There’s no question that organizations are migrating more workloads to the cloud in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons vary, however.

A global LogicMonitor study of 500 IT decision-makers conducted in May and June 2020 found that organizations are moving to the cloud to enable remote operations and gain access to IT services that will drive innovation. An ESG research report published in June 2020 found that 84 percent of organizations are increasing their use of cloud services to reduce costs due to economic conditions.

A recent TechAisle survey found that 47 percent small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are using cloud-based services to become more agile. Additionally, 41 percent of survey respondents said cloud computing enables them to introduce new products and services more quickly, and 40 percent said the cloud increases productivity.

The cloud can deliver all of those benefits, but many organizations are rushing to the cloud without a well-defined strategy. Unless you determine the results you hope to gain from the cloud and how you plan to implement cloud services, you may not achieve the expected return on investment.

Not Just an IT Issue

The cloud has often been touted as the ideal IT model for SMBs. It enables them to access enterprise-class applications and services without large capital outlays while reducing the burden of maintaining IT infrastructure. It also enables SMBs to gain competitive advantages and respond more rapidly to changing customer demands.

In order to reap those rewards, however, organizations need to develop the right framework for cloud adoption. In the Cloud Success Barometer study conducted by Unisys, 37 percent of U.S. business leaders said they had not seen improved organizational effectiveness from moving to the cloud, and 34 percent said the cloud had not met their expectations for driving innovation.

In contrast, 78 percent of those for whom cloud is core to their business strategy said that organizational effectiveness had improved significantly or moderately. Clearly, the cloud is not just an IT issue.

The Right Approach

One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is trying to migrate everything to the cloud. While some applications perform well in the cloud, many will need to remain on premises. Organizations need to carefully evaluate which applications and services can move to the cloud, and ensure that they have the right skill sets to manage both cloud and on-prem environments.

Once candidate applications have been identified, organizations should carefully evaluate cloud services in terms of cost, scalability, performance, reliability, security and more. Migrating to the “wrong” cloud can be an expensive mistake that results in significant business disruption.

The next step is to develop a migration strategy. Organizations need a policy-based approach for determining which users need access to each cloud and how that access will be managed. They also need a plan for migrating data and protecting it from loss and exposure.

SSD has the experience and expertise to help you plan your cloud migration. We will meet with key stakeholders to determine business objectives and identify operational concerns. We will then develop a phased approach focusing on applications that can be migrated easily with a rapid time-to-value. Whether you’re migrating to the cloud due to COVID-19 or simply to become more agile and efficient, SSD is here to help you optimize the process.