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