By enabling cost-effective access to enterprise-class services and solutions, cloud computing can level the playing field for small businesses. The problem is that many of these businesses don’t fully understand the rules of the game.
Cost-effective, user-friendly and extremely flexible, the cloud presents an enticing alternative to the cost and management burdens of on-premises infrastructure. The Tech Adoption Index finds that SMBs have been particularly enthusiastic about Software-as-a-Service solutions for accounting, communication and productivity apps.
While the benefits are tangible and cloud adoption is on the rise, surveys show that SMBs still perceive cloud services as being very confusing and technically challenging. Business owners often take a leap of faith into the cloud with no clear understanding of the potential pitfalls, nor with any overarching cloud strategy in place.
A recent AppDirect study shows that while a majority of small businesses want to use more cloud-based applications and services, nearly three-quarters say they are overwhelmed by their choices and need help. When it comes to purchasing decisions, a whopping 85 percent said they would prefer to talk to a real person who can help them and answer their questions.
Technology decisions are, in fact, complicated — even for business people who have a pretty good understanding of IT systems. Shared dependencies in the IT stack make it tricky to introduce new apps and services. For example, a CRM application might be integrated with marketing databases, accounting, web applications and more. Without proper preparation, migrating to a cloud-based CRM solution can interrupt workflows and create data silos.
That’s why it is a good idea to work with a team of experts who have proven experience in guiding SMBs toward the cloud.IT pros who combine technical expertise with business acumen can help you choose cloud services and platforms that are most likely to address your specific business objectives without making a mess of your existing systems.
A good technology partner can assess your current infrastructure to ensure that any potential cloud migration can be properly supported.An effective assessment process will identify and prioritize exactly which applications and workloads can be migrated easily, which may need to be redesigned or replaced, and which are better off remaining in-house.
The process involves assessing every application across multiple characteristics, including cloud objectives, technical feasibility and risk. The assessment also should establish a clear business case, identifying specifically for each individual app why migration will deliver value and competitive advantage. An assessment will also help determine which cloud deployment model — public, private or hybrid — is most suitable, based on application requirements and business objectives.
Once the decision has been made about which applications to move to the cloud, the next step is to conduct a cloud layer assessment to determine where each application should reside. For example, if an organization only wants to manage end-users, they would choose a SaaS model. If the organizations wants greater control over the software, but seeks to offload system implementation and maintenance, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model might make more sense.
Assessing workloads, designing migration plans and migrating to a targeted cloud computing model is a demanding endeavor. SSD’s consultants and engineers have a deep understanding of the various cloud models as well as the assessment and migration processes. We help our customers with the rigorous preparation required to ensure cloud migrations that deliver the desired benefits.