Why should SMEs be considering a data center migration and the use of cloud resources right now? "Cloudification" in the context of a digital transformation has been a hot topic. And rightly so!
You'd be hard pressed to find an IT manager who has not yet dealt with the topic of cloud migration. In the course of digitalization and globalization, the demands on IT infrastructure are increasing rapidly: Above all, high flexibility and performance are becoming more and more business-critical, but at the same time, must be implemented at reasonable costs and with limited resources.
Cloud services offer precisely these advantages: Resources can be made available more quickly. The centralized and simplified operation via browser and portal is a decisive advantage. Only in this way, is it possible to manage a hybrid IT environment consisting of several different infrastructure services. At the same time, strategic issues such as cost transparency, consumption-based distribution and allocation of IT components and resources, as well as the expansion of IT resilience and business continuity, can be implemented pragmatically and without lengthy transformation processes.
While cloud computing was more a topic for large corporations a few years ago, the technology has now also arrived in medium-sized businesses: According to Cloud Monitor 2020 of the digital association Bitkom, three out of four companies are already using cloud computing. It is still often smaller projects or only certain workloads that use cloud resources.
But this growing demand has fueled competition among cloud service providers. The offers and options available on the market have multiplied in recent years - you as the decision-maker can choose the sourcing combination that best suits your business requirements and still remain flexible. The investment in the cloud is well spent and will even increase its potential over time.
Nevertheless, despite all the arguments in favor of a migration to the cloud, it is not a transformation that takes place on the side. Strategic considerations in advance, including goal definition and transformation plan, are essential if the cloud project is to be successful in the long term. This means that the focus on quick successes falls short. For example, it is unrealistic to expect cost reductions from day one. In addition to migration costs, there are costs for parallel operation during the migration phase, old architectures must be transferred to the new world or rebuilt, new organizational structures must be created and IT managers must be familiarized with the new type of IT resources.
But in the medium and long term, the effort is worth it - and not only because of the expected drop in costs. Often, other effects are even more important: for example, new agility and flexibility to expand geographically, open up new markets and use new technologies such as the Internet of Things, machine learning or artificial intelligence. Or simply to operate a more resilient, secure infrastructure in times when IT experts are scarce.
The media hype that has arisen may be tiring, but at the same time it is helpful in preparing the ground for this future-oriented technology. The path to the cloud - and thus the entire change process - is always strongly influenced by a company's individual goals, structures, working methods, governance requirements and, last but not least, the existing infrastructure. Nevertheless, best practices such as the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework can help to systematically implement the migration - our experience from numerous cloud projects confirms this.
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