17 March 2022
3 Reasons Your Business Should Transition To The Cloud – And How To Do It
Over the past five to ten years, even before we encountered a global pandemic, business IT was already undergoing profound change. Most businesses had adopted some cloud technologies, whether just the occasional app or a more comprehensive transition. It would be easy to find dozens of reasons to embark on this journey, but to keep it simple, here are our top three.
The security landscape changes by the day. More people are now working remotely, more devices are connected, and cybercriminals have access to increasingly sophisticated technology and methods. Attacks have reportedly increased by more than 50% since the pandemic began, with small and mid-sized businesses often especially vulnerable.
On premises solutions are typically refreshed every five years, and that leaves large gaps in technology advancements. Sure, the servers put in place a couple of years ago get security updates, but the underlying technology hasn’t moved on. As we all know, a lot can happen in a few years. Vendors are clued into this, which is why most now concentrate on cloud solutions, and that accounts for most of their investment and innovation.
A prime example of this is Microsoft 365’s evolution. New security features are added frequently, it is designed to integrate so that all your favourite apps and tools integrate beautifully, and it is easily managed via a single pane of glass. To get that level of integration with on premise technology would mean buying more products, and using more skilled time, which costs more. It also is far more likely to leave the occasional loophole for cybercriminals to exploit.
Today’s workforce is accustomed to getting new features as soon as they’re available. We have high expectations, and when our business devices fail to keep pace with our smartphones, we become impatient. Cloud software is continually evolving, and it is easier for vendors to release new features and improvements. Often user feedback and productivity are surveyed, and monitored, giving vendors a wealth of user experience knowledge.
A lot of these improvements centre on greater flexibility, mobility and collaboration, three of the most important factors for raising productivity. Integration also benefits as vendors find new ways to link your cloud applications and data together for reduced data entry.
3. Future Capability
Usually, when users start out with a new software platform, they only use a fraction of its capability. This leaves a huge opportunity for businesses to get more from their investment. As users gain confidence, they can start exploring advanced capabilities, finding ways to automate workflows and reports, and reduce manual data entry.
It can be especially valuable to identify power users, providing them with extra training and access to vendor events, so that they can spot the opportunities most relevant to your business.
How Do I Move to the Cloud?
Treat your transition just like you do any significant business change and create a plan. Start with a review of how well the current software fits your organisation’s needs, and question how it will support the business in the future. Gather user feedback, consider what others in your industry are doing, and define what would be the ideal outcome.
This planning stage can benefit from an external view – we find that often when our cloud specialists ask the right questions, a lot of valuable insight emerges.
Once you have the above data, research possible options. Compare your current capability to that available in newer platforms. Source demos to make sure the reality lives up to what is promised. It is a good idea to ask for reference checks from others who have embarked on a similar journey – any reliable technology partner will be only too happy to connect you with other customers.
Once your decision is made, build an implementation plan. Appoint an overall project manager who has sufficient time to devote to the project. The project manager can allocate roles, and make sure everyone stays on track. It is important to be realistic. One business we worked with had set a target of moving 100% to the cloud within a year but 18 months on, they were only 20% of the way there. After completing a Business and Technology Alignment process with TechPath, we were able to identify the most logical way to progress, and they reached their target in under six months.