The obvious and unobvious benefits of cloud – Part 1
I had a call with a large Enterprise customer of ours, and I quote:
“If you would have told me 2 years ago that we will consider moving to the cloud, I would tell you that you’re hallucinating. However 2 years passed and we are now in discussions on the best approach of cloud migration. This is unbelievable..”
This was not a surprise to me; most organizations today do not ask themselves IF they will move to the cloud, but WHEN such move will happen.
The approach to the cloud has changed dramatically during the last few years, while the large organizations had a major change during the last 2 years with a clear roadmap of cloud and 5-7 years goal of being in the cloud with most solutions.
Let’s count and concentrate on the most important benefits such organizations see in cloud migration.
Better financial accountability and transparency
Any organization looks at the bottom line, how much will it cost?
The pricing when moving to the cloud is very obvious and transparent – you pay either a monthly fee, or by amount of agents / per usage, and there are no surprises here.
However, in on premise deployment, meaning when the company is deploying everything on its own data center, there are a lot of unknowns and lack of transparency.
For example, servers that are crashing or needs replacement, networking devices such as switches that needs to be upgraded to new versions, adding RAM or CPU’s due to low performance, storage maintenance and so on. This, sometimes is not taken into account while looking at the differences between Cloud and on-prem.
In addition to the above, there is obviously the target of quite a few companies to stop investing money upfront, i.e. CAPEX model and move into operational costs (OPEX model), which is one of the main benefits while moving into the cloud. Describing the different models is a blog by itself, and if required there are a lot of sites that describe the exact differences, and I do recommend to read about it, as very interesting to understand these financial models.
Cloud migration reduces IT complexity
The more infrastructure you have in your organization, the more complex it is to support and maintain it. This is clear and I don’t think anyone can argue about it.
IT organizations that maintain such systems needs to handle the servers, networking, SW (such as operating systems, SQL etc.), reporting, virtualization technologies, backup devices, patches, facilities and more.
Obviously, while moving to the cloud, the IT will still need to handle some of the above, such as connectivity and networking, however the complexity will reduce dramatically, and such organization will be able to have its IT organization focus on other mission critical processes and goals that it can achieve.
Enable any scale business growth
Companies usually want to expand and make a bigger impact on the market and create more revenue, while providing a better service to their customers.
Think on your current processes within the organization assuming you understand that you need to expand the business, or expand the capabilities of the solutions you currently have.
You’ll probably need to add additional Servers (either physical or VM’s), storage, SW, networking rules, training for the solutions, including maintenance, best practices and much more – this take TIME…
Time that you might not have as you need to expand and provide excellent service to your customers.
Moving into the cloud, you get all of the above, it is completely transparent from your point of view, and it will be ready whenever you need it.
So, if your goal is to react faster to the market, enable any business growth and capabilities, and provide the best service to your customers, you should definitely look at the Cloud option.
Rapid deployments and upgrades
Software companies invest a lot of time and efforts for making sure the deployments of the solutions will be quick and easy. Same goes for upgrades that are usually more complex than a clean deployment.
Eventually, if you know to do it right, it can not only be painless, but also transparent.
However, no matter how much time and efforts the software company will invest to make it easy to deploy and upgrade, once this needs to be deployed on premise, it creates a leggy process of project management with people from both sides explaining what is needed, environment readiness which takes time, resources scheduling etc.
While, looking at this process in the cloud, and as it is all maintained by the software company that provides the cloud service, the process will be quick and easy, and more important completely transparent, not only to the users that need to use the software, but also to other units in the organization that have been engaged till now in such projects.
In my next blog I will concentrate on the unobvious benefits of cloud migration. Such benefits that organizations do not take into account, yet are crucial as part of the decision whether it makes sense to move into the cloud or not.