How much money do you have at hand? How much of your total worth do you keep “on you?”
Before the Great Depression, the answer might have been all of it. Banking was an enterprise for the fairly wealthy. Banks could speculate with members’ accounts, even go broke! So many Americans stored their worth in cash, their possessions and valuables. Today, an average person maintains a bank account or two, credit cards, a Venmo account and perhaps an online trading platform for investments.
It’s neither practical nor advisable — or scalable — to keep your net worth in cash on your person.
Why would businesses handle their data and computation any differently?
Cloud computing moved the hardware of computation off-site. The product is still there, on your screen, to be indexed, shared or printed, but the processing and storage is remote. Any business with moderate to strong computing and information systems will see the benefits of cloud solutions quickly, if they haven’t already. The biggest companies have already migrated: the latest RightScale State of the Cloud report shows 84 percent of large companies (1,000 or more employees) have a multiple cloud computing strategy.
Business technology solutions from security to communications are as likely to be “hosted” by a third party as your boss’s car is leased from a company.
Cisco’s Global Cloud Index illustrates American businesses making a steady, steep climb for workflows delivered over the top of an Internet network — the business cloud. One of the chief assets is Software as a Service (SaaS) — the same great programs (Microsoft Office Suite, Quickbooks, etc.) you used to get in boxes at Best Buy now come by way of subscription and login. SaaS providers were preferred by about 60 percent of offices by the end of last year. Meanwhile, on-site solutions — hardware and hardcopy software — dropped to 28 percent, down from 44 percent just five years earlier.
A cloud migration strategy that tamps down organizational interruption requires consideration and process execution that we’ll get to in a moment. (One of the first questions is, migrate everything or continue hosting some things on-premises?)
First, consider the three chief reasons an overwhelming majority of companies are reaping the benefits of cloud service.
- Capital The business cloud may help you shave costs in two ways. First, there is no capital outlay, no infrastructure investment in software as a solution. Second, if your shop is big enough to have an IT staff, contracting for SaaS will free technical support to focus and assist the business. (If your shop is smaller still and hasn’t any IT professional, SaaS is more valuable yet because such support becomes a primary benefit of the subscription.)
- Scalability Unless you’re Google, storage and platform options in-house are pretty much finite. But the business cloud is infinite. For both, the range of services and price points can scale a small- or medium-sized business up to a higher tier of competition. (Don’t forget the corollary! Should a business scale back operability, SaaS does, too, with little lost investment.)
- Updates and backups Your business isn’t data storage and software. Therefore, each software update, software bug or hard drive crash subsumes your core business. Most good enterprise cloud service providers automatically bring you leading-edge improvements, as well as fixes. What’s more, the best enterprise cloud service providers are geographically diverse and safeguard core business cloud services against unforeseen disasters with redundant data centers. Conversely, more than half of small- and medium-sized businesses don’t have a backup plan for data loss.
- BONUS: Mobility Adopting software as a service enables organizations to be connected with their target markets by empowering staff to access applications anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection.
The key to unlocking this transformation is onboarding SaaS and business cloud services in pieces.
Oh, but to go back to when the company was new! Each choice a shopper’s delight because, well, before this there was nothing. Complete SaaS adoption? Why, of course!
No such luck for legacy businesses. They need a cloud migration strategy, one that undertakes an inventory of apps and platforms and processes. A complete cloud-readiness assessment.
Ensono and IBM cloud‑migration services offer very thorough assessment guidance and advice, but there are many others and many cloud migration strategy reviews.
But begin with the applications and processes that migrate easily. Consider economic pain points, as well as technical advantages.
The easiest adoptions may be business software or a unified communications solution, such as Connected Office UC, that makes keeping in touch with clients and each other truly a mobile, customizable asset.
There exists firms and tutorials designed to put your unique business through a proper cloud migration assessment.
The Cloud-Optimized Network
If you decide to migrate more complex services off-site, begin to migrate voice and communication lines or stick with on-site control (after careful consideration!), the cloud will continue to grow in size and cost-effectiveness for a range of American enterprises.
Celebrate — and accelerate — the benefits of cloud solutions with a transformed network connection. Kinetic Business SD-WAN optimizes application performance, simplifies network management and eliminates downtime. Learn more.