A lot of organizations are looking at moving to cloud technologies. An important question to ask yourself is – why? Public cloud offerings are great solutions for most companies, but it is important to understand what business goal that you are trying to achieve before making a choice on a provider.
Generally, organizations that are looking at the cloud are looking for four key business reasons. Ask yourself – do you fit into one of these categories? The answer will drive the solution you choose.
Transforming Enterprise - You need to scale licensing or infrastructure up or down quickly. This can be because your workforce is growing rapidly through acquisition or business growth. You need to set up users and systems quickly, with a minimal amount of investment in either hardware or time. The alternative scenario is that you may need to scale licensing or infrastructure down quickly. This can be because of divestures, or simply a shrinking business market. Either case lends itself well to the cloud licensing model, but it is important to choose a model that allows you to add or remove licensing with no long term commitment.
Cost Saver - Organizations that fall into the “Cost Saver” bucket typically want to reduce upfront investments. These organizations tend to have a high focus on the total cost of ownership of a solution. These organizations often prefer operating expense to capital investments. Look at public cloud providers that provide an “all in one” solution without the need for on premise hardware investments.
Dated Technology - These organizations have let technology age to the point that the effort and cost to upgrade is prohibitive. In a lot of cases, these organizations have trouble attracting younger workers, as the younger workforce tends to prefer using modern technology. In a lot of cases, there is dissatisfaction with IT because employees feel that they use more modern technology at home. Companies that fall into this category are often looking at a “lift and shift” of their infrastructure to cloud services. Make sure that you are choosing a provider that can you give this capability. Some cloud providers will only provision for “current” technology – if you have older applications, they can’t be moved to these platforms.
Task Workers or Seasonal Workforce - Traditionally, it has been cost prohibitive to license seasonal or task workers for applications. These employees may share a terminal with others or might work part time. The cloud licensing model lends itself well to this environment. Generally, it is not cost prohibitive to add these workers to your cloud applications. Again, you will want to focus on a licensing model that allows you to add or remove licensing without a long term commitment. You will also want to look at “kiosk” licensing – this licensing is generally geared towards workers that need cloud access only to their data, rather than client side installations.
Which one of these organizations are you?