2018 IT Planning: The Cloud Services Line Item

November 27, 2017
Cloud, Data Migration, Data Protection, Education, Financial Services, Healthcare, Hybrid IT, Manufacturing, Retail

Plan to Migrate to the Cloud in 2018

The new year is fast approaching. Are cloud services in your 2018 budget? If the answer is “no,” you may want to reconsider. Here are some reasons why, and steps to take to add the cloud to your IT service portfolio this coming year.

Documented Proof

Leading analysts from organizations such as Gartner, Forrester, Price Waterhouse Cooper, KPMG and others, as well as IT executives at companies large and small across a broad spectrum of industries, have all touted the proven benefits of the clouds. Research from an equally wide array of sources support the claims.

There’s the flexibility and scalability. There’s the reduced capital expenditure on hardware and upgrades. There are the cost efficiencies from moving from a capital-intensive cost model to an operating expense model. There’s the increased security, as well as the opportunity to help meet various regulatory requirements. Need more evidence? A quick online search will yield a lot of good information. 

The Business Advantages

You’ll need management support for any move to the cloud. Win it by promoting business-boosting benefits such as:

  • Reduced Labor Costs. Various research reports have noted that many organizations spend up to 80% less time on IT maintenance when they move to the cloud. That time savings translates into reduced labor costs — or at least freed up IT resources that can be shifted to more important revenue-driving initiatives and innovation.
  • Increased Innovation. There’s also research that shows many of the organizations using cloud services can go to market with new products and services approximately 50 times faster. That’s in part because cloud services free up internal IT resources. It’s also because cloud services are constantly being enhanced to do more — and more efficiently and faster.
  • Increased employee satisfaction. Cloud services can enable employees to access business-critical apps and tools wherever they are and whenever those apps and tools are needed. This flexibility creates more flexible working arrangements — a benefit to employees and a draw for new recruits.
  • Greater collaboration. Cloud services make it easier for everyone — in-house employees as well as remote workers — to work together regardless of location. Essential data can be uploaded and shared, information easily exchanged, files synced and file versions controlled, and everyone kept in the loop on recent developments.
      

The Hybrid IT Strategy

Numerous companies have found success in adopting a hybrid IT strategy as a means of adding the cloud to their IT services portfolio. The cloud isn’t an “all-or-nothing” proposition. What is important is to deploy your workloads wherever they work best. That could be in on-premise private cloud, a hosted private cloud, a public cloud, an off-site colocation facility or, more than likely, a mix of data center and cloud environments. Adding the cloud may be the optimal strategy for helping you optimize your IT resources.

The Time is Now

If your servers are nearing the end of their lifespan, it’s a good time to consider the cloud. If your current legacy systems have difficulty scaling, or their functionality hasn’t kept pace with customer demands, it’s a good time to consider the cloud. If you want to ensure your organization is keeping pace with the competition, it’s a good time to consider the cloud.

You don’t have to make big, bold moves or carve out a large budget for cloud services. Test the waters by starting small, perhaps by moving some not-so-mission-critical apps to a public cloud service. The most important advice, however, is don’t go it alone. You’ll save a lot of time and energy, and preserve your peace of mind, if you engage a reliable cloud service provider (CSP) to help you assess your cloud readiness, make a business case for moving to the cloud and accompany your through the steps that get you to the cloud.

Make US Signal Your Cloud Guide

There are lot of CSPs to choose from, but US Signal offers a few advantages that many others can’t.

First up: US Signal specializes in IT service portfolio assessment. Our focus isn’t about selling you our cloud services. It’s about ensuring you have the IT services best suited to your needs – not just today but tomorrow as well.  A hybrid IT strategy may be what you really need. We can help you implement one that takes advantage of the resources you already have and budget for what you may need.

We also know that there are a lot of considerations that go into moving workloads, such as compliance issues. US Signal has a compliance officer on staff, and the infrastructure underlying our services are PCI- and HIPAA-compliant. Chances are we have the internal resources and expertise to help you with any special concern or you need you have regarding moving to the cloud.

There’s also our experience in cloud migration to keep in mind. We’ve helped many clients across several industries successfully move their workloads. We’ve learned from each one of them, and combine that knowledge with industry best practices to make each subsequent migration smoother and quicker. Whether you want to include cloud services in your IT budget right away, or are just doing some research, US Signal can help. Call 866.2. SIGNAL or email [email protected]