Should Your 5-Year Plan Include Cloud Computing?

Should Your 5-Year Plan Include Cloud Computing?

Microsoft has previously published end-of-life dates for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Exchange Server 2010 – set to occur in less than five months. As a result, more and more software applications are moving to the cloud and many organizations are looking to make the migration to cloud computing.

According to 451 Research, 90% of companies are “in the cloud” in some capacity. Furthermore, experts say 60% of workloads will be running on a hosted cloud service by the end of 2019.

When a company goes beyond “curious” to a point where they are strongly considering adopting one or more cloud solutions, understanding the business cases (the “Why” as Simon Sinek would say) involved in migrating processes to the cloud can be much more involved than one might think. It comes down to taking a deep dive look at where you want your company to be in five years and then assessing if one or more of the cloud-based options are right for you.

In this article, we’ll share with you the “Whys” of the cloud, common roadblocks to migration decision-making and how an expert assessment can make all the difference.

The Business Cases

Whether it’s your data backup, emails, financials or line-of-business software applications, cloud computing is offering more and more scalable options to business owners. When a company decides to adopt a cloud service, what is the most common trigger benefit? Although saving money is a good incentive, it’s not necessarily a good reason.

According to a recent survey conducted by Sysgroup, the main drivers for companies are:

  • Providing access to data anywhere (42%) – desktop virtualization is a very popular service with employees traveling further and for longer and companies becoming more global, remote and connected.
  • Enhancing disaster recovery capabilities (38%) – companies depend on their IT infrastructures. Without it, activity grinds to a halt. The cloud's scalability enables companies to have confidence in a recovery plan that minimizes the impact of a disaster.
  • Enabling better flexibility (37%)
  • Reducing the support burden on IT staff (36%) – managed IT services are an extension of a company's IT team, allowing them to focus on other key activities within the business.

When it comes to costs, providers charge for cloud computing services based on the features, storage, number of users, time, memory space and bandwidth to pull data locally, among other factors. With guidance from a trusted managed service provider, businesses can choose a package that suits their productivity needs as well as their budget. However, a full cost analysis is recommended to ascertain if, in fact, cloud is the best option financially and logistically over the next five years.

The Roadblocks:  Privacy and Security

Despite the many advantages to cloud computing, the path to migration is littered with obstacles.

According to both LogicMonitor and IDC, the top concerns for all companies, especially for ones that store sensitive data and have to adhere to stricter compliance regulations, are:

  • Nearly two-thirds of organizations see security as the biggest challenge for cloud adoption. They find managing privacy and data protection in a cloud environment to be more complicated than on-premise.
  • Privacy and regulatory issues, along with governance and compliance ofcloud services, worry more than 60% of enterprises.
  • One of the lesser knowncloud computing facts is that more than half of organizations lack staff with cloud experience. This constitutes one of the primary challenges for cloud

Nevertheless, according to Gemalto, 53% of companies aim to increase their cloud security using various techniques – like multifactor authentication.

The Assessment Essentials

Cloud migrations require expertise. A plan for cloud needs to start by fast-forwarding to your 2024 goals and working backward. Custom, expert assessment by a certified, experienced professional team is critical to accurately determine your longer-term technology needs and guide you down the right path for your business.

An assessment should include, but is not limited to:

  • Prioritizing your business cases for the move
  • Reviewing your current vendors to ensure they support the cloud
  • Understanding your current hardware and planning for any transition adjustments
  • Identifying the business processes that will require adjustments due to a migration
  • Diagnosing the resiliency and speed of your ISP
  • Breaking down Capex vs. Opex expenses
  • Evaluating for redundant firewalls and ISPs

Take Your Next Steps with Network Tech

Switching to the cloud requires expertise to do it right – the first time. The Network Tech guidance team represents hundreds of years of combined networking know-how. Contact us online or by phone at 913-538-7700 to schedule your assessment. If it makes sense for your business, we will discuss what it takes to migrate to the cloud.