The Benefits of Moving 100% to the Cloud

June 5, 2020

When stepping back and taking a broad look at the tech landscape, 2020 may prove to be a pivotal year for the cloud.

When stepping back and taking a broad look at the tech landscape, 2020 may prove to be a pivotal year for the cloud.

It’s true that cloud adoption has seen steady growth in recent years. But the worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how businesses operate. It has forced countless businesses to quickly pivot from routine operations and implement new technology to enable employees to work from home and business to remain operational.

Although many businesses had already taken the leap to the cloud, there was still room for growth, as reliance on on-premises software remains significant. While the cloud services market is a $200 billion industry, global IT spending was projected before the coronavirus pandemic to reach nearly $4 trillion in 2020, which indicates a large portion of IT spending is  for on-premises technology. The sudden need to mobilize cloud solutions could certainly impact projections. A rise in cloud adoption should ultimately only help businesses, given the well-documented benefits of employing cloud workloads.

By fully leveraging cloud resources, businesses can reap benefits that include considerable cost savings from no longer needing to maintain on-premises infrastructure. The cloud also offers higher availability for users and faster software patches and updates, which can contribute to increased productivity and improved security. Organizations that know how to fully leverage cloud benefits can position themselves at a competitive advantage over industry peers, attaining flexibility and cost savings that help businesses enhance operations and elevate their performance.

BitTitan began moving all workloads to the cloud five years ago and has completed 80 percent of the journey. The path to moving 100 percent to the cloud is much clearer, and the goal is to complete the move by the end of 2021. For companies at the outset of their cloud journey, there are many reasons to begin moving all workloads to the cloud, and BitTitan has tips for ensuring successful migrations. 

Benefits of the cloud

Increases Productivity and Enhances Employee Experience

There are innumerable benefits of cloud computing for employees, especially when operating as a remote workforce. The cloud enables employees to access their data from anywhere at any time, allowing the ability to work remotely and collaboratively with co-workers in other locations. Having all data in one place allows employees to monitor analytics and track key performance indicators.

Organizations can automate much of the process of onboarding new employees in the cloud, which helps improve the new hire experience by making it more seamless. This also allows the IT department more time to focus on critical employee needs, such as being more proactive instead of reactive with addressing technical issues, creating step-by-step training for new cloud apps and features, and focusing on security awareness.

The cloud also enables a great deal of employee self-service for tasks such as resetting passwords or adding users to their own distribution groups or teams. This eliminates downtime associated with waiting for the IT team to manage these things, which can lead to increased productivity among your workforce.

Boosts Security and Data Governance

One significant way the cloud can enhance security and data governance is by employing the use of single sign-on, which enables a user to login with a single ID and password to securely access multiple applications across the company. Single sign-on allows IT to easily control access to sensitive data by adding or removing employee access or setting role-based permissions from a single location.

The cloud also offers streamlined security audits for applications like CRM and Exchange email to swiftly identify issues or vulnerabilities. This helps companies determine their biggest security risks and make the necessary changes to ensure protection is upheld.

Improves Cost Control

In a cloud environment, cost management centers are centralized and located within the same cloud portal, allowing organizations better visibility into cost management. Auditing can be conducted on past software purchases and licenses to determine if software resources are still being utilized and whether the proper level of licensing is in place. This can enable the company to make adjustments to maximize past investments and avoid over-purchasing licenses.

Organizations can run routine resource assessment tests as well, helping to ensure cloud resources are either being used effectively or discontinued to avoid unnecessary costs. For example, an audit could find that core business software is being underutilized and more training is necessary for end users. This kind of system-wide assessment is often weighty and burdensome with on-premises environments, and consequently, occurs less frequently than is ideal.

Integrates Workplace Systems

Many of the applications used throughout an organization today have built-in integrations with programs like Office 365, which allows streamlined systems across various departments like finance, HR and IT. This eliminates the need for a senior-level developer to code the integrations with the use of APIs. In the cloud, these integrations require only a few clicks, and result in increased collaboration, optimized workflows, and improved operations monitoring.

Tips for a successful migration

Experience and Planning Matter

When moving to the cloud, it’s imperative for companies to have the right team in place that understands what needs to happen for a successful migration. There are many components that must be configured and a lot can go wrong if the appropriate processes aren’t followed. Using a reliable migration tool, like BitTitan’s MigrationWiz, or hiring an MSP partner to help address project hurdles can ensure a smooth migration. Planning is essential, so be sure to look at the migration project holistically before getting started. Build an initiatives roadmap that details every step of the process to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page.

Clean House and Prioritize Security

Before beginning the migration, know what specific components must be migrated. The project likely won’t be a simple lift-and-shift; don’t assume you’ll simply move everything to the cloud. As this is an opportunity to clean house and restructure operations and workloads that won’t work in the cloud, evaluate your data and assess what’s needed. This will help optimize cloud usage and reduce the cost of cloud services.

Also, prioritize data security throughout the process and implement security policies at every step. Appointing one member of the team to oversee security policies and implementation is a wise step to avoid problems downstream. And consider leveraging the assistance of partners, like Microsoft, for guidance on best practices.

Migrate Email and Essentials First

Depending on the company size, a bare-bones cloud migration can be executed quickly. Migrating an entire workforce to the cloud for basic communication and collaboration, using email and applications like Teams or Skype, will take anywhere from 24 hours to a full weekend to complete. It all depends on the project size, including the individual mailbox volume and the overall size of the company. After this is complete, assess what other components such as groups or workloads need to be migrated. 

One way to expedite email migration is by leveraging a date range filter in a migration tool, like the one available in MigrationWiz. If you’re in a rush, use this functionality to simply pull the last 90 days of mailbox data for each employee to get the entire workforce up and running in the new system. Once all of their email accounts are set up and working, you can run a second pass to migrate all data that’s older than 90 days and backfill the active mailboxes with no fear of duplicates.

There are many ways to approach a migration and the project doesn’t have to involve moving everything at once. Migrations can happen by group or department in stages. However, if companies choose this approach, it will require more time and increase the complexity of the project.  In this scenario, it’s recommended to hire an MSP partner to help to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. 

Plan for the New Environment and Remember User Training

To ensure the move to the cloud is truly cost effective, companies need to consider what happens after the migration. It’s important to properly decommission on-premises infrastructure to avoid paying for things no longer being used. And restructure the charter of the IT team to account for the fact that they will need to focus on different priorities in a cloud environment.

It’s also important that companies remember the end users of the new technology. It’s vital that employees have the appropriate training to become familiar with new applications and minimize disruptions. Using new applications can be daunting and companies should encourage their users not to be afraid of using the new tools right away. Modern cloud software typically has user-friendly interfaces that are intuitive and have a quick learning curve for common tasks. Companies can also encourage users to seek out answers online. YouTube is a great tool for tutorials on how specific features work in cloud software.

Times have certainly changed, and we continue to navigate unchartered territory on a global scale. But one thing has become clear: The cloud can help many organizations navigate the uncertain conditions, keep operations humming and maintain business continuity. Once the mission-critical phases of a cloud migration are complete, businesses can begin to experience the many ways that cloud technologies will enable their transformation into a modern, efficient, and cost-effective business. The time to fully leverage the cloud is now.

Related Articles

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *