If your middle market company is thinking about moving to the cloud, you may have questions about the solution and what’s involved in the cloud adoption process. Below, we answer seven of the most common questions that organizations ask about the cloud.
1. Why should our company move to the cloud now?
From an overall business strategy perspective, here are some of the major advantages of the cloud:
- By reducing capital investment and labor-intensive systems maintenance, cloud-based infrastructure can reduce your costs, increase cash flow and free your IT team for more strategic work.
- You can add capabilities easily and quickly as your business needs change and evolve.
- It simplifies your technology management, allowing your team to gain visibility through a single management portal.
- It consolidates and integrates systems and data with accessibility from anywhere, anytime to increase employee productivity and provide a single, more accurate source of data across the organization.
- Cloud service providers can usually offer your company better security and a team of security professionals who are more highly specialized than your company might be able to afford (or find) on its own.
2. Why is it crucial for our organization to have a strong cloud strategy before we migrate to the cloud?
One of the dangers companies face in moving to the cloud is approaching it as a purely technical exercise. Companies need to have a business reason and strategy for moving to the cloud and then align their IT approach to that.
When companies don’t have a well-developed cloud adoption strategy, they can get halfway into their cloud adoption and realize they made some fundamental mistakes that they can’t get out of or that might require them to start over again. When your company has a strong cloud strategy, you can avoid that costly mistake.
3. Why should our company develop a cloud strategy now instead of later?
Middle market companies need to be more agile than ever to keep up with a rapidly changing business landscape and accelerating technology innovation. Today, a business can move to the cloud with resources such as ETL (extract, transform, load) tools with pre-built connectors that make it easy to migrate to and integrate workloads, infrastructure and applications in the cloud. Once you’re in the cloud, APIs (application programming interfaces) make it easy to integrate applications, including with third-party developers.
Companies today also have widely distributed DevOps teams that need to develop products and services in a more collaborative and efficient manner, test and move products, and support ongoing operations and automation. The cloud can help with that.
4. Why do so many middle market companies have a hard time managing security in-house?
IT ecosystems have dramatically evolved, becoming increasingly complex and hard to manage. Now, most companies rely on a hybrid of both on-premises and cloud infrastructure to run their businesses, and they have a mix of both on-site and remote employees. Companies may also have multiple offices around the world.
In addition, middle market companies are often at a disadvantage when competing with large enterprises and managed services firms to attract top cloud and cybersecurity talent. In-house teams don’t have the people, the skills or the time to keep up with upgrades, patches and changing regulations, so they wind up just having to do the best they can. But in today’s environment, where cybersecurity threats have become ever present and far more sophisticated, cybersecurity has to be a number-one priority.
5. Because hybrid workforces are here to stay, how can the cloud help us give our employees better access to the applications and data they need to do their jobs?
The cloud is inherently a remote access tool, so it makes it easy for either on-site or remote employees with an internet connection to access and use a company’s applications and data anytime, anywhere and from any device. The cloud also provides all the tools that companies need to control who has access to their applications and data as well as when and, if needed, even from where.
6. How can the cloud help us become and stay more competitive?
In our current business landscape, it’s difficult for middle market companies to recruit and hire all the IT people they need, especially when it comes to network and security specialists.
Fortunately, when companies move to the cloud, the responsibility to hire and retain specialized staff moves to their cloud services provider. This removes much of the competitive hiring pressure from mid-market companies that no longer have to worry that they lack the skills to keep up.
Additionally, the cloud gives middle market companies access to the same enterprise applications and data that larger companies use, providing your business with more flexibility and scalability than a traditional IT infrastructure can offer.
7. What do we need to do to get started with our cloud adoption?
Migrating to the cloud often requires companies to make complex choices, so it’s a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly or done on a whim. An experienced consultant can help identify your company’s biggest needs and challenges, prioritize projects, create a cloud roadmap, help your company research and select the right cloud services provider, and guide you through the entire process of migrating some or all of your company’s IT infrastructure to the cloud.
If your company is planning to move to the cloud, RSM can help. We offer a variety of consulting services to assist you with developing a strong, cohesive cloud adoption strategy to help your company transition to the cloud smoothly, flawlessly and securely.