More and more companies are moving their business to the cloud to capitalize on performance and cost benefits. Is your business, or your customer’s business, ready to move to the cloud? Below are some questions to ask to determine cloud readiness. If the answer to any is yes, then there are likely performance or cost benefits to be realized from a move to the cloud. Each question also has a brief blurb about benefits you may see or how it can impact your business.
Hardware Upgrade | Refresh
PC Refresh – Do you need to replace workstations?
If you’re coming up on a PC refresh, you should consider moving to the cloud because you can extend the life of the PC and save money because the application no longer depends on the capabilities of that PC but runs from the cloud. This gives you the ability to tailor the compute and memory capacity based on the needs of each application instead of buying larger local PCs to run the next generation software.
Server Refresh – Is it time to upgrade servers?
Instead of considering your next server upgrade, use that time to build your plan to move to the cloud. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on hardware, you can make the move to the cloud and save the capital expense.
Remote | Mobile Workforce
Multiple Offices – Do you have multiple offices?
Moving to the cloud means regardless of how many offices you have or where they are located, everyone can run applications as needed without building a complex remote access infrastructure.
Work from Home Policies – When your employees work from home, do they still need to access sensitive data or applications?
The cloud not only provides a secure way to run applications, but it allows employees to access application and data from anywhere and on any device, while keeping the applications and data secure within your infrastructure.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Do you want to enable secure BYOD policies?
From experience, BYOD allows the company to save money and makes for happier employees because they are able to use the device of their preference.
Remote | Mobile Workforce – Is your workforce remote or highly mobile?
As with many companies these days, finding ways to allow your mobile workforce to be productive and efficient is key. The cloud does just that by freeing employees of needing to be in the home office to access everything.
Economic Motivations | Factors
Transition from CapEX to OpEX - Are you ready to transition your IT infrastructure from a Capital Expenditures model to an Operational Expenditure model?
Moving to OpEx means you can easily forecast your costs and no longer have to worry about overspending when a project is late or there are unforeseen costs.
Predictable Monthly IT Budget - Do you want to have a predictable monthly IT budget?
While IT is always hard to predict, with the cloud, it can become much simpler and you can get a much better idea of what you’ll be spending month to month. In the cloud, you are paying for what you use and not what you need at max capacity, which may only be 3 hours a day.
High Growth/Scalability - Are you expecting to rapidly scale your business?
Scaling your business with an on-prem infrastructure can be nearly impossible without spending more money on what you think will be the max capacity for a few years. With the cloud, you can scale as fast and as much as needed.
Need for Seasonal/Temp Workers - Do you work with many seasonal or temporary workers that have access to sensitive data and applications?
Setting up new/temp workers can bog down IT and take them away from projects they should be working on. With the cloud, spinning up a new user can be done quickly and with little effort.
Targeting Bigger/New Customers - Are you looking to grow your customer base?
Wanting to grow and being able to grow are two different things. Keep in mind the cost to grow your customer base and if it would result in company growth.
Security Requirements - Are you looking for a solution that has comprehensive security requirements in place?
With the public cloud you are benefiting from the most secure infrastructure that continues to improve with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Compliance Requirements - Are you in a regulated industry where there are compliance requirements on data?
There are many industries that have compliance requirements for their data. If you are one of them, you can have peace of mind knowing the public cloud platforms remain up to date on requirements.
Heavy Use of Client Server Applications - Do you engage in heavy usage of applications hosted on your servers?
The cloud can make this even easier by adding additional capacity as demand increases. This way everyone maintains a consistent level of performance as the workload increases and then it can reduce the compute capacity as user demand diminishes. This provides consistent performance while giving you the ability to tightly control costs by only increasing the compute capacity when needed, thus eliminating the need to allocate maximum capacity 24x7.
Merger or Acquisition - Are you going to be acquiring or merging with another company soon?
While exciting, it can be a challenge to merge two companies who are using different systems. The cloud takes that hassle away.