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Practical Cloud Planning: Impacts And Opportunities

Practical Cloud Planning: Impacts And Opportunities

Moving to the cloud offers a great opportunity to improve and even transform the IT infrastructure within your organization. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t truly appreciate the fact that they are moving to the cloud when they start using a software package such as Office 365 (or Google for that matter). As a result, they don’t plan the transition well and fail to make the most of new opportunities the cloud platform can provide.

By planning your move to the cloud before you take action, you can make sure the transition has a positive impact on your staff and your business.

People Impacts

During the initial stages of planning your move to the cloud, you will need to have a very clear comprehension of the impact this transition will have on your staff. Does your organization have the skill set to handle the transition, or do you need to hire a consultant? This consideration is particularly important if you are moving to a hybrid environment, which can be complicated to set up and then manage. But make no mistake, most firms are creating hybrid environments as they embark on their journey to the cloud. It is important to understand the changes this will bring to your staff. Understanding these changes early will pay dividends later.

Business Impacts

In addition to staff impacts, we also recommend you understand the impacts on your core business processes. Occasionally, there are risks involved in moving to the cloud, such as disruption to workflows that currently run in your on-premises applications. Planning how these workflows will transition to the cloud improves the chance of them working well in a hybrid environment. In fact, with proper planning, you can avoid disruptions to your processes during your transition to the cloud. The good news is that the risks involved in moving to the cloud are often low, but it’s important to be aware of them so you can prepare for every possibility and make the most out of your cloud investements.

Goals and Opportunities

It’s essential to align the goals of your cloud strategy with the opportunities the new environment presents. One of the primary drivers for moving to the cloud is the desire to save money, which is something a cloud-based environment can help you to do. To make the most of the opportunity to save money, you need to develop a clear strategy that sets out how you will leverage the cloud environment for this purpose. Similarly, if your goal is to reduce your IT footprint, you should find out how you can use the cloud solution to achieve this goal. The bottom-line is that the benefits of adopting the cloud do not come automatically; you need to actively manage your transition to achieve the intended benefits.

Final Thought

The concerns discussed here apply not only to Office 365, but also to other cloud platforms like AWS and Google. No matter what cloud platform you choose, you will need a clear cloud strategy and a roadmap to effectively adopt these technologies. First and foremost, know why your firm want to move to the cloud and then build your implementation strategy around those goals. If you fail to plan the transition carefully, you might find that features you expected to work in the new environment simply don’t work after all. You’re also unlikely to realize cost savings or reduce your IT footprint if you don’t think carefully about how to achieve those goals.

Planning your transition to a new cloud-based environment isn’t complicated, but it is absolutely critical to make the move a success. If you are thinking about using a cloud-based solution such as Office 365, make time to plan your cloud strategy before you begin the transition. You are then much more likely to achieve the benefits of these technologies and truly transform your business.

Author: Dale Tuttle | dtuttle@withum.com

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