Switching to a cloud-based file sharing solution is an important decision. Here are some tips to help your clients make the transition to such a solution with ease.

January 7, 2014

3 Min Read
4 Tips for a Smooth File Sharing Transition

By Michael Brown 1

Switching to a cloud-based file sharing solution is not a decision your clients take lightly. Data security, compliance, integration with in-house systems and processes – these are just a few of the things they are likely to worry about during a transition. If this were just some generic business tool (e.g. new instant messenger) it wouldn’t be much of a concern. But for many industries, secure file-sharing is now a mission critical part of daily operations.

So if you’ve been tasked with managing this process (as you mostly likely have been), here are a few pointers to share with your clients as they make the transition:

Tip #1: Know what problem you are trying to solve. Many companies – especially those in data-sensitive industries like healthcare, finance and retail – understand the benefits of a business-grade file sharing solution in theory. However, many companies fail to document (or communicate) the specific problems they would like to achieve or specific areas in need of improvement. Maybe it’s cutting costs by a certain percentage, or increasing productivity by a certain figure. If the client has specific goals and expresses them clearly in the initial phase, they will be ready to measure them as soon as the new system is in place, which leads to our next pointer…

Tip #2: Monitor metrics that matter. It's not always easy to measure the effectiveness of a new business tool or process. But with cloud-based file sharing, the positive results can be seen as soon as the system has been deployed. For this reason, it's important for your clients to make a prioritized list of metrics to monitor on the rollout. These metrics will of course vary from company to company. If the company isn’t interested in the details of technical improvements, it could conduct a post-launch survey among employees to gauge the level of satisfaction with the new system versus the old system. The bottom line: make sure they are measuring something.

Tip #3: Involve other key stakeholders. As an MSP, you might only interface with a select few within an organization. If this happens, there’s a chance the system you are rolling out is designed to meet the needs of this group and not those of the entire organization. Do your best to make sure that other departments have been involved in the decision-making process. This will help ensure that you don’t get any last-minute feature requests (or complaints) from departments that were needlessly kept in the dark.

Tip #4: Make time for training. Generally speaking, cloud-based file sharing tools (yes, even the business-grade ones) are more intuitive and easy-to-use than their home-grown, on-premise counterparts. Even so, your clients are accustomed to the “old way of doing things”, which makes thorough training a must. It’s important to work with your clients to ensure they have set aside enough time to on-ramp the entire company (or applicable departments). If done effectively, this will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Have a few tips of your own? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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