Moving to the Cloud – A Practical Approach

After much discussion about how we can keep up with running complex IT infrastructure and systems, it became evident that this will sooner or later be a problem for SMBs. I am experiencing this pain at the moment. For instance, the data growth rate in our industry is approximately 30% p.a., which results in tripling storage space every five years. The Digital Transformation already demands new systems to support business processes we previously handled with legacy systems (namely Microsoft Office).

This means we have to improve ours systems on premises constantly. Look if this resonates with you:

  • Keeping your IT up with your business is getting more and more difficult to do from the administration, sustainability, and cost perspectives.
  • Safety and security issues have to be addressed.
  • Agility means you can respond to a wide variety of unexpected internal and external disruptions.
  • Competitors will use Cloud systems sooner or later, and will have an advantage. They will perfectly use the “Pay-per…” approach, keeping their IT costs way below yours.
  • Rapidly aging workforce: by 2025, Millennials will be 75% of the workforce. They want to use up to date technology like Dropbox, LinkedIn, Office 365. They want to work from the coffee shop. Like it or not, you need to be prepared if you want your business to survive.

It is undeniable that the paradigm shift is running under full steam! Digital Transformation is happening right now. Moving their systems to the Cloud will benefit SMBs since they can take advantage of the greater scale.

This chapter will give you a rough outline of where to start with this endeavor. It is by no means a recipe you have to follow and, after all steps are fulfilled, you’re done. Every SMB has to find its own way and its own pace. SMBs have different challenges to face. At the same time, there are questions every SMB has to answer. It will take considerable time and, depending on the starting point, perhaps many years.

General Steps towards the Cloud

The general steps are:

  • Assessment of your IT Systems
  • Cloud Strategy
  • Preparation and Planning
  • Selection of your CSP
  • Contract Design
  • Implementation and Migration
  • Go Live / Operation

You most likely won’t be able to move all your system to the Cloud in one big bang! Instead, you will do it one at a time according to your Cloud strategy step-by-step, having many “go-lives.”

This post is an excerpt from my document “Your Existing IT Strategy Won't Work” (2521 downloads) . Feel free to download it and get the full information.

About Alexander

Alexander Buschek is passionate about Digital Transformation and the opportunities it gives businesses—especially MSEs. He is convinced that every business has to embrace Digital Transformation in one way or another in order to survive. The sooner a business begins its Digital Transformation, the better. Alexander was the CIO / CDO of Braunschweiger Flammenfilter and CIO of Cherry GmbH. Prior to that he was an entrepreneur, consulting MSEs about IT strategies, providing external project management, and overseeing various IT projects (e.g. ERP and CAD implementation and migration). Working with many MSEs gave him a deep understanding of this market. Alexander is now Senior Director, Analyst (MSE) at Gartner.