With this in mind, it’s understandable why so many organisations are migrating to cloud-first applications. But the journey to the cloud is not a straightforward path. There’s a lot that IT leaders need to consider in order to safely, securely and effectively make the move.
In our experience delivering managed IT services for organisations of all shapes and sizes, there are three areas you should consider to simplify your migration, reduce costs and make your journey to the cloud a pleasant one for everyone involved.
1. Review your current (and future) communications needs
Every successful business communicates well — with its employees as well as its customers. But in today’s working environment, when hybrid working models, work-from-home initiatives and 24/7 customer service are the norm, managing and maintaining effective communication channels is a top business challenge.
Whether an organisation’s people are always on the move, working from home, or permanently in the office, a cloud-based communication system can help the team be there for their customers. But for it to achieve that, the project manager responsible needs to understand those communication needs — and how they might change over time.
To better understand your current and future communication needs, consider the following:
1. How do my employees collaborate? 2. How does my organisation handle customer interactions? 3. Do our systems integrate well and do they improve efficiency? 4. Are we taking advantage of our system by staying current with all the new features available, or are we behind on updates? 5. Do we need to move to the cloud to improve efficiency, or can we do more with what we have? 6. How are we prepared to harness cloud technologies when it’s time to make the move?
Future-proofing your communication requirements - in other words, the demans your business will place on the cloud today and tomorrow - is the first essential step to a more successful cloud migration. Equipped with this understanding, you can confidently move onto the second key step: considering which cloud options are available to you.
2. Consider the different cloud options available
In the rush to adapt operations, it can be easy to assume that embracing the cloud is an all-or-nothing decision, but in reality there are some systems an organisation may benefit from migrating across and others that will continue to serve it better as on-premise solutions.
A variety of cloud solutions actually exist to help IT leaders deliver the right approach for their organisations, whether that’s a public cloud, a private cloud, or a hybrid cloud solution.
The public cloud is fully hosted and managed by a public cloud provider. Using this service, an organisation effectively rents ‘cloud space’, providing it with its own secure space inside of a larger infrastructure. Public cloud services are typically flexible, giving organisations the freedom they need to add new communications features and functions in response to changing business demands. It’s also a cost-effective solution — there is no need to allocate budget for installation, management, maintenance or upgrading on-site hardware.
Consider the public cloud if… you’re a small to medium-sized business or start-up that doesn’t want to invest its budget in full-time network management and large IT teams.
As its name suggests, a private cloud provides services from within the confines of an internal network. A company firewall usually protects this space from cyber risks. The privacy and security offered by a private cloud makes it a compelling choice for many organisations, particularly those in highly regulated industries or with highly sensitive data, because they have full control over who and what can access the information in the cloud.
Consider the private cloud if… you’re a company whose operations are strictly governed by security and compliance and you have the in-house capabilities to manage and protect against inevitable security threats that will attempt to breach your network.
A hybrid cloud combines features from public and private clouds to provide the best of both worlds. Gain the security and control of a private cloud with the scalability and simplicity of a public cloud to unlock a solution that serves the organisation’s specific business demands.
Consider the hybrid cloud if… the demands of your business are best served by a blend of both private and public clouds, to the extent that choosing one over the other would hinder the growth and delivery of the business strategy.
3. Choose a technology partner to help navigate the way
Like most journeys, the move to the cloud is much easier when it’s made with someone who’s been there before. A managed service provider (MSP) can be that person, guiding the organisation past the pitfalls and streamlining the journey to deliver a successful project.
MSPs are staffed by experts who spend every day helping organisations to adopt the cloud. For a project of this kind, that level of experience is invaluable. A lot weighs on a successful migration — not least of which, the systems on which the entire organisation turns. The support of an MSP with experience helping organisations just like yours to embrace the cloud will take a lot of that stress away while streamlining the whole process.
With an MSP by your side:
plan a path to the cloud that meets your unique business demands Integrate the cloud into your overarching business technology strategy reduce risk at every step of the journey optimise spend, maximising the return on your IT investment ensure a successful rollout to the wider business deliver a seamless project that transforms the organisation’s effectiveness
At Opus, we help organisations of all sizes become more agile with hyper-scalable resources, applications, storage, analytics and business continuity solutions built on the cloud. This includes choosing from a range of public, private and virtualised cloud telephony solutions from top service providers such as Mitel, Microsoft, Gamma and 8×8.
As well as the ability to make and receive calls from any device, wherever your people are, our industry-leading cloud telephony services offer improved call quality, network reliability, and a wealth of cost-saving opportunities. Delivered as part of the Opus Together range, you can be confident that your chosen communication solution works alongside all your other technologies to help connect, engage, modernise, documents and secure your business.
With our expert team here to help you navigate your options and make the right choices for your business, there’s never been a smarter time to plan your journey to the cloud.