Moving to the Cloud | Reason #5: Future proof your teams
If there’s one thing you should take away from these facts and figures, it’s this:
Cloud is no longer a differentiator – it’s a strategic requirement for long-term success. So says Forrester’s Benchmark Your Enterprise Cloud Adoption report, and so say our clients, 90% of whom choose cloud software over hosting on-prem.
Ten years ago, moving to the cloud was about staying ahead of the curve – but no longer. Now, it’s about keeping up, and providing customers and employees with the always-on services they expect.
74% of organisations say cloud gives them a competitive advantage. If you aren’t among them, your teams may already be falling behind. If your competitors have instant access to the latest features and security upgrades and you don’t, it’s not hard to guess whose business is going to pull ahead of the pack.
So, how exactly can cloud future-proof your teams? Here are four ways:
Cloud gives you instant access to the latest features, security upgrades, and bug fixes.
When you keep your software and computing power on-prem, every time new features pop up (usually two to four times per year), a manual upgrade is in order. The obvious costs here fall on the IT team, who need both time and budget to make the changes and often have to schedule downtime that may have an impact on the whole organisation.
The less obvious cost to the business is that, when you’re upgrading only a couple times per year, each upgrade brings with it a lot of new features. This means every time you upgrade, teams face a learning curve on features they’ve never seen before. It also means, because you’re introducing so many new things at once, there’s a greater chance of also introducing some new bugs. And the fixes for those bugs might be three to six months off in the next upgrade.
With cloud, on the other hand, releases can be as small as a single bug fix or product improvement, enabled for a handful of customers at a time to lessen the risk of introducing a new bug. This means if something goes wrong, the change is easy to roll back and its impact is limited. Instead of waiting three months for the next release to fix a system bug, teams have the fix the moment it’s ready. It also means customer feedback can be implemented quickly, improving your systems on a continuous basis.
And because new features are also rolled out regularly and in small batches, it’s easier for your teams to keep up with the changes instead of having to re-train themselves several times a year. This not only keeps teams competitive by giving them immediate access to the latest features, but also keeps them nimble and connected to the systems they use every day.
Cloud helps you prioritize creativity and strategic work.
Hosting your software and products on-prem always requires more time from your tech teams. Scaling to provide your users with more storage, inventory, or computing power can take days, if not weeks or even months. Upgrades and security patches require regular time commitment (not to mention the mental overheard of scheduling and management). And any major incidents and the sometimes middle-of-the-night scramble to respond to an issue or security breach is entirely on the shoulders of your IT team.
With cloud, all that extra work is outsourced, which means bug fixes, problem management, and major incidents are the responsibility of your vendor. This means the IT team can ditch tedious, fruitless work like installing new servers or troubleshooting issues in favor of focusing on the strategic and creative work that’s essential and unique to your business. Moving support for servers, uptime, upgrades, and security patches off the IT team and onto your cloud vendor frees them up to respond more quickly to other requests – and it’s likely to help you retain your top talent.
Not to mention that most IT teams are already overtasked. Internal support teams field an average of just under 500 support tickets each month, and it takes more than 24 hours to respond to each, according to a study by Zendesk. And being overworked is the number one reason employees (and particularly high performers) quit, as reported by Forbes.
Moving support for servers, uptime, upgrades, and security patches off the IT team and onto your cloud vendor frees them up to respond more quickly to other requests – and it’s likely to help you retain your top talent.
- Continuous releases also mean better security
48% of developers say they don’t have time to spend on important security issues, which means if you’re relying on your internal teams, security patches are probably taking longer than you’d like them to. With the right cloud vendor, this is not an issue. Security is prioritised and patches are released as they’re available.
Cloud empowers non-technical teams.
With on-prem, any change – whether it’s a security upgrade, a new feature, or more computing power – has to go through IT. This not only burdens the tech team, but also slows things down for your non-technical teams, taking away their power to make quick improvements to their workflow, systems, and team dynamics.
With cloud, features like automated scaling and immediate security and feature upgrades mean teams can be nimble and agile. They can make changes to process and embrace new features and benefits that improve their workflows without going through lengthy approval processes, dealing with delays, or overburdening IT.
Studies regularly show that employee and team empowerment strongly correlate with job performance, satisfaction, and retention. So, the benefits here have a ripple effect, empowering teams to do the best job they can and giving those same teams autonomy, job satisfaction, a sense of company loyalty, and the confidence to go after audacious goals and and come up with creative solutions.
As Harvard Business Review explained after their own extensive study on the topic, "Empowered employees are more likely to be powerful, confident individuals, who are committed to meaningful goals and demonstrate initiative and creativity to achieve them. They typically have the freedom to generate novel ideas and the confidence that these ideas will be valued."
Cloud simplifies remote work and distributed teams.
4.7 million Americans already work remotely. 95% of office workers say they want to work remotely. 26% say they’ve quit a job because it didn’t support remote work. 66% think offices will be obsolete by 2030. And, as the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, sometimes the ability to work remotely can become crucial in an instant.
For companies still fully on-prem, remote work is complicated. On-prem installations can be accessed remotely. But maintaining security while allowing access is a complex dance of passwords, firewalls, VPN barriers, and architectural limitations.
In contrast, cloud solutions are already accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. And cloud security is already built with remote work in mind (which is probably why 94% of businesses surveyed say security got better for them after moving to the cloud).
Even better, the same benefits that allow employees to work remotely – either full-time or at the drop of a hat in an emergency – also make it easy to support distributed teams.
The big benefit of distributed teams and remote work (aside from crisis management) is that it gives you access to a larger talent pool, both geographically and by opening positions up to those who have to work from home for reasons including disability or being a primary caretaker for an elderly parent or sick child.
Don’t know where to start with migration planning?
So, you want to increase profits, improve IT service delivery speed, scale in an instant, free up your IT teams, run a more sustainable business, and have access to the large (and growing) remote talent pool? If you answered yes to even one of those questions, it’s time to start considering cloud. And if you answered yes to all of them? It’s time to make a strategic plan for the move.
So, what comes next? What do you need to do, plan for, and decide?
The answer is in your cloud migration strategy. It’s in the planning, assessment, and testing that go on behind the scenes to ensure your move to cloud is successful.
Our team of experts can help you at every step of your migration - from assessment to getting up and running in the cloud. Let's talk.