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Moving Cloud Gets Real

SMB Cloud Tipping PointCloud Computing is reaching a tipping point for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) as the number and value of cloud-based applications and systems surpasses those running on site. Beyond email, SMBs use Software-as-a-Service solutions for customer relationship management, operations, finance, customer service, and vendor/supply chain management. SMBs want better integration between SaaS solutions and custom-built solutions to further enhance operations, marketing, sales, and the bottom line. Over the next few years, bots, machine learning/AI, and business intelligence will become the norm for SMBs as well as larger enterprises.

SMBs are moving core systems, infrastructure, and services to the cloud.

If all you have left on premise are your Active Directory services, some of your file and print servers/services, and a few business applications, moving your remaining IT services to the cloud makes sense. You can provide the same applications, data, and services without maintaining the physical infrastructure while enabling better integration of systems, processes, and information.

3 Strategies

You have three basic strategies to choose from when moving apps and systems to the cloud:

  • Beautify
    • Also referred to as “lift and load”, this strategy works best when you have (1) a custom-built application; (2) a customized system that cannot migrate to the vendor’s SaaS offering; and/or (3) a solution you do not want to further modify or rebuild as a cloud app.
    • In this scenario, we create cloud-based networks and servers to host and run your existing systems “as-is” with remote, secure access.
    • This option is an effective interim step to a more complete cloud solution.
  • Buy
    • In this scenario, you “buy” a SaaS solution from your current software vendor or move from your existing system to a new SaaS solution.
    • Your ability to “buy” depends on the capabilities of the SaaS solution(s) versus your current system usage and needs. For example, many businesses find that the SaaS version of Quickbooks lacks features and reports that they need an use.
  • Build
    • As the name implies, build means you are replacing an app or system with a new, cloud-based solution.
    • With the current evolution in bots, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and tools, many of your existing processes can be automated by cloud-native services with little or no traditional programming.
    • No-code and low-code solutions are the wave of the future.

Next Steps

Which strategy, or combination of strategies, is best for your business depends on several factors, starting with business goals, objectives, and priorities. Current capabilities, needed features/functions, competitive positioning, internal culture, cost, and value all come into play. When you properly plan and execute your cloud migration, you should see tangible and intangible benefits.


Contact us to discuss the possibilities and opportunities for your business.


 

Myth Busting Monday: Cloud Migration is Too Much to Manage

Office365-Logo-and-textMany SMBs, when considering a move to the cloud, feel overwhelmed by the prospect of migrating.  Considering the amount of data and the capabilities of platforms like Microsoft Office 365, we understand your apprehension.

You Can Be Up and Running Quickly with Your Data in Place.

You do not need to go it alone. Our job is to help you every step of the way with information, expertise, experience, and tools.  We map out your migration, mitigate downtime and disruption, and provided the level of assistance you want and need.

For many organizations, we manage the entire migration project. For others, we assist with the planning and provide tools, training, and support as your team moves the data and on-boards your users.

We can also help with adoption, ensuring your team will be working effectively on day-one. Our live and self-paced learning tools get your team up and running and highlights the potential that comes with new and connected apps and services.

With the right level of expertise and support, your cloud migration will not be an overwhelming exercise. Your users will learn, adapt, and excel as you simplify your IT and expand your horizons.


This is the fifth of a multi-part series designed to help companies better assess the opportunity and value of cloud-based solutions. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation Cloud Advisor session to discuss your priorities and plans.


Keeping Cloud Migrations Affordable

redmoney
A silent trend in cloud computing for small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) is the rising cost of migrations and data integration.  While many cloud computing costs have dropped, the cost to get data into the cloud continues to rise at a steady trend.

The reason for the increase is complexity. 

SMEs are moving more workloads and more data into cloud solutions. These systems and data must co-exist and work together as well as they do on-premise. Where 12 to 18 months ago, SMEs were moving email, calendaring, and contacts into the cloud, today SMEs are also moving complex file systems and, in some cases, key line of business applications. It makes sense that moving a user’s full environment is more costly than moving just email.

Is Value Increasing?

Even though costs may continue to rise, the value of moving should rise even faster.  Moving multiple workloads and data sets to cloud should support key business objectives and should lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over time. The value proposition is unique to each SME and should be considered when looking at broad cloud adoption.

Mitigating the Cost of Migration

Structuring your cloud migration to maximize near-term and long-term value delivers an ROI on the change that should cover your migration costs.  Even so, there are steps and you can take to mitigate migration costs.

  • Bundle migration efforts into a single project, even it requires multiple phases
    • You will benefit from an economy of scale.
  • Work with a service provider than can handle or manage all aspects of your project
    • Ask the service provider about the range of migration tools it will use for the various aspects of the project.
    • A good partner will prevent you from having to learn multiple migration tools, particularly for a “one time use”.
    • You will benefit from a more efficient project with more predictable results.
  • Look for migration costs on a per user or per system basis, not on a per GB basis
    • For most migrations, the cost to move the data is not the major factor.
    • Tool licensing and expertise are the cost-critical factors.
    • A migration structured on the value of expertise and tools will be more cost-effective

With some up-front analysis, a focus on value, and a properly structured engagement, you can get the most value while holding the line on cloud migration costs.


Let’s discuss your cloud migration plans. Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.