Headed to the Cloud? 5 Key Considerations to Help Your Firm Prepare
By Lindsay Barthram, Director, Client Intake
Just a few years ago, if you had walked into most CIO’s offices and uttered the words “cloud migration,” you would have been met with a furrowed brow and perhaps a disapproving glance. Fast forward to today, this naturally risk-averse sector is opening its thoughts to the capabilities and possibilities a cloud-first approach can deliver. As you consider journeying into the cloud, here are five key considerations to think through to prepare for the ascent.
- Budgeting and costing models
As more solution providers introduce cloud offerings, one of the first things to adjust to is the change to budgeting and costing models. Cloud computing enables a shift from large server and operating systems CAPEX costs to a monthly subscription licensing model. Monthly fees may be higher but are more predictable with a leveling of cashflow. In addition, typically, you only get charged for what you use.
- Adoption and change management
Cloud comes with an ethos of continuous improvement and updates; new features and functions are rolled out to users continually and incrementally. Users can adjust to small changes frequently rather than all at once as part of a significant upgrade/new release. While training doesn’t disappear, the small and frequent approach has a major tick in the box for easier adoption and change management.
- IT and infrastructure
Turning to IT, the new model of continuous improvement entails a bigger change for support teams than for end-users. Maintaining cloud systems requires a different set of skills. Application interoperability and packaging is hugely more important now. The processes of architecting, designing, testing, and deploying major systems, which IT teams usually take months to do, will have to be completed at a much quicker pace.
As firms shift to continuous updates, many are considering their deployment strategies and moving towards some level of test automation. Long gone are those extended periods of user acceptance testing that draw on key business teams for resources for many weeks or months.
- Customization and configuration
With the cloud, the ability to customize heavily is somewhat removed. Innovation comes from the technology supplier through incremental improvements, rather than the firm having to become software developers to re-engineer an application to its bespoke needs.
Getting your firm ready for take-off
Timing is often a critical component of making any change. The reality is that the cloud is gathering steam across the sector. Where does your firm want to be positioned on the curve of technological advantage? With careful planning and a steady approach, you too can introduce the cloud into aspects of your firm’s technology stack and gain the many benefits the journey brings.