Is Your Organization Cloud Ready? Why and How to Prepare for the Cloud
One of the hottest topics in the digital teamwork landscape is “moving to the cloud.” Many of our clients have struggled or are currently struggling with the transition. Is my organization ready to move? How will I know if it’s time and if it’s right for us? How do I prepare?
Here at PixelMill, we’re here to tell you that the forecast is clear, it’s cloudy with a VERY high chance of success. As Microsoft experts, this post specifically focuses on Microsoft Cloud and Azure solutions. However, much of this applies to any migration from an on-premise technology infrastructure (on-prem) to the cloud. Let’s discover if you’re ready to move your organization to the cloud, and how you can prepare for a smooth and extremely successful transition.
We’ve heard numerous reasons why organizations aren’t moving to the cloud, but hands down, the top two are IT or leadership buy-in. Taking your organization to the cloud can be a big undertaking, and with any significant change, we often feel like we’re losing control. With a move like this, it brings questions of security, regulations, migration, and legacy issues, just to name a few.
IT is used to having complete control over their servers, and they don’t want to give that up. We get it! However, by releasing some ‘control’ over many incredibly time-consuming tasks, such a hardware maintenance and software patches, it frees up IT’s bandwidth to provide even more value to the organization.
For those of you in IT, there are many new things to do. Someone has to maintain Azure. Azure Active Directory still needs administration. All that Microsoft 365 and Azure has to offer still requires technology leadership, best delivered by IT. We see many legacy IT roles transitioning to a DevOps role, that being as soon as you write a PS script, open up VSCode, or start building no-code / low-code apps for organization, you are there. Start building PowerApps. Solve workflow and process issues. Evolve and lead the charge. Find new ways to provide value to your organization, and they’ll love you for it!
Leadership buy-in is also paramount. Without leaders championing the initiative, the project is doomed from the start. If you believe it’s time for your organization to make the move, but have a stakeholder(s) to convince, the benefits listed below might help sway them.
Additional Roadblocks to Consider:
Of course there are more possible roadblocks than just IT, leadership, or both.
- Mission critical, out of date legacy software
- Some digital workspace tools may not be able to move to the cloud yet
- Regulation that requires you to keep data on-prem (banking, healthcare, financial, etc.)
- Outdated files that must be saved, but don’t need to migrate to the new platform
In most of the cases listed above, a hybrid solution was the answer. Our clients were able to leverage many of the benefits of the cloud and migrate most of their organization’s digital workspace while maintaining some aspects on-prem, such as Active Directory, or government regulated storage requirements.
Benefits of moving to the cloud:
- Higher Security
- Microsoft uses some of the most robust, most secure encryption protocols available to provide barriers against unauthorized access to customer data. Proper key management is also an essential element of encryption best practices, and Microsoft works to ensure that all Microsoft-managed encryption keys are properly secured.
- Regardless of customer configuration, customer data stored within Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services is protected using one or more forms of encryption.
- Microsoft Azure leads the industry in ISO certifications.
- We always challenge any of our clients to build an infrastructure that is more secure than what Microsoft offers with Azure and Office 365.
- Less Maintenance
- Moving to the cloud eliminates the worry of trying to stay up to date with Microsoft’s auto-updates
- Performance Enhancement
- SharePoint Online alone runs on 160,000 servers in Azure, they are the largest consumer of Azure in the world. (http://ericoverfield.com/sharepoint-conference-2019-keynote-aka-sharepoint-virtual-summit-2019-in-review/)
- More Services and Features
- Microsoft is constantly upgrading its cloud-based tools. Between SharePoint Online and Office 365, there is, on average, over one new feature daily.
- The Power Platform provides no-code, browser-based solutions to build business applications empowering users with all kinds of technical capabilities.
- In fact, “Gartner names Microsoft a Leader in Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms 2019 Magic Quadrant”
- Azure provides services that can scale like crazy; they enable you to start small and grow with ease. With Microsoft’s Windows Azure Platform, you only pay for the time and capacity that you use. You can scale your application up or down as needed.
It’s Likely Inevitable.
It’s safe to say eventually we’re all headed for the cloud. It’s not really a matter of if, but when.
Sure, this doesn’t mean on-prem solutions are going away tomorrow, but the writing is on the wall. Remember, Microsoft has already announced that they will no longer be supporting SharePoint 2010. The final date for extended support is October 13, 2020. After that, Microsoft will not be doing any updates or security patches. So why not start preparing today, so you’re ready with a solid plan? Take advantage of this opportunity to provide your team with modern, up-to-date, and useful tools that Microsoft is clearly investing in.
4 Keys to Prepare for a Successful Migration to the Cloud
1) Get Leadership buy-in
As we said above, getting your leadership team on board is crucial. Take time to show them the value of making the shift. Their support can make or break the initiative.
2) Establish clear goals and build a migration roadmap
Understand why you are making the shift. This will help you prioritize and build a migration plan. Take time to figure out what truly needs to migrate. Uncover ways to maximize new tools to bring efficiencies, and cut out redundant solutions, apps, or software that comes ootb with your move to the cloud.
3) Set Realistic timelines and budget
Depending on how much migration is happening, this can be a big undertaking. Be sure to give yourself enough time, and an adequate budget to get it right.
4) Listen to Your Users
Change is scary. It’s less scary when we know it’s coming and feel that we have a say in what’s coming down the line. Your users deserve the same respect. After all, they are the ones using the tools day after day. Let their voice be heard. This ensures your move makes sense for your users, and they will be much more likely to accept the change if they are part of building the plan for success.
No matter where you are in your journey to the cloud, it’s never too early to start planning for success. Moving to the cloud can bring your team a new set of tools that will expand their capabilities, and free up your IT department’s time. Whether you’re left in legacy, require a hybrid approach, or are ready to move to the cloud, PixelMill would love to help you make your digital workspace a place your employees will use and love. Chat with a PixelMill team Office 365 expert today!