Rise of the Agile Business

Making the Cloud Work for You

Cloud technology is one of the most disruptive forces in business today. Its ability to significantly streamline data storage and improve information security are among its most recognized applications. However, the potential use cases are much further reaching.

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  • Cloud migration can significantly reduce capital expenditures, improve information security and increase organizational efficiency.

  • Cloud-based tools can enhance the integrity, usability and insights of organizational data to make strategic business decisions.

  • Understanding transition process, onboarding and desired outcomes are instrumental to cloud success.

For more insights on how a cloud-based solution might be the right fit for your organization, read our guide to Your Data and Information in the Cloud.

The business landscape is moving at a faster pace than ever before. With rapid changes in technology, consumer demands and the nature of work, on-premises storage and applications are fast becoming a major inhibitor to your ability to adapt and respond to disruptive forces. Moving to the cloud is more than simply changing where you store data or host applications. It’s a fundamental shift in how your business spends money, invests its human capital and manages risks, organizational data and resources.

Managing Risks, Creating Opportunities

Consider the numerous capital expenditures related to aging hardware and software: constantly investing in added bandwidth, performance and compatibility can eat up a sizable portion of your annual budget. As can the energy demand and real estate required to power, heat, cool and house that infrastructure.

Not to mention, frequently evaluating, prioritizing and mitigating your exposure to constantly emerging cyber security threats — and trying to keep up with the ‘anywhere, anytime’ demands of your employees and customers — is likely pulling your focus away from strategic priorities.

Through the cloud, you benefit from economies of scale, sharing of infrastructure and the specialist knowledge service providers offer. You get access to the most current, capable and powerful technology you need to run your business, while only paying for what you need and use. Service providers take on the responsibility for securing the system, managing the hardware and software upgrades and delivering the performance and functionality you need to optimize your data insights.

Together with other clients, you all share in the capital costs — reducing the financial, mental and time burden of cumbersome technology and freeing you up to focus on what really matters.

Reaping the Benefits

Lower Costs

Sharing resources with hundreds of other organizations reduces your annual and multi-year capital expenditures.

Improved Security

Cloud service providers are on the leading edge of cyber protection and frequently adopt new controls at a larger scale (and less expensively) than most businesses.

Greater Data Visibility

The latest tools allow you to categorize, segment, control and analyze data within and across cloud-based applications — leading to fewer errors, faster processing and better insights.

Increased Performance

The ability to access data, connect to applications and communicate from anywhere in the world with an internet connection can create measurable performance / customer service improvements.

Better Environmental Stewardship

Reducing the footprint of your servers is obvious; but cloud providers are also constantly improving the efficiency of their hardware and operating centres as part of large scale go-green initiatives.

Steps to Begin Your Transition

Many organizations remain hesitant to transition to the cloud, citing concerns around risk, upfront costs and a lack of clear guidelines and regulations. However, the landscape is rapidly changing as more and more businesses recognize the potential upside far outweighs the drawbacks.

If you’re ready to take the leap and realize the opportunity to enhance your operational and data management, the following considerations can help inform your strategy, minimize your risks and maximize your desired business outcomes:

Define Business Gains

Decide what business outcomes you want to achieve and why you believe a cloud migration is the best opportunity to realize them. Compare your current state to the desired future state and evaluate what’s working, what you’d like to change and what would represent a meaningful return on investment.

Inventory Information Assets

Create a comprehensive list of all data you could potentially migrate to the cloud. Categorize and evaluate it against potential risks, benefits, user impacts and dependencies. Compare the costs and logistics of migrating it to the cloud versus keeping it on premises or eliminating it completely.

Determine Data, Privacy and Security Considerations

Thoroughly review the cloud service provider’s cyber security standards, policies, protocols, procedures and reputation to ensure it aligns with your own and matches your needs and risk tolerance. Review privacy laws in your jurisdiction to understand your responsibilities and evaluate any supplemental cyber security practices you can employ to protect the data and information you migrate to the cloud.

Establish Governance Framework

Agree on a comprehensive suite of policies, standards and processes throughout the transition process. Clearly define everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Identify your risks and determine how these will be controlled and mitigated throughout the planning, acquisition, deployment, operation and management of your cloud service.

Create Roadmap and Transition Strategy

Decide your best process to successfully and securely transfer data, gain user buy-in and measure the ongoing success of your cloud transition initiative. Key factors to consider include performance improvement against the current baseline, who / how you will handle the migration, steps and onboarding processes you will use to train employees.

Helping You Succeed in the Cloud

Moving from on-premises data storage and enterprise software can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Through ubiquitous business tools such as email, internal networks and third-party websites, you’ve likely been using cloud-adjacent applications for years — in some respects, your team may hardly notice anything has changed. This transition merely marks the next step in an ongoing process.

That’s not to say it will be challenge free or that you won’t have to make strategic, operational, policy and process changes to make the cloud work for you. However, MNP has extensive experience and expertise helping businesses of all sizes and industries manage their move to the cloud.

Some areas where we can help include:

  • Evaluating near- and long-term cloud opportunities
  • Risk management and governance
  • Vendor due diligence
  • Cloud migration planning and change management
  • Training and onboarding
  • Cyber security and incident response planning

Whether you’re looking to reduce capital costs, increase efficiency and productivity, improve cyber security or gain better insight and oversight of your enterprise data — the cloud offers incredible opportunities to enhance your business and increase your adaptability and agility in today’s disruptive business landscape.

Reach out to me anytime if you're interested in learning more about the potential opportunities and challenges of the cloud for your organization.