Accelerating your cloud journey takes careful planning, a deep understanding of your business and a willingness to continually try new things. Regardless of where you are on your cloud journey, here are a few ideas to maximize your efforts:
- Start small and invest in what your business needs most
- Focus on unlocking value, not just savings
- Making simplification a core principle
- Commit to the journey
Start small and invest in what your business needs most
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is implementing new technology because it’s the thing to do. If your transformation isn’t tied to your business objectives and the staff doesn’t understand their solutions, they’ll get frustrated and revert to doing things the old way. To start, you’ll need to develop a cloud strategy and roadmap that considers your current and future goals.
Remember, the cloud is a massive stack that can evolve with your company. That’s why it’s often a good idea to start small, with one or two programs, and then build from there. It could be as simple as transitioning your company to Microsoft Teams, which comes with collaboration tools and secure video chatting. Or using Microsoft Azure for data storage – cloud solutions make it easy for your business to evolve, test, and adapt to market opportunities or challenges.
Tip: Change isn’t driven by a new platform or tool but by behavior and usage changes.
Focus on unlocking value, not just savings
Many people come to the cloud because they think new tech will save them money. While solutions such as Microsoft Azure can result in a 24% reduction in environment operating costs over three years, the actual long tail of the cloud is the increased efficiency and productivity across your business. Not having to maintain on-premises servers and having the ability to scale storage, bandwidth quickly, and users up and down is a core differentiator to legacy landlocked solutions. Cloud is a transformative technology that, if done correctly, will unlock considerable value for years to come. According to an IDC Business Value White Paper, study participants implementing Azure tools, resources, and programs saw their IT teams become 55% more efficient and developers 26% more productive. Primarily, it will enable you to boost revenues and profits, which means the total cost benefit goes beyond any savings.
To get more value from the cloud, you must also pay attention to three things, says PwC’s Cornell: people, processes, and culture. “What happens a lot is that companies put in this new tool or platform, and they think everything’s going to change,” he explains. “But the worst thing that can happen is they get a new platform and do the same behaviors as before. Your foundation may be more technologically sound, but if you’re not changing your behaviors to match the opportunity, you’re not getting value out of it.”
Making simplification a core principle
According to PwC’s 2022 Digital Trusts Insights survey, 75% of executives report too much complexity in their organizations, leading to ‘concerning’ cyber and privacy risks. If you’re still using legacy software systems, you’re likely dealing with a complicated technology stack. You’ve undoubtedly added more and more tools over time, many of which don’t speak to each other and only satisfy one need. These kinds of stacks are hard to manage and costly to maintain. Fortunately, the cloud can dramatically simplify things. Not only are these cloud-native solutions which are optimized for a cloud environment, but they also communicate with one another, seamlessly share data, and together enhance the other’s capabilities.
Commit to the journey
It’s important to remember that cloud transformations don’t happen overnight. 53% of companies are yet to realize the actual value of the cloud as measured by the PwC Cloud Business Survey. No one arrives at the cloud and moves on – it’s an evolution. As your company grows, you may want other solutions you don’t have today. You need to stay relevant in a continually changing world, and the cloud makes that easy.
Fortunately, you don’t need to do it alone. Consider working with an implementation partner – a company that knows how the cloud works and can help you figure out which systems will work best with your objectives. Many of these companies are medium-sized operations themselves and have made their transitions to the cloud. They can also help you choose which cloud provider to align your business. Scantron Technology Solutions is a Microsoft Gold Cloud Productivity and Gold Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Partner, making it much easier for small and medium-sized operations to find the expertise they need to implement and manage the cloud appropriately. Learn more about cloud migration services or get a customized cloud readiness assessment.
Source: Your digital journey: How the cloud can help medium-sized businesses address their biggest business challenges, Microsoft, 2022.