Simple and fast deployment, centralized management and a well-stocked toolbox lead to increased capacity, flexibility and above all, savings. Cloud computing, like any other mature technology, is often mistakenly thought to be easy to master.
Yet, you’re still not sure? Although your managers are increasingly urging you to shift to cloud computing, you’re well aware it will involve many organizational changes. Plus, there’s just not enough time in the day, and there’s the severe shortage of skilled workers and always something more urgent to do. Don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal to have reservations. It’s always best to think before you make a move.
Unlike many companies that shifted their business activities to the cloud on their own, you can avoid making a fundamental mistake: underestimating the importance of planning. That may sound simplistic, but switching to cloud computing is no different than any other project. It requires preparation. It’s important to prioritize the target benefits and set realistic short-, medium- and long-term goals.
Do you have to build a business case, but don’t feel you have the expertise to do so, let alone the resources to tackle it? Take a look at this white paper for some pointers.
Tangible, measurable and progressive benefits
Your executives care about meeting the company’s business objectives. They want their strategies to hit and exceed these targets. Your job is to evaluate what your company would gain by using cloud computing, and decide on the steps to make it happen.
IT asset forecasting simplifies lifecycle management
One of the many benefits of cloud computing is that you’ll never again have to deal with the end-of-life of your servers and their software. And, better yet, you won’t have to replace them. By eliminating conventional onsite infrastructure, you’ll save on electricity as well as hardware upgrades and maintenance. This decision makes even more sense with the ongoing shortage of raw materials and delivery turnarounds that are just getting longer and longer. Switching to cloud computing usually implies a pay-per-use model, which avoids over-allocation of resources and, ultimately, prevents waste. The cloud subscription model gives you access to the latest features and makes it easy to modernize your services. By transforming part of your CapEx budget into an OpEx budget, you can spread out your investments over time and better manage your costs.
Sharing the responsibility of safety and compliance
A comprehensive cloud environment has tens of thousands of servers with thousands of security experts keeping the infrastructure robust and safe. We also provide integrated and specialized tools to guarantee the protection of your company’s resources. The extensive resources put at your disposal guarantee peace of mind for a fraction of the cost.
However, remember that keeping your information secure in the cloud is a responsibility that should be shared between your service providers and your team. Access control, data protection and recovery, and response plans are all key elements. To learn more, take a look at Microsoft’s very comprehensive article on the subject.
At any time, a client, partner, or regulatory agency can hold you accountable for compliance. Act 25, PCI, GDPR, ISO are examples of regulations that govern various aspects of your business. It can get confusing pretty quickly, but know that cloud providers are aware of and adhere to all these infrastructure compliance rules. This will save you a lot of time when, for example, you want to proceed with an acquisition that requires a compliance point you didn’t need to meet before. But this is yet another opportunity for you to stay ahead of the competition!
Agility positions you advantageously
Business agility is paramount in a global economy where all companies, regardless of their size, must compete with the giants at some point. Only a cloud-based environment allows you to play on a level field, since it makes all the resources you need to run your business available on demand.
You’ll be able to efficiently serve and manage 1 million users on Monday, then drop down to 100 on Wednesday, and still receive a bill that reflects both use cases. Accessing dynamically managed resources, on an on-demand basis, is a major competitive advantage that helps you deal with the unexpected.
Cloud computing allows you to focus on innovation—your best tool for advancing your business and, above all, for standing out from the competition. Emerging technologies are lining up at the entrance. Take, for example, the ever-greater presence of connected objects and the rapid ascension of AI in tools, such as ChatGPT, that can no longer be ignored. Cloud computing can help you quickly work these technologies into your business to open up new areas of activity and gain market shares.
Companies expanding organically or through mergers and acquisitions can evolve quickly and integrate new technology far more easily with cloud computing, thanks to its rapid deployment, automatic scaling and flexible data management. And all this can happen at your company’s pace since the only delay is how fast you make decisions!
Meanwhile, your end users can access applications, files and emails, as well collaborate with others, wherever they may be. Given current labour shortages, taking your business online with cloud computing lets you find employees regardless of their geographic location.
Modernization and its many options
Moving your business to the cloud is just one step. In order to maximize the benefits and significantly improve your organizational performance, you’ll need to go through a modernization phase. No matter the strategy you choose (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DaaS), the goal will be the same: to update your processes, systems and tools to more recent versions using best practices.
Reliability is the first step in risk management
Reliability covers many aspects, but the most relevant are the backup and restore capabilities of cloud computing. No organization is safe from security threats, like ransomware. However, your ability to quickly recover from these incidents is what will keep your organization thriving and resilient. Through monitoring tools to identify, diagnose and track anomalies, and remedy issues with minimal disruption, cloud computing offers long-term reliability and ensures your governance policy is strictly followed.
Multiple challenges, one single objective: to improve business performance
Very often, companies don’t know where to start. There are too many issues to tackle that, on the surface, don’t seem connected. These can include labour and/or expertise shortages, poor IT governance, pressure on budgets, security breaches, need for agility, and so many more issues.
Despite the many challenges you face, your objective as a manager stays the same: to significantly improve your organization’s performance. To fully integrate cloud computing, it’s best practice to work with experts in the field. They can help you create a customized flow sheet based on a systematic and structured approach that will minimize risks and maximize benefits.
Our article How to Make Sure Your Cloud Migration Is Not a Cloudfiasco delves into this recommended approach in detail.