How can you tell if your organisation is ready for the cloud?

The effects of the pandemic have rapidly elevated the take up of cloud services, but organisations across the board are still struggling to realise the benefits, migrate their legacy systems and manage their clouds effectively, but amidst a chronic skills shortage and a need to simplify the complex to make the cloud manageable for organisations of all sizes, an endless list of possibilities endures 

So how can you tell if your organisation is ready for cloud migration?  

1.    Your IT spending has reached a peak 

There is an upward trend on IT spending that is set to continue with Gartner predicting that worldwide spending on IT is set to hit $4.1 trillion in 2021, an increase of 8.4% since 2020. But for many organisations post pandemic, finding the cash to keep up with IT needs will be hard. It’s important, therefore, to focus any spend on areas that are going to generate long-term growth.  

Using Microsoft Azure’s open and flexible cloud computing platform, for example, combined with automated migration, you no longer need to look after and buy hardware, or pay for your own data centre requirements like power and cooling. Your IT infrastructure can be run on a pay-as-you-go basis taking away any Capex hardware costs, and you can even buy employee devices on the same pay-as-you-go basis. The short-term costs of moving to the cloud need to be weighed up carefully against the longer-term savings and increases in efficiency and productivity.  

2.    Too much of your time and attention is on ‘keeping the lights on’ your business  

60-70% of most IT budgets is spent on keeping the lights on and renewing support contracts. When you factor in the time spent by IT staff in maintaining existing infrastructure and business operations, it’s easy to see why this can cause a stumbling block for organisations.  

Preparing operations for the future of work is one of the defining problems of our time and looking at where you are spending money and resource is central to this. Outsourcing your IT to a cloud services provider who can manage it for you and who uses the latest automated services can save hundreds of man hours, freeing up your IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.  

3.    Security is a top concern 

In a recent survey of over 200 prospective customers, Ultima asked about the challenges they were facing due to current requirements for remote working. Nearly half (41%) cited security concerns as an issue and 17% cited application access. It’s this concern that is set to drive the largest spend in security the industry has seen in over a decade. 

Automated cloud services give customers a dashboard that centralises information to show what is happening in a simplified format across your infrastructure. Patching services can be automated and monitoring happens on a 24/7 basis. Not only will this save organisations hundreds of IT hours, businesses who are using automated cloud services have a 66% reduction in security incidents.  

4.    You lack a robust disaster recovery plan 

41% of businesses haven’t tested their IT disaster recovery solution in the last six months or don’t know if it has ever been tested, leaving them open to disastrous consequences. From an IT perspective, having your operations in the cloud negates some of the risk. Your cloud provider or managed service provider will have plans in place to mitigate any disaster and will regularly test the disaster recovery solution – which can be fraught with danger and complexity when doing a full test.  

The latest automated disaster recovery solutions will test your disaster recovery autonomously and include security protection and non-disruptive testing of virtual machines. As the disaster recovery solutions are built in the cloud, costs are significantly reduced compared to on-premises disaster recovery solutions as you simply pay for the services you use. 

5.    Productivity is limited by the speed of the network 

Time is money and every minute that your network isn’t performing to its fullest is costing your company revenue and profit. It also costs the morale of your workers when they can’t do their jobs properly. If you are dealing with an underperforming network, staff performance and collaboration, data gathering, and customer engagement will all be impacted negatively. 

By switching to a cloud-based infrastructure, you’ll gain access to the latest technologies and create a more resilient infrastructure. Automation technologies also mean these networks can be monitored and managed far more effectively, thereby creating efficiencies throughout the organisation as well as reducing costs. The focus can be switched to innovation and integration; which is the most valuable currency for any business. 

There are a multitude of benefits of moving networks over to the cloud, but if your organisation is experiencing any of the above challenges, those benefits could be even greater. The latest cloud technologies have the power to help you secure your revenue and reputation round-the-clock, provide immediate efficiency and productivity gains, and reduce costs.

About the Author

Scott Dodds has been in the European IT industry for 33 years and has held senior positions in EMEA and the UK with VMware, Microsoft, Acer and Compaq, before joining Ultima Business Solutions in October 2015. He has had full P&L responsibility for multi-billion dollar sales and marketing teams as well as running business operations and planning functions. His breadth of experience spans all customer segments from the largest global enterprises to mid-market and SMBs.

Featured image: ©SKD