Enterprise went first. Who’s next … and why?

It’s gone from an IT tech curiosity to a mainstream phrase. “In the cloud.” But who’s really up there? Is “up” even where the cloud resides?

Trailblazers showed us that the cloud wasn’t a dangerous place. Startups and other innovative companies pushed cloud computing and storage from fad to trend. Organizations of all sizes climbed aboard the adoption train when the cost savings element of the cloud became a proven element.

Beyond the first wave

Cloud computing and storage are no longer a niche on the rise. This is a mature industry, and it happened in an impressively short time. And the allure of shaving costs has paled in comparison to the opportunity for innovation.

Cloud migration strategies now pair the obligatory cost savings analysis with a menu of features and functionality that can be gained only in the cloud.

A closer look at what’s really happening

Moneybag enterprise companies and startups flush with VC investments now share the cloud with all kinds of other businesses. But, let’s be specific about this migration path.

It’s not wholesale. Regardless of size, most organizations have taken a systematic approach. Storage usually heads there first. Then, other parts of tech infrastructure join the migration, such as applications. A specific hunger has pushed computing and many applications to migrate: The ability to gobble up and make sense of large numbers of data points makes cloud computing particularly attractive to marketers.

By the numbers

According to a recent survey, IT professionals spanning the spectrum of business sizes have focused on these areas of infrastructure:

  • 69 percent of respondents migrated applications
  • 49 percent of respondents migrated storage
  • 33 percent of respondents migrated databases

Just a scant five percent of those who took the survey revealed that they had not moved any of their IT infrastructure to the cloud.

The chief obstacle to cloud migration

The same survey asked respondents to talk about what’s keeping them from pushing more to the cloud. The reasons:

  • 75 percent said they had concerns about security and compliance
  • 51 percent said more research was necessary to support old technology
  • 63 percent said more work was necessary to support existing infrastructure
  • 20 percent are still getting their heads around the DevOps mindset
  • 27 percent admitted that their IT staff just isn’t up to what it takes to implement or manage cloud adoption

Your organization’s ticket to the cloud

You’ve seen the numbers. Some or even all your IT infrastructure is headed for the cloud – if it’s not there already. How’s it going to queue up?

First, be aware that some segments of the overall market are moving faster than others. Research shows that your size, existing infrastructure, and financial ability dictate your cloud migration agility.

  • Are you a SME? It generally means your company employs less than 1,000 people. You’re not weighed down with legacy technology and you can move to the cloud with relative ease. There’s not much IT heartburn involved with embracing the concept of a third party assuming responsibility for operations in exchange for the savings involved.
  • Are you a medium-sized enterprise? You’re presently trying to navigate around the twin obstacles of complex legacy IT infrastructure issues, and the lack of resources (both financial and skills) to do much about it.
  • Are you a large enterprise? There are 5,000 or more people in your organization, and you’re armed with a robust, dedicated IT department. You’ve got the budget to explore and snag cloud strategies that work best for the company, but which won’t impact your employees.

Large enterprises are reluctant to move their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to the cloud, even though finance and budgeting applications would benefit most. They’re in the cherry-picking stage. Enterprise has enough heft and financial resources to decide what’s moving to the cloud because they can create a business case for it.

The irony is that while they can afford the cost of migration, enterprise companies don’t reap as many benefits from cloud computing. There are already many supporting infrastructures in place that require capital investments.

Small and midsize businesses are cleared for takeoff. They have few barriers to adopt the holy grail of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Strategic planning, and not a lot of cash, can almost eliminate capital expenditures.

Dispensing with upfront costs keeps them nimble, and it works in both directions. The cloud allows for easy contraction, as well as expansion. There’s no capitalized infrastructure lounging around, unused.

There’s another positioning component in their favor. Good IT professionals are hard to find and they’re even more difficult to keep. Cloud solutions dispense with the need for a constant hunt for capable people. The need to manage IT infrastructure in-house can be transferred to a contracted service with cloud providers.

The new era of cloud practicality

Today’s headlines aren’t about adoption rates. They are about how the cloud works for companies. Important to IT professionals now are the topics of security, privacy, and regulation. Vendors compete today with hybrid solutions that entice larger companies who continue to be uninterested in complete solutions.

It’s true that we’ll soon notice more business segments joining the migration path to the cloud, as there are a growing number of viable business cases to model. The cloud as an a la carte option appeals to enterprise and complete solutions continue to capture the attention of small businesses. You can call the cloud a lot of things, but “all or nothing” isn’t one of them.

If you have questions about the trends in cloud migration, or you looking to determine how to best move your business to the cloud, contact the experts at CloudHesive at 800.860.2040 or through our online contact form.