public cloud environments to manage data and scale at will, small businesses can ensure they won’t be left behind. CDW small business public cloud experts Larry Burt, Andrew Knoblauch, and Rick McCommon shared how companies can develop the right cloud solution to meet their needs. 

Right Size and Modernize Your Data Environment with Public Cloud

With small businesses increasingly turning to hybrid or fully remote work environments, migrating on-premise data infrastructure to the public cloud can be a natural complement. As some businesses look to downsize their physical office footprints, traditional on-premise data management solutions may become unwieldy and difficult to update. By migrating to public cloud, small businesses can increase agility to meet business outcomes without the need for substantial upfront capital investments.

One small business customer in the healthcare industry approached CDW to determine if they should continue to invest in their legacy on-premise environment or move to public cloud. This customer, which specializes in data management for medical practices in the Chicagoland area, was downsizing office space from 10,000 square feet to under 4,000 square feet. By doing so, the customer needed to find a way to efficiently manage critical data without all the existing hardware from the previous office.

To solve this challenge, CDW worked with the customer to right size the data environment and is progressively migrating into Amazon Web Services (AWS). That way, the customer will be able to maintain uptime of the systems required to support their end users while reducing their real estate footprint.

By moving the infrastructure to AWS, this customer will not need to change their business model and will be able to serve even more doctors’ offices in the Chicagoland area. This AWS solution also ensures redundancy, so that the customer will not experience potential data outages and their end users can feel confident that their critical patient data and files will always be available.

“I fully expect the customer will adopt and appreciate the cloud solution that we put in place,” Burt explained.” “This customer [will] to continue to grow their footprint inside of AWS. As an added bonus, I believe the level of knowledge and expertise of the people who run that IT department is going to rise exponentially. They’re going to be able to level up, and that’s a big plus for people in this field.” 

Make the Most of Limited Resources with Public Cloud Solutions

For many small businesses, cost containment and lean staffing resources are top of mind when it comes to data management. CDW’s experts shared that public cloud solutions can address these common concerns. Because public cloud solutions are easily scalable, small businesses have the option to implement data management solutions that meet their budget needs.

Similarly, migrating data to the cloud – and working with an IT consultant to do so – can ease concerns around proper implementation and ensure that small businesses set up their cloud solutions correctly from the start.

Establishing an effective governance strategy is key for managing cloud resources and avoiding unexpected costs down the line. McCommon shared that oftentimes customers will take a DIY approach to setting up public cloud environments, which can lead to expensive inefficiencies. By engaging with a public cloud consultant, small businesses can make sure their public cloud infrastructures are set up to fit their needs. It also ensures cloud environments will be properly secured and organized from the beginning. While this does involve some upfront investment, a proactive approach to public cloud implementation — and leveraging experts to help with that initial set-up — prevents headaches down the road.  

Plan Ahead for Public Cloud Migration to Contain Costs and Determine Feasibility

When it comes to public cloud migration, CDW’s experts emphasize that preparation and planning are critical for successful implementation. Burt shared that public cloud platforms are highly complex. Small businesses should be mindful that the planning and delivery of a public cloud solution, depending on the complexity of the environment, can make getting started a challenge.

To develop a successful public cloud strategy, small businesses should take the time to plan for how they can ensure their data infrastructure needs are met within the cloud environment. Burt emphasized that getting a public cloud solution up and running is not a quick fix. Rather, preparing for public cloud migration is like preparing to remodel your kitchen. In that case, you wouldn’t want to just start knocking down walls or rearranging plumbing without having a plan in place to make sure you maintain the structural integrity of your space. While HGTV shows may make home renovations seem quick and relatively painless, it’s important to note that a great deal of planning and preparation occur before breaking ground on a project.

Similarly, small businesses shouldn’t start migrating their data infrastructure to the public cloud without a carefully developed plan in place. A cloud migration plan should account for all the complexities with the environment, asses technical feasibility, and determine how existing applications and infrastructure can fit into the new environment. By accounting for these considerations ahead of time, small businesses can ensure a successful public cloud migration and save money in the long run. 

Consider CDW Amplified Infrastructure Services to Deliver on the Right Public Cloud Solution for Your Business

Whether your small business’s existing data infrastructure is on-premise, employs a hybrid model, or you have already made the move to the cloud, CDW’s cloud and infrastructure specialists are here to help.

CDW can develop a public cloud solution that allows you to create a scalable infrastructure that meets your budget requirements and gives you the flexibility to stay competitive.