Ah yes. Mick! The Stones! 1965! Get Off of My Cloud is a classic, but the foresight they had is incredible—to see the Private Cloud that far in advance! Ok, ok, so this blog post is not about a history of the Stones, but the reference is there. There was no cloud computing in 1965. Well, there’s actually an interesting document from March 30, 1965 where Western Union, of all companies, mapped out a strategic plan that is effectively Cloud computing. What could have been.
So, let’s fast forward and start talking about the Cloud. A lot has changed over those years. There are many versions of Cloud solutions to be considered. It isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and folks should understand that.
I mean, we didn’t jump from the 8-track tape to the MP3 overnight. There were options in between. A transition, if you will. Our music libraries probably had LP’s, cassettes, and CD’s. But, how do I put all those different platforms together into a music library? Do I hang onto my white noise vinyl? (No!)
Eventually, we found a way to migrate our musical libraries to the Cloud. It gave us a manageable library of entertainment to leverage in more ways that we had previously thought.
Your Options to Make the Jump
So let’s take a look at business. We shouldn’t feel we have to make the ‘big leap’ to the Cloud all at once and, of the options, what is the best fit or transition path for you?
Effectively, this is the service formerly known as Hosting. This is a traditional Cloud option for customers looking to lower internal IT costs and take the management of infrastructure and put it in the Cloud. Take it from CapEx and make it OpEx.
A Hybrid Cloud approach allows a company to take select systems and move them to a Cloud solution while maintaining certain systems in house, for various reasons. It could be moving some systems to a Hosted solution or to a SaaS model. For Example, your run Oracle EBS or JD Edwards in-house but want to start a transition to the Cloud. You could leverage NetSuite or Oracle Cloud applications that integrate with your in-house system. This allows you to make a slow transition by moving the easy stuff first while planning for the more complicated processes.
This is a move from traditional perpetual licensing to a subscription based model. A true and full Cloud transition. If you are running multiple disparate systems and don’t want the investment of hardware along with a new ERP, SaaS would be a great approach. If you are looking at a costly upgrade of your ERP, perhaps a total shift is the best approach. SaaS offers many cost effective benefits and is truly the new road map. Even larger companies running traditional Tier 1 ERP systems are looking to SaaS applications for their subsidiaries and then integrating the financials back to corporate.
Support in the Cloud
This is an option that more and more companies are looking to adopt. As we move towards a Cloud solution, there is always some aspect of support you will need. Even in a SaaS model there is always going to be an administrative and end user support requirement, and it’s not always 40 hours a week. So, how do you satisfy the need without letting the issues build up? Leverage your BA’s? Lean on your subject matter experts? Hire someone to wear multiple hats? Or, go to Support in the Cloud. Remote managed services for the end users. In reality, we have all been using this in our everyday lives for years for product support, software support, etc. Why not for your business support?
So to bring it full circle, The Stones didn’t go from vinyl to digital download overnight. There was a path to the Cloud that was followed, and in the end it produced a more reliable solution that could be used in a much easier fashion than before. I think it might be time for Mick and the boys to do a remake.
What’s your path to the Cloud?