As your organization grows and changes, so do your IT needs.
Leverage digital tools, like the cloud, to create a more agile work environment for your IT team and users. A professionally-designed cloud solution will provide the modern workplace required to meet the IT needs of your business and it’s employees.
Let’s explore some of the top reasons to move to the cloud:
1. Elastic Cloud Storage
Migrating to the cloud provides organizations the ability to grow or shrink infrastructure resources as needed, meaning you only pay for what you use.
You don’t have to worry about paying for more resources than your organization is using at any given time.
A cloud solution doesn’t require you to install and maintain additional on-premise hardware. Additional infrastructure resources are readily available when you need them so you can rapidly expand or reduce processing, memory and storage. This helps reduce the burden of predicting and planning for peak demand on your system.
For many organizations an elastic cloud solution just makes sense. Although, elasticity might not be the best fit for organizations that don’t experience demand surges or cycles.
An excellent use case for elastic cloud computing is the retail industry. Retail organizations typically experience higher demand on their systems during the holiday season. With a cloud solution, retailers won’t have to pay for permanent infrastructure additions when they would only be needed for a few months.
Remember, you only need to pay for what you use and additional resources are available right away when you need them.
2. A Modern Workplace for Users
Collaboration is often a top reason organizations consider moving to the cloud. A good choice for collaboration is Microsoft Office 365, which offers the integration of email, Office apps, identity and access management, file sharing and sync, among many other features for users to connect and collaborate. Over 25 million people are currently using Office 365 to help modernize their business.
Another major benefit of cloud collaboration is version control. Users can work on the same document simultaneously with all changes being saved and tracked in real time. This eliminates multiple versions of documents and time spent emailing about consolidating changes.
Cloud-based phone systems – called Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) – allow you to pay one monthly fee and your system just works. Maintenance and updates are handled for you.
With UCaaS, you can stay in touch from anywhere on any device. Collaborate through SMS text messaging, chat with teams, make video calls and manage calendars, all in one app.
3. Cloud Cost Management Tools
Cloud computing technology has infinite resources and allows development and testing teams to provision server and storage resources in just a few mouse clicks. It's efficient and easy to spin up new environments. However, if not managed well, costs can increase rapidly.
Pro Tip: Use software to manage environments by setting limits, sending alerts and cleaning up unused resources.
4. Cloud vs On-Premise Application Hosting
Moving applications to the cloud simplifies internal IT because now server, storage and operating system software doesn't need to be installed locally. It also doesn't require the maintenance and upgrades that on-premise applications need. Cloud applications only require a browser and can be accessed from anywhere saving time and money by cutting client software installation on individual PCs and avoiding hours of deployment, upgrades, troubleshooting, etc.
Pro Tip: When moving applications to the cloud:
- Identity management can be cumbersome because usernames and passwords are separate from and different than those used for your internal network.
- Easily accessible data will need conditional policies stating when, where and who can access the data.
- Plan the application migration to meet the needs of your security and business.
5. Reduced Burden on Internal IT
Moving to a cloud solution can help remove tedious day-to-day tasks from your IT team.
Eliminating time-consuming tasks from your IT team’s workload elevates your staff to work on strategic projects that have huge positive impacts on the organization. If your IT staff isn’t bogged down by swapping power supplies and fixing cables, they’ll be able to do more impactful work.
Empowering your IT staff with a cloud solution can lead to increased employee satisfaction and help you avoid the headache of finding, hiring and retaining top-level talent.
6. Cost Efficient and Stable Cloud Storage
Moving to the cloud provides an easy way to archive data without investing in an on-premise infrastructure.
Many organizations are moving infrequently accessed data (archive data) to the cloud to meet compliance regulations. In the past, tape storage was a common way to store data offsite, but the technology itself had a lot of issues, such as managing tape rotations, constantly changing technology and deterioration of tapes in storage.
The issues of the past have created an opportunity to introduce cloud-based storage options. And while cloud technology and the benefits of cloud computing are new and exciting, asking the right questions for your organization is vital, such as:
- Does your backup software integrate with cloud storage?
- How much data needs to be moved to the cloud? Can your internet connections support moving that much data?
- Do you have retention policies for how long data should exist in the cloud before being deleted?
- If you need all that data back from the cloud, how do you get it back quickly?
Pro Tip: Start with a thorough discussion on cloud storage strategy and business goals before implementation to ensure the right fit and avoid any surprises.
7. Enhanced Security without Add-On Applications
Encrypting data at rest and in motion is much easier when using cloud technologies. Encryption is native to the cloud and doesn’t require third-party add-on applications like many on-premise solutions.
It should be noted, though, moving data to the cloud is a shared responsibility. While the cloud provides the tools to encrypt and secure data, ultimately it is the responsibility of the cloud user to properly implement and follow best practices in order to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.
Most businesses are dependent on computers and their network to operate. Adopting a cloud solution enables disaster recovery by automating offsite backups so you can minimize downtime in the event of a disaster. Because your data is stored on a cloud server, you remove the need to have an infrastructure for physical storage.
8. Switch to an Operational Expenditure IT Model
The cloud gives your organization the option to keep your IT efforts as OpEx as possible.
Flexibility and agility are key in the IT world. Classifying IT expenses and operational expenses allows quick adaptability to the market and your unique needs. With an elastic pay-as-you-go solution, you won’t be locked into a long-term contract. If you’re not happy with your current provider, it won’t be a hassle to switch to a new provider.
Another benefit of the cloud is that your organization won’t be stuck with unused equipment or an over-built system. You don’t own your cloud services so you’re not responsible for maintenance. Your IT staff won’t have to waste time working on your infrastructure, so they’ll have more time to pursue projects that grow business.
9. Rapid implementation and time-to-value
Cloud implementations can be rapid relative to on-premise variants. For instance, an on-premise implementation could take three months, while a SaaS application of the same relative complexity and scope would only take two weeks. When organizations can deploy their key applications quicker, the return on investment and impact are also realized more rapidly.
Implementing a cloud solution also helps work around supply chain issues. Because the cloud doesn’t require equipment to be installed locally, you can spin up additional resources rapidly without waiting months for new servers to be delivered and installed. Servers are instantly available when you need them.
Migrating to the cloud makes sense for many companies. Keep in mind the benefits of cloud computing can only be realized through successful migration. Working with experienced cloud experts will help you smoothly transition to the cloud. Loffler understands the challenges organizations face when migrating and we'll work with you to make the process seamless. Contact us today to get started.
Joe is the Executive Vice President of ITSG at Loffler Companies, and has been part of the Loffler IT leadership team since 2015. He has a deep background in enterprise software with experience spanning the areas of Unified Communications, Workflow Automation, Contact Center, Collaboration and ERP/SCM/WFM. A little known fact? Joe used to be the drummer in a blues band called the Electric Trane.