If your organization is easing its way into cloud computing—that is, not going “all in” with a cloud-only strategy—you’re considering the pros and cons of moving each set of data and workflows into a cloud environment before making an investment and implementing a solution. That’s what most companies are doing.
We’ll reveal straightaway that most companies we work with, particularly those with existing on-premise business systems, are in no position to take a cloud-only strategy, even if cloud-based software tops their list of solutions. In most cases, it’s just not practical. However, a cloud-first strategy makes much more sense as new software needs arise.
From No-Cloud to Cloud
A cloud-only strategy, to be clear, refers to the practice of implementing onlycloud-based software—something that’s easy enough to achieve if your company is internet-based or brand new, with no legacy software to speak of. In How Long Does It Take to Deploy a Cloud Computing Strategy?, we introduced the cloud-first approach as another speedy route to an “all cloud” environment. Cloud-first is a strategy in which an organization looks at cloud-based hardware and software solutions first—before, that is, they look at traditional, on-premise alternatives.
This is quite a departure from what was common a decade ago, and certainly before that. Until recently, on-premise software was the only option for companies needing to expand their computing power beyond what was available in, say, Microsoft Office. There wasn’t a viable “off-premise” solution, so they would turn to popular boxed solutions like QuickBooks. Of course, the decision could be made to invest in bigger, more robust on-premise software designed to support the needs of a larger enterprise, working with vendors and VARs to configure their systems on company hardware.
Really, we have the internet—and cloud computing—to thank for opening up to new possibilities. The internet has created new needs, bringing life to new categories of solutions. For instance, who needed marketing automation or ecommerce payment software before their customers had email addresses or shopped online? While some vendors offer on-premise versions of their apps, their solutions are inherently cloud-based because they’re solving for web-based challenges.
Easing In With A Cloud-First Approach
Turning back to cloud-based versions of traditional software applications, like ERPs and CRMs, businesses of all sizes are catching on to what makes them so advantageous. In 6 Signs It’s Time To Migrate Your Legacy IT Environment to the Cloud, we explore the most common on-premise-to-cloud tipping points for many companies. All things considered, cloud-based business software puts powerful computing power and comprehensive tools into the hands of growing businesses that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the functionality—without the financial resources of their behemoth counterparts, at any rate.
Cloud-based software is an option today, and for many organizations, it’s the first option they consider when new needs arise. Time will tell how long it takes for most companies to run in all-cloud environments—public, private, or hybrid—and how much, if any, of their business software is housed on internal servers. As we move closer to this point, more business won’t “look back” at traditional, on-premise software. They’ll be all-cloud, and cloud-only.
But until then, it makes sense for many of our clients to assess all of their software deployment options, with an eye on the future, and make their cloud-based their first, if not only, choice.
If you are looking into implementing cloud-based software and considering various development methodology options, MIBAR has the experience and expertise to support you with the right products and guidance that work for your specific needs. Contact us for a free consultation.