Finding the Right Space in the Cloud: Things to Consider
Many companies are migrating to the cloud for good reasons with potential cost savings, increased flexibility, and greater ease of use at the top of the list. The thoughts toward migration typically arise when a company is running on an old version of hardware or software, upgrades are no longer available, support is going away and it is time to decide: do I purchase a upgraded version of what I have or is it time to look at what the cloud has to offer?
Companies need to consider several things when moving software or IT infrastructure to the cloud:
- Public or private cloud? Rather than going with a public cloud configuration, some companies may decide to go with a private cloud, especially if the business load is predictable. If cost savings is high on the list, going with a public cloud may be the way to go, as storage costs are lower due to price competition in the marketplace.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) software has now surpassed traditionally licensed software. Many companies are seeing a lot of benefits with SaaS as cost to purchase is lower and replacement cycles are much shorter, meaning it is easier to keep up with the latest versions of software available. SaaS applications are usually well suited for common operational functions such as accounting, employee and HR management, sales and customer management, etc.
- Highly regulated companies may also be resistant to going to a cloud based approach because of compliance constraints for things like privacy of customer data.
- Companies with limited capital budgets may lean more toward a cloud based solution due to upfront cost savings and scalability. Both capital and operating budgets need to be factored into the decision to move to the cloud.
If a decision is made to move to the cloud, make sure you understand the contract. Things to consider include:
- How do you import and export data? How will your day-to-day operations be disrupted during the integration?
- What happens to your data if the provider goes out of business or your contract expires and you decide not to renew?
- How do they protect your data? In the event of a disruption, how do they recover your data?
The cloud is an attractive solution for many companies. It is important, however, to understand how this decision can impact the organization’s current operations. To learn more, contact Tim Ernst, BerganKDV ERP Practice Group Leader.