The cloud has been a hot topic of discussion over recent years and one that has encompassed both small businesses and large enterprises. There is no shortage of proof-points around the benefit of cloud computing and as such, for many business owners it is no longer a question of ‘if’ they move to the cloud, but ‘when’ they move to the cloud.
According to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) many organisations have already made the move. Cloud adoption rates of small to mid-sized businesses in the UK have grown from 54% to 82% in the past year with 67% of users expecting to increase their use of the cloud over the coming year.
So, for any organisation deliberating on ‘when’ they should move to the cloud or if they should move more of their infrastructure to the cloud, we thought we would take a different approach and look at the implications of delaying your migration.
Why servers & storage is a poor investment
Every 12-18 months the power of computing doubles while the cost either falls or remains flat. This means that if you have a server that you purchased four years ago, today’s equivalent server would be eight-times more powerful. Why do we need so much power? Quite simply because the applications and usage of technology is growing at the same exponential rate.
Purchasing servers and hardware is no longer a smart move. First, most purchases are over-specified to take into account future capacity needs, meaning you are investing upfront in something you are not immediately utilising. Second, the rate of change is driving businesses to reduce the write-off period for computing investments and therefore increasing monthly depreciation provisions.
If you are poised to make an investment in new servers, an upgrade or additional storage – why would you do this when you are able to effectively rent the computing power you need from the cloud?
Why in-house technology is holding you back
Your capacity is limited by your in-house infrastructure whether that be the amount of transactions that systems are able to handle or the number of users that can be supported by your platforms. If your business is growing, then sooner or later you are going to run out of runway.
The challenge is accurately planning and provisioning the capacity you need whether this is straight line growth or unpredictable peaks in demand, and if you get this wrong, what is the cost to the business? Surely, the benefit of being able to flex up and down on computing power in the cloud makes more sense.
Could you better utilise your IT team?
Whether you have an established IT team or a single person looking after your systems while doing their other job, it is highly likely that over 90% of their time is spent just keeping the lights on. Very few IT teams have the luxury to explore new solutions, help users to better use the technology you have or drive innovation in the business; they simply spend their days fire-fighting and maintaining existing systems.
By moving to a managed service cloud you remove this burden today. You gain economies of scale of someone else’s IT experts taking care of your systems, freeing up your people to add more value to the business and avoiding the need to expand your in-house team.
Are you delaying a productivity boost?
Today very few businesses operate out of a single location; whether you have remote sites, a network of stores/branches, or have remote workers you need to support users anywhere, anytime. Whereas your in-house systems may serve your central office workers well, how capable are they at supporting remote staff? What is the impact of a remote worker being unable to access the applications or data they need, or a branch-office not having real-time access to centrally controlled information?
Extracting systems from your office and making these accessible to everyone from the cloud enables your people to be better connected and far more productive. Are you stalling on gaining these benefits?
Are you adequately addressing security & compliance?
According to Government figures, over half of UK businesses suffered a security breach over the past 12 months and this was as high as 66% amongst mid-sized businesses. The threat of a security breach is very real to every company and whereas the cloud was perceived as widening a company’s exposure, today it is most definitely a way to reduce risk.
Ask yourself, what is more security, a server in your comms room or your customer data being held in a highly secure UK data centre managed to ISO 27001 information security standard with all of the latest cyber security protection? With new legislation such as GDPR imminent, companies have to increase their in-house security or make the move to the cloud now.
A disaster waiting to happen
If you are still unconvinced that the time is right to move to the cloud, ask yourself the question, what would happen if your business was without its systems and data for a day, a week or several weeks? What would the cost impact be? Could your business survive such a disruption?
Most businesses do not have redundancy built into their systems; they do not have the luxury of a second server standing by if the primary server fails. The cost is too high and what is more, if disaster strikes the comms room, it is likely to take out both servers.
Today every business is dependent on their IT infrastructure to operate and the cloud delivers the resilience required without the investment in redundancy. Virtualised cloud infrastructure distributed over multiple data centres removes single points of failure and cost effectively delivers a solution far more robust than an inhouse environment.
So when is the right time to migrate to the cloud?
The answer is yesterday. In almost every case a migration to cloud will deliver a reduction in Total Lifetime Cost of Ownership (TCO) for your IT infrastructure. In addition to this you instantly realise the inherent benefits that the cloud delivers including resilience, reduced management overhead, flexibility and scalability, and improved security and compliance.
Taking the first step is easy; we work with organisations to map a journey to the cloud that is right for them. Those with existing infrastructure, we are able to migrate this into our data centres and provide a managed service. For those looking to refresh their technology, we are able to architect a solution that delivers a highly flexible virtualised private cloud environment.
If you would like to pick our brains on your options to moving to the cloud, or want to explore one or more of the points raised above, please give the amatis networks team a call on 0118 321 9944 or visit our website www.amatisnetworks.com.